Rapid Deployment of High-Yielding and Rust-Resistant Wheat Varieties
Date of Operation: 2011 – 2014
Primary Implementing Partner: Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), through a grant to the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Regions of Operation: Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tirgry
Improve food security by protecting wheat crops from decimation by yellow stem rust and other diseases.
- Assist in fast-track testing and release of yellow rust resistance varieties
- Pre-release seed multiplication of promising lines
- Popularization and demonstration of newly released resistant varieties
- Support large-scale seed multiplication by public or private sector
- Support small-pack seed distribution of newly released resistant varieties
- Initiate “grain-for-seed” approach to distribute some of the relatively tolerant varieties
Ethiopia is Africa’s second largest wheat producer (after South Africa), and wheat is Ethiopia’s third most important staple crop in terms of annual production. However, most Ethiopian wheat varieties are susceptible to stem rust, a disease that can wipe out a crop. Ethiopia experienced a severe outbreak of yellow rust during the 2010 growing season. Progress has been made in the development of new rust-resistant wheat varieties; however, uptake of these new varieties has been slow. USAID Ethiopia supports demand-driven approaches—both immediate and long term—to expanding distribution and promoting adoption of these new varieties with Ethiopian farmers. Improvement of Ethiopia’s wheat seed system comes from USAID’s planned support of the Government of Ethiopia’s Agriculture Growth Program, which will be the major focus of agriculture development efforts in the coming years.
- Test and release new rust-resistant varieties of wheat in Ethiopia
- Demand-driven approaches to expand distribution and promote adoption of new varieties by Ethiopian farmers
- Medium to longer term efforts that support sustainable provision of seed material to replace rust susceptible varieties