'On-farm' seed priming with maize in Pakistan - Mexico, DF (Mexico) CIMMYT : 2004 - p. 316-322 - Printed
'On-farm' seed priming (soaking seeds in water before sowing) has been shown to lead to earlier germination and establishment, and increased yields, in a wide range of crops in many tropical and subtropical environments. We conducted on-station and on-farm Randomised Block Design trials (1998-2001) and farmer-participatory trials (1999-2001) to assess the effects of priming on maize yields in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. Priming for 16-18 h was found to be the optimum time for priming in Pakistan and gave statistically significant benefits in 11 out of 14 trials, in a range of environments over four years, with yield increases from 17 to 76%. Differences in the remaining three trials were not statistically significant. Farmers trials gave yield increases, using primed seed, of 40% (11 farmers) in 1999, 57% (15 farmers) in 2000 and 20% (6 farmers) in 2001. There was no adverse effect of priming and the technique is recommended as a key technology - a low-cost, low-risk intervention to make a significant impact on maize production in a wide range of environments.