Boosting yields in drought-prone areas
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CTA. 2003. Boosting yields in drought-prone areas. Spore 105. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47965
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore105.pdf
A drought-tolerant variety of sorghum, S-35, developed by breeders at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and partner institutes, is being widely adopted in Cameroon and Chad.
A drought-tolerant variety of sorghum, S-35, developed by breeders at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and partner institutes, is being widely adopted in Cameroon and Chad. Researchers from the Institut de recherche agricole (IRA) in Maroua, Cameroon selected the S-35 variety from the ICRISAT collection at Samaru, Nigeria some 20 years ago. The variety provides sorghum farmers with a safeguard against drought and unstable yields. Its drought tolerance makes it well adapted to drought-prone northern Cameroon and Chad, where sorghum is the main staple food. The S-35 yields after 100 105 days compared well with yields after 120 130 days for traditional varieties. It is also less susceptible to the parasitic weed Striga. S-35 now occupies some 33% of the total rainfed sorghum area in Cameroon and 27% in Chad. It yields 2.8 t per hectare without fertiliser, and 4.5 t per hectare when chemicals are applied. These yields are 51% higher than farmers best traditional varieties in Chad, and 27% higher in Cameroon. Farmers production costs have fallen by 33 and 20%, respectively. Farmers in Nigeria are now planting S-35, and its drought tolerance is likely to prove a considerable attraction for other sorghum farmers in Africa.