Registering a New Provitamin A-rich Maize Variety Named ‘BHA5211’ for Cultivation in Ethiopia

Disease resistance; Genotype main effect; Genotype x Environment interaction (GGE); Grain yield; Stability; Vitamin A deficiency


January 1, 2024

Background: Maize is an important staple crop in Ethiopia, but there has not been any provitamin A-rich variety under production in the country. Therefore, developing varieties of major staple crops like maize that are enriched with provitamin A (PVA) is useful in alleviating vitamin A deficiency among communities whose diets are dominated by maize.
Objective: The objective of this study was to identify provitamin A-enriched maize hybrids that have already enhanced agronomic performances, including grain yield and reaction to diseases compared to the standard white maize variety or at least that have a comparable grain yield and disease resistance/tolerance.
Materials and Methods: Multi-environment trials comprising different sets of PVA hybrids were introduced from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria, during the main cropping seasons from 2015 to 2020. Among the evaluated hybrids, two most promising PVA hybrids designated by LY1001-23 and LY1501-8 were selected and promoted to variety verification trial in 2021 main growing cropping season.
Results: The results of the multi-environment trials showed that the hybrid LY1001-23 had comparable agronomic performances with the standard check BH546. In addition, Additive Main Effect and Multiplicative Interaction (AMMI) and Genotype main effect plus Genotype x Environment interaction (GGE) biplot analysis demonstrated the selected candidate variety (LY1001-23) had stable and acceptable grain yield performance. The additional benefit of LY1001-23 over the BH546 was found to be its higher provitamin A content. Based on these superior traits of the hybrid variety, the National Variety Release standing Committee (NVRC) approved LY1001-23 for registration under a local name BHA5211 in 2022 as the first PVA maize hybrid in Ethiopia.
Conclusion: BHA5211, which is an orange kernel maize hybrid showed stable and comparable yield performance with the white maize check variety and was found to be resistant to major foliar diseases. Therefore, this hybrid variety has been recommended for cultivation in the mid-altitude sub-humid maize agro-ecologies and in areas with similar growing conditions in Ethiopia.