Humera Agricultural Research Center (HuARC) has been doing a research activity to generate a blight tolerant sesame seed variety.
According to Haile Zibelo, the center director, HuARC has developed its research potential and it has been working hard to release blight tolerant candidate seed variety which will be called as Setit- 2.
Haile said, “The center was previously adopting seed varieties which were generated in other research centers. But, in the last couple of years, it has upgraded itself and moved fromseed adoption to generation.”
In the previous years, two sesame improved variety seeds; namely, Setit 1 and Humera-1 have been released and used by many farmers to boost production and improve the quality the sesame product. The third sesame variety which can tolerant blight (blight is one of the main problems in sesame production) is in its way to be released.
Apart from this, HuARC has been doing different research activities pertaining to sesame, sorghum and other crops.
This (2014) agriculture season, in an attempt to demonstrate mechanization for large scale farming HuARC in collaboration with the SBN support programme has covered about 29 hectare (15 in its own field and 14 in investor farmer fields) with sesame. It uses precision row planter and employs full improved sesame production technologies.
Pertaining to sorghum, HuARC is conducting improved variety trial by taking about 500 seed varieties.
Hagos Tadesse, former director of HuARC and now SBN-support programme agricultural production coach, said, “one reason on why farmers do not like to plant sorghum is because of striga. To this end, the research center has been doing experimental trials to generate striga resistant sorghum seed variety. This trial also takes the maturity period of the sorghum into account.The early matured sorghum varieties are the preferable once.”
He added, HuARC is working to have another cash crop which can be used as rotation crops for sesame. Last year the center has released one early maturing Mungbean or green gram variety called Arkebe which has broad adaptability. More than 35 lines of soybean are also under trial in the center.
The center is coordinating the sesame research at national level.