Reflections on the successful achievements of hybrid maize breeding program in Ethiopia - Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) CIMMYT : 1997 - Printed
The establishment of the genetic basis of hybrid maize led many countries into commercial utilization of the heterosis concept. This technological success in many countries however did not repeat itself in a country like Ethiopia, until recently. Although there exist some diverse local cultivars, the availability of heterotic populations was very limited and insufficient to establish suitable source populations for a comprehensive breeding program in Ethiopia. The availability of K.Syn.II and EC.573 and Population 43 and Tuxpeno-l of CIMMYT origin helped the National Maize Breeding Program to establish a comprehensive maize breeding program at Bako Agricultural Research Center. As a result, three hybrids (BH140, BH660 and BH540) were released for commercial cultivation. The three hybrids along with several open pollinated varieties were popularized through the SG-2000 extension program which has operated as part of the Extension and Cooperative Promotion Department of the Ministry of Agriculture since 1993. The average yield realized by farmers from these hybrids was over 6t/ha. The high yield obtained by growing hybrids encouraged farmers to continue growing them and the demand for hybrid seed has substantially increased since 1993. There is a general feeling that the area under hybrid maize has also increased by 4%. This increase in hybrid area is one of the major factors for the bumper harvest of maize in 1995/96 crop season. Although adoption was moving very fast, it was constrained by inadequate supply of inputs and lack of credit to the majority of farmers.
633.15 / EAS No. 5