Institute Develops Soybean Varieties In Africa

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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) says it has developed three improved soybean varieties to boost productivity in Africa.

   IITA said in a statement on Monday in Lagos said that the varieties had been released to Nigeria and Malawi.

   It stated that the new improved varieties were achieved in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Services (DARS) in Malawi and Nigeria’s National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI).

It listed the varieties to include, TGx1740-2F, TGx1987-10F, and TGx1987-62F, TGx1740-2F.

IITA Soybean Breeder based in Malawi, Hailu Tefera, said that the varieties outperformed the standard and local checks grown in the two countries.

“In Nigeria, medium-maturing varieties TGx1987-10F and TGx1987-62F proved highly resistant to rust, bacterial blight, and Cercospora leaf spot,” the statement said.

It noted that the varieties were preferred by many farmers because it reduced the cost of weeding and the golden colour at maturity.

The statement said that the TGx1740-2F could achieve yield of 2464 kilo per hectare, which exceeded the old grain variety of Nasoko and the widely grown promiscuous variety Magoye.

It noted that the variety performed equally well during on-farm participatory variety trials in 2009 and 2010 seasons.

The statement listed the benefits of the new varieties to include early maturity, high yield and could perform under poor and erratic rainfall, and had better lodging resistance.

“Besides, it has high nutritional value and soybean is fast gaining appeal in Africa because it offers a cheap source of protein to the citizens.

“The varieties are also an important cash crop and improve soil fertility to the small holder’s farmers,” the statement said.

It said that the development of these varieties serves as a boost to African nations as well as efforts to reduce hunger and poverty.