African Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

African Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development ISSN 2375-0693 Vol. 9 (1), pp. 001-008, January, 2021. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Participatory selection and characterization of quality protein maize (QPM) varieties in Savanna agro-ecological region of DR-Congo

K. Mbuya1,2, K. K. Nkongolo4*, A. Kalonji-Mbuyi1,3 and R. Kizungu1,2

1University of Kinshasa, B.P 117 Kinshasa 11, RD–Congo.

2Institut National pour l’ Etude et la Recherche Agronomiques (INERA), B.P. 2037, Kinshasa 1, RD-, Congo.

3Nuclear Research Center, Kinshasa, RD-Congo.

4Department of Biological Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Accepted 20 October, 2020

Abstract

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 farmers’ 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 farmer’s preference.

Key words: Quality protein maize, participatory varietal selection, DR-Congo.