Groundnut researchers are striving to introduce superior options to a popular early-maturing groundnut variety, Pendo (ICGMS 33), in Tanzania. Although Pendo has many strengths compared to other varieties, it is highly susceptible to rosette disease. Efforts are on, under the Tropical Legumes III project, to develop and disseminate varieties that overcome this limitation of Pendo.
- In 2013, varieties ICGV-SM 90704 and ICGV 12991 were crossed to introgress rosette resistance.
- Three rosette-tolerant varieties with individual improved traits: Naliendele 2009 (ICGV-SM 99555), which is early-maturing; Mangaka 2009 (ICGV-SM 99557), which has three kernels per pod; and Masasi 2009 (ICGV-SM 01721,) which is bold seeded; have been released.
- Three varieties, primarily for use in the confectionery market: Narinut 2015 (ICGV-SM 01731), Kuchele 2015 (ICG 8326) and Nachi 2015 (ICGV-SM 90704) have been released, and are currently being multiplied as breeder seeds.
- The project is also promoting the improved varieties released from 2009 so as to replace Pendo.
Under the Tropical Legumes III project, several efforts have been made to improve existing popular varieties and introduce improved varieties suited to new threats and changing agro-climatic conditions. These efforts have helped improve overall groundnut production in Tanzania, as Figure 1 shows.
Pendo, released in 1998, was adopted in large numbers by Tanzanian farmers, outdoing other varieties such as Sawia, Red Mwitunde, Nyota and Johari. This popularity was owing to the fact that it was high-yielding (1.2-1.5 t/ha), early-maturing (90-100 days), easy to shell by hand, had large kernels, and adapted well to a wide range of groundnut-growing areas, including low-rainfall regions. Despite these, the susceptibility to the rosette virus (known to cause up to 100% yield loss), and zero seed dormancy (causing yield loss if not harvested on time) were major limitations of the Pendo variety.
From the experience with Pendo over two phases of the Tropical Legumes project (II and III), it is easy to see how adoption of new technology is dependent on farmer preference in conjunction with market availability and communication. Keeping this in mind, researchers can gain important insights not only into adoption of new varieties, but also into the development of market linkages for both seed multiplication and production, and for increasing incomes for smallholder farmers.
To know more about the work ICRISAT is doing on groundnut, click here.
Project: Tropical Legumes III
Partners: ICRISAT (lead), CIAT and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Agricultural Research Institute (ARI-Naliendele), Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA), Care International, One Acre Fund, Africa Rising, Beula Seed. Co, Suba-Agro, Temnar Co. Ltd, MERU AGRO, Local Government Authorities (LGAs), and ICRISAT
Funder: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
CRP: Grain Legumes