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Sorghum Breeder Works with Farmers to Develop New Sorghum Varieties

Through the Sowing Diversity= Harvesting Security (SD=HS) project, CTDT is working to foster collaborations between the breeders and small-holder farmers in the development of new crop varieties through Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) using the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach.

The sorghum breeder from the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) has been actively working with farmers in Chirundu to develop a new sorghum variety with certain preferred traits having been selected by the farmers themselves.

Due to some unforeseen circumstance the irrigation system at the research station got destroyed leading to the loss of material that was being worked on.

Fortunately, an FFS in Chirundu established a winter nursery which enabled the continuation of the work on the sorghum that got destroyed at the research station.

If not for the breeder working hand in hand with the farmers through PPB the work on the sorghum population that has been on-going for the last three years would have stalled.

Shelly Ngandu is a farmer from Kayuni village in Chirundu district who is participating in the FFS developing the new sorghum variety. “Being a smallholder woman farmer, am happy to be part of the process of developing this new sorghum variety with the help of the breeder from ZARI.

We are happy because we are almost achieving the breeding objectives we had set with the help of the breeder. “When starting, we used Kuyuma and Sima varieties because they are adapted to our climatic conditions being in the valley area. At this point with what we have learnt, we are con

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