Delivering rust resistant wheat to farmers: a step towards increased food security

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Published in Euphytica 179(1): 187-196, 2011

Delivering rust resistant wheat to farmers: a step towards increased food security

 A. K. Joshi; M. Azab;  M. Mosaad;  M. Moselhy;  M. Osmanzai; S. Gelalcha; G. Bedada; M. R. Bhatta; A. Hakim; P. K. Malaker; M. E. Haque;  T. P. Tiwari;  A. Majid; M. R. Jalal Kamali;  Z. Bishaw; R. P. Singh;  T. Payne;  H. J. Braun

An important step towards reducing the vulnerability of wheat in Africa and Asia to the Ug99 race of the stem rust pathogen is the substitution of current susceptible varieties with superior resistant varieties. In the 2008–2009 cropping season both seed multiplication and dissemination of Ug99 resistant varieties were initiated in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Ug99 resistant varieties must occupy about 5% of the area sown to wheat in each country to ensure sufficient seed to displace current popular varieties. Because of the underdeveloped seed industry and small farm sizes in most of these countries, various strategies are being applied for rapid multiplication and dissemination of resistant varieties. Approaches being used include pre-release seed multiplication while candidate resistant lines are being tested in national evaluation trials and farmer participatory selection. Resistant varieties are already released in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan and more varieties are expected to be released in 2010 in these and other countries. Our results show that some new Ug99 resistant lines have yield superiority over dominant local varieties. Activities and progress in seed multiplication using existing and new Ug99 resistant varieties are discussed.

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