Finger Millet ( Varietal Development And Maintenance)

Varietal development and improvement work in Zambia has benefitted from the efforts of International Research Centres such as ICRISAT in terms of accessibility to improved lines and world germplasm collections. Through extensive selection a number of high yielding varieties with other desirable agronomic characteristics are being developed and should become available to farmers in the near future.

It is evident that the initial stage of multiplication are the most critical, and if they are handled carelessly, the whole variety could be lost. For this reason, the breeders carefully carry-out designed maintenance of released varieties. Each variety is maintained by the breeders through the production of parental material. This is produced usually by growing rows derived from seed of single plants. The rows are closely inspected by the breeder and any row(s) which are different or contain off-types are rejected. At harvest, remaining rows are harvested and the seed bulked to provide parental material for further multiplication. Roguing must be carried out to a very high standard at this stage. There is no need to keep big isolation distance, but it is wise to have recommended distance between crops to prevent physical admixtures, espe


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