Tought teff set for a boost
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CTA. 1986. Tought teff set for a boost. Spore 3. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44470
Ethiopia's Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), based in Addis Ababa, has done research on teff with encouraging results. Teff is a cereal which at pre- sent is almost unique to Ethiopia. It thrives in high altitudes and is a staple food for...
Ethiopia's Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), based in Addis Ababa, has done research on teff with encouraging results. Teff is a cereal which at pre- sent is almost unique to Ethiopia. It thrives in high altitudes and is a staple food for millions in the Highlands, growing in conditions which are, not suitable for cereals such as sorghum. Teff can tolerate extremes, such as wet or dry, cold and hot, bet- ter than other cereals. With a spike similar to that of wheat or barley, teff is easy to store and thresh; Ethiopians grind teff seed to make their own special kind of bread Ethiopia's highlands have many different varieties of the plant and the Plant Genetic Resources Centre in Addis Ababa keeps over 1.000 Iines. Teff's toughness could make it an ideal crop for other regions of Africa that have similar conditions to those of the Ethiopian highlands. But very little research has been done into how to increase yields and breed disease resistant varieties. The average yield of teff on small-holdings in Ethiopia is one tonne per hectare. But the IAR has developed a variety of teff, DZ 01-946, which has given yields of 1.78 tonnes per hectare. However, according to an IAR report research is held back by a number of constraints lack of conventional cropping techniques, lack of full-time researchers for teff and lack of external sources of expertise and materials. London University s Wye College and the Volcani Centre in Israel are also carrying out research into teff and the FAO has implemented a programme at the Holleta Research Station near Addis. An attempt is now being made to reduce the height of teff but there are technical difficulties in breeding new varieties. The teff plant blooms for only a short time after sunrise, which makes it difficult to cross-pollinate many plants before they close up. For further information contact: JAR. BP 2003 Addis Ababa. Ethiopia