Strategies for Controlling Groundnut Rosette Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa
The goals of this project were to improve data collection by establishing standardized procedures for data collection and documentation. The hope was to analyze potential increases to household income through increased peanut production. The project would examine impact of peanut farming systems, including value added activities on resource use and income generation. In cooperation with host country collaborators, the project would develop appropriate training materials and conduct workshops, with particular focus on women.
Groundnut rosette disease (GRD) causes the greatest yield losses of any of the peanut viral diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda. This affects economic status of small holder farmers and food manufacturers, and in turn the nutritional needs of the populations. The breeding program developed and released two new cultivars in 2010 that have farmer, processor, and consumer acceptance. The germplasm was introduced through this project in 2003 from the ICRISAT-Malawi program that resulted in earlier releases such as the Spanish cultivar 4T. The cultivars were Serenut 5R and Serenut 6T with resistance to GRD, early leaf spot disease and drought tolerance. Seed increase programs of the desirable cultivars were underway and seed were being disseminated to farmers. These cultivars will help reach a more full adoption of GRD resistant cultivars grown in the country, and will complement the release in the earlier phase of the three GRD resistant cultivars. Serenut 5R was in high demand. New ICRISAT-Mali germplasm obtained in 2008 and 2010 was under test, which will increase the Spanish, Valencia, and Virginia germplasm base for resistance to rosette and other foliar diseases such as late leaf-spot, early (short-season) maturity, drought tolerance, and aflatoxin resistance. The crossing of germplasm with these new and desirable traits (such as seed color, size, and flavor) with local cultivars with the goal of maintaining agronomic traits preferred by farmers and consumers is of priority in the program.
An impact study shows the three earlier cultivars occupy over 60 percent of the production area and when fully adopted will add $47 million per year to the economy. Demonstration plots, field days, seed fairs and participation in agricultural shows,exhibitions, radio talk shows, workshops and seminars throughout Uganda were educating the farmers in the agricultural practices needed for production of these new cultivars. Included in the cultivar evaluation programs were the six cultivars released under the rosette resistance effort; Serenut1R, Serenut 2, Serenut 3R, Serenut 4T, Serenut 5R, and Serenut 6T. In the annual Source of the Nile Agricultural Show, which attracts farmers, processors and consumers nationwide, and from some adjoining countries, the demonstration of value adding processed products such as peanut butter were included in addition to improved cultivars. Seed of rosette resistant cultivars for multiplication and use by farmers were being shared with Ethiopia, Sudan, Rwanda and other East and Central Africa countries. All six cultivars have been requested by the new country, South Sudan. Earlier Serenut 2, Serenut 3R and Serenut 4T were sent to Ethiopia; Serenut 4T performed best and was in process of release in Ethiopia in October 2011. Development and use of rosette disease resistant varieties in Uganda and other countries in the region is helping to overcome the devastation in peanut production caused by the rosette virus.
Uganda is developing an effective program for seed production, multiplication, and distribution to farmers through seed companies, NGOs, contract farmers, and NaSARRI Serere farm offices. Seed banks in different regions are planned to provide credible sources of new cultivars. Demonstration plots, field days, seed fairs, participation in agricultural shows, exhibitions radio talk shows, workshops and seminars have been used to extend the new technologies.
Improved resistance was observed in transgenic material with active support of the Uganda Government. Approval for testing of the transgenic material was anticipated in 2011, but due to the request for more information by the Uganda approval committee approval was anticipated to allow for 2012 greenhouse tests. All transgenic work for rosette resistance will be done in Uganda. The transgenic lines promise to provide GRD resistance that will not break down as readily with continued heavy disease pressure. Solar panels and batteries have been provided to provide functional laboratories for basic research work.
Dr. C. Michael Deom
National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute
- Dr. David Kalule Okello
More about this Project
Management of Aflatoxins in Groundnut: A manual for Farmers, Processors, Traders and Consumers in Uganda