Crop Research

The Crop Research Unit's mandate is to generate and evaluate technologies as well as provide diagnostic, advisory and regulatory services for improved crop production. We primarily focus on variety maintenance and the production of planting material of various crops. Our programme also involves varietal assessments and characterization, as well as commercial seed lot evaluations.

Each crop is monitored and evaluated on several key traits, to ensure agonomic quality and genetic purity of the varieties recommended or introduced to farmers and agro-processors. These traits include:

  1. Yield
  2. Maturity periods
  3. Nutritional profile
  4. Physical characterization
  5. Tolerance
  6. Susceptibilities
  7. Response to environmental conditions (soil, drought, pests, etc.)
  8. Pests management
  9. Nematode management

Our work in Crop Reseach is bolstered by partnerships with varying stakeholders who financially support the programmes, disseminate the information garnered, and utilise the findings to develop agricultural technologies and value-added products.

It is anticipated that the Unit's research findings will foster increased production of the targeted crops, so that the demands on the local and export markets will have a sustainable supply. Information gleaned from the field trials is made available to the public and private interests through printed technical guides, training sessions and open/field days.

Programmes

The programmes of the Crop Research Unit is subdivided into two (2) general areas:

  1. Agronomy
    • Roots & Tubers
    • Field Crops
    • Orchard & Horticultural
  2. Plant Breeding
    • Germplasm Conservation
    • Seed Production

See more details in attached Crop Research unit brochure