African Centre for Crop Improvement

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African Centre for Crop Improvement

“Training African Breeders on African Crops, in Africa”

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Graduate’s Striga-resistant sorghum varieties released in Tanzania

Dr Emmanuel Mrema and his team recently released two new sorghum varieties with Striga resistance in Tanzania.

Striga is a parasitic weed that wreaks havoc on sorghum, maize, millet, rice and wheat, and is a huge problem in Tanzania, with two species affecting small-scale farms especially badly. Mrema successfully focused his PhD research on breeding new sorghum varieties for resistance to both of the Striga species, and for compatibility with FOS.

His PhD studies and research were funded by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Funding for his research was also provided by Technology and Innovation Agency (TIA), a unit of South Africa’s national Department of Science and Technology, working with the government of Tanzania.

On hearing the news, Dr Rufaro Madekadze, Senior Program Officer Extension and Capacity Building at AGRA, congratulated Mrema, saying “I saw them in development a few years ago and was convinced they will revolutionize agriculture in the dry parts of Tanzania. I am so excited they are finally released.”

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