Participatory selection and characterization of quality protein maize (QPM) varieties in Savanna agro-ecological region of DR-Congo
Maize (Zea mays L.) is a major cereal crop for human nutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR- Congo). Prevailing normal maize is deficient in two essential amino acids, lysine and tryptophan. Participatory variety selection was applied to select diversified quality protein maize (QPM) varieties that possess farmersÔÇÖ preferred plant and grain traits. The varieties were planted with and without chemical fertilization. Selection was based primarily on agronomic traits such as time to maturity, plant and ear aspect, disease and insect resistance, yield and yield components as well as flour quality. There were significant differences among QPM varieties for several agronomic traits. The use of participatory approach in agricultural research allowed selection of one QPM, (QPMSRSYNTH), and one normal improved maize (AK9331-DMR-ESR-Y) for their yield advantage over currently released normal maize varieties in more than one criterion. The adoption of these newly introduced varieties is expected to be high since they were selected based on farmerÔÇÖs preference.
Key words: Quality protein maize, participatory varietal selection, DR-Congo.
Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science Vol. 2(11), pp. 325-332, December 2010