Title: Bedada Girma Region/Focus: Ethiopia/Dr. Bedada is the main DRRW coordinator for Ethiopia; knowledgeable in breeding and seed multiplication for Ethiopia and can speak on success stories of farmers in Ethiopia growing new rust resistant varieties.
Organization: EIAR (Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research)
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org To facilitate contact please contact either: Linda McCandless, Cornell University +1 607 227 5920 Coimbra Sirica, Burness Communications +1 301 943 3287
Time Zone: GMT +3
Quotes: Wheat is an important and food security commodity in Ethiopia. Total production cover about 1.7 mil ha with production of 1.8 mil tons. Resource poor farmers produce 95% of the total production. Since the advent of Ug99 stem rust disease in the late 1990s, Ethiopian farmers were at risk from the threats of rust diseases, particularly Ug99. Standard wheat varieties that were in use became susceptible to stem rust and eventually were knocked out production by the wide occurrence of yellow rust epidemic in August 2010.
Now farmers’ hopes are focused on the newly developed rust resistant varieties that emerged from unprecedented international research collaboration thanks to Dr. Norman Borlaug, the BMGF, Cornell University, and International organizations and NARs across 5 continents for their commitment, dedication and contribution to DRRW.
The new rust resistant varieties available in Ethiopia include Digalu (SHA7/KAUZ), Danda’a (DANPHE#1), and Kakaba (PICAFLOR#1). Digalu was released in 2006 by the National Wheat Research Program. Danda’a and Kakaba were released in May 2010 and are highly preferred by the farmers, but adoption and dissemination are at an initial stage. Digalu is spreading rapidly after participatory evaluation with farmers in 2008 and 2009.
Currently, area coverage of the new varieties is not more than 15,000 ha; but in view of growing disease pressure, area will grow even faster through off-season and main season seed multiplication efforts with national and international efforts.