Agricultural Research Centre - Muguga South annual report 2010

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Ministry Of Agriculture
Maize streak virus (MSV) disease is the most destructive disease of maize. The causal agent is the maize streak virus (MSV) which occurs extensively throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the years, maize streak virus disease epigemics resulting in economic yield losses have been reported in at least 20 countries of Africa. The disease can cause yield loss of up to 1 00%. In Kenya, widespread maize streak disease epidemics have occurred in the past but the most serious occurred in 1988\89 and caused an estimated yield loss of 40% in central Kenya. The goal of maize breeding program at Muguga is to develop maize varieties resistant to MSV and other foliar diseases for the mid-altitude areas of Kenya, which will contribute positively to on-farm productivity from the current 1.5-2.0 metric tons per hectare to above 4.5-6.0 tons per hectare and increase thereby increasing rural household incomes. These hybrids must also fit in maturity groups of 100-120 days, 120-140 days, and 140-160 days. Thus strengthening resistance breeding against the major pests and diseases through: 1) Identification of genotypes with inherent resistance to maize streak disease, head smut and common rust; 2) use of elite inbred lines or populations in the formation of novel varieties and 3) the release of hybrids, open pollinated varieties (OPVs) and inbred lines resistant to foliar diseases will contribute in alleviating poverty in these areas.