Yield performance and adaptation of four sorghum cultivars in Igunga and Nzega districts of Tanzania
Communications in Biometry and Crop Science
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Tumbi Agricultural Research and Development Institute, P.O. Box 306, Tabora, Tanzania
Sorghum plays a significant role for the smallholder farmers of Tanzania. It is the chief source of food and income for majority of Tanzanians but yields are low and crop management lacking leading to smallholder food and income insecurity. An experiment was conducted in the Nzega and Igunga districts of Tabora to compare improved cultivars Tegemeo, Pato and Macia to the commonly used landrace Wilu for adaptation and yield, assess farmers' preferences, and assess the economic potential of improved sorghum cultivars. Cultivar performance was measured for three seasons in a randomized complete block design with three replications per location. Tegemeo out-yielded other cultivars and had high average yields (2580 kg ha -1). Wilu had the lowest yield (1460 kg ha -1) but had consistent yields across environments. Ninety farmers developed seven criteria for cultivars assessments. Results of the farmers' rankings indicated Tegemeo was the best cultivar and recommended it be grown in the area. An economic analysis indicated the potential of doubling sorghum grain yield from 1000 to 2000 kg ha -1 and income from 525,600 to 928,800 TSh ha -1. The combined statistical, farmers assessment and economic analysis showed changing order of importance of some cultivars which draws attention to breeders and policy makers on the importance of farmer's indigenous technical knowledge acknowledgement and participatory plant breeding in cultivars selection. © CBCS 2010.