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Terherne, Netherlands

Bishaw Z.,Seed Section | Struik P.C.,Wageningen University | van Gastel A.J.G.,Harspit 10
International Journal of Plant Production | Year: 2011

A total of 206 wheat and 200 barley farmers were interviewed in northeastern Syria to understand farmer perceptions and practice relating to modern varieties, seed sources and seed quality. Wheat farmers had better awareness and grew modern varieties (87%), applied fertilizers (99.5%), herbicides (93%), seed treatment (90%) or insecticides (41%). In contrast barley growers had low awareness (36%) and use (0.5%) of modern varieties, herbicides (4%), insecticides (3%) and fertilizers (56%). Grain yield, grain size, food quality and tolerance to lodging, drought and frost were the agronomic characteristics farmers sought from new wheat varieties. For barley, grain yield, grain size, grain color, feed quality, marketability and tolerance to diseases and drought were the key traits sought. The informal sector-seed retained from the previous harvest or obtained from neighbors or local traders/markets-was the main source of seed for both wheat and barley. Most farmers practiced on-farm seed selection, cleaning, treatment, separate storage or quality assessment of seed that was obtained locally. Farmers' perceptions and preferences of new varieties/technologies and their seed sources and seed management practices must be taken into account in any efforts to develop or to strengthen seed sector development.

Bishaw Z.,Seed Section | Struik P.C.,Wageningen University | van Gastel A.J.G.,Harspit 10
Journal of New Seeds | Year: 2010

Knowledge and information on farmers' perception and its influence on adoption of modern wheat varieties, awareness and source of new wheat production technology, wheat seed sources, and on-farm seed-management practices remain sporadic in Ethiopia. This study was conducted to understand the functioning of the wheat seed system in four major wheat-growing areas of Ethiopia. A total of 304 wheat growers were interviewed in Arsi, West Shoa, North Shoa, and East Gojam zones. Most wheat growers were aware of modern wheat varieties, agronomic packages, and agrochemical inputs; >90% of farmers had knowledge of these agricultural technologies, the extension system being the major source of information. There is an extensive adoption of new technologies: the majority of farmers grew modern wheat varieties (76% on recommended list and 10% "obsolete" varieties), and applied fertilizers (97%) and herbicides (64%) to wheat. Although a wide range of modern wheat varieties were adopted, ET 13 (West Shoa, North Shoa, and East Gojam) and Pavon 76 (Arsi) were predominant and each was grown by 20% of the farmers, replacing previously popular varieties, such as Dashen and Enkoy. Farmers identified as many as 26 technological and socioeconomic criteria for adopting and continuously growing a particular wheat variety. However, grain yield, food quality, marketability, grain color, and grain size appeared to be the most important criteria and transcended all zones. Traditional farmer-to-farmer seed exchange played a significant role for lateral diffusion of modern varieties and was a major source of seed for planting wheat crop annually. The informal sector was an initial source of modern wheat varieties for 58% of the farmers, through neighbors or other farmers (36%), relatives (7%), or local trading (15%). Moreover, the majority of farmers sourced their wheat seed informally whereby 79% used retained seed or sourced off-farm from neighbors (9%) and local traders or markets (3%) for planting wheat during the survey year. In contrast, the formal sector was the initial source of wheat varieties for 40% of farmers, but only 8% of the farmers purchased certified seed in the 1997/98 crop season. Farmers' positive perception of seed influenced them to practice different management approaches to maintain the quality of their wheat seed through on- farm selection (67%), cleaning (83%), chemical treatment (4%), separate storage (65%), or informal assessment of seed quality (34%), whereas the responsibility was shared between men and women. The adoption and diffusion of modern bread-wheat varieties and associated technologies appeared to be higher than for other crops, although largely remained informal. It is imperative for the agricultural research to develop farmer-preferred varieties and for the government to strengthen and devise appropriate strategy for seed delivery that is responsive to the needs of the farmers. Within this context, it is important to recognize the role of the formal and informal seed system to create a sustainable seed industry. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Bishaw Z.,Seed Section | Struik P.C.,Wageningen University | Van Gastel A.J.G.,Harspit 10
International Journal of Plant Production | Year: 2013

The study assessed the health quality of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) seed samples collected from formal and informal sector in Ethiopia and Syria. In Ethiopia, several seed-borne fungi were found on wheat samples: Cochliobolus sativum, Fusarium avenaceum, F. graminearum, F. nivale, F. poae and Septoria nodorum. C. sativum was predominant with 84% of samples infected (frequency) and 1.85% mean infection level (rate) followed by F. graminearum with 74% and 1.54%, respectively. Certified seed consistently showed less infection for most seed-borne pathogens. In Syria, 68% and 14%, respectively, of wheat samples were infected with common bunt (Tilletia spp) and loose smut (Ustilago tritici). Mean loose smut infection rate was 0.79%. In barley, 85% of samples were infected with covered smut (Ustilago hordei) and 83% with loose smut (Ustilago nuda). Mean loose smut infection rate was 18%. Wheat seed health was better than of barley in terms of frequency and rate of infection. In Ethiopia, significant difference (P<0.001) in infection levels was detected for most pathogens from different seed sources, but not in Syria. There were significant differences (P<0.001) in mean infection levels across regions and districts for both crops in Ethiopia and Syria. All seed samples infected with loose smut of wheat or barley were in excess of minimum standards for seed certification across West Asia and North Africa, showing fundamental weaknesses in seed health from both formal and informal sources. National seed programs should set realistic standards and introduce routine testing to produce healthy seed.

Bishaw Z.,Seed Section | Struik P.C.,Wageningen University | van Gastel A.J.G.,Harspit 10
International Journal of Plant Production | Year: 2014

The present study described the diversity of wheat and barley varieties and landraces available in farmer’s fields in Syria using different indicators. Analysis of spatial and temporal diversity and coefficient of parentage along with measurements of agronomic and morphological traits were employed to explain the diversity of wheat and barley varieties or landraces grown by farmers in Syria. Farm level surveys showed low spatial diversity of wheat and barley where only a few dominant varieties occupied a large proportion of wheat and barley areas. The five top wheat varieties (ACSAD 65, Cham 1, Cham3, Lahan and Cham 6) occupied 81% of the wheat area and were grown by 78% of the sample farmers. In case of barley one single landrace was grown in almost the entire survey area in north eastern Syria. The weighted average age of wheat varieties was highest with an average of 10.8 years showing low temporal diversity by farmers. In Syria bread wheat showed lower average diversity and weighted diversity than durum wheat. Variance component analysis showed significant variations for desirable agronomic characters such as plant height, grain yield and yield components (kernels per spike-1, seed weight) among wheat and barley varieties and landraces. The principal component analysis explained the variations that existed among modern varieties and landraces. Cluster analysis based on agronomic and morphological traits grouped the modern varieties and landraces into separate clusters. The variation that existed among the landraces showed broad opportunities for using in plant breeding programs to develop varieties suitable for different agro-ecological zones. To date large areas previously grown to traditional varieties and landraces are now increasingly replaced by contiguous expanse of land planted to uniform modern bread and durum wheat varieties and are grown by large number of farmers. Apart from the landraces, the wild relatives and progenitors of both wheat and barley are being threatened by extinction in the center of origin. © 2014 Journal Management System.

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