ARS scientists Phil Miklas, Karen Cichy, and Tim Porch participated in this trip focused on the evaluation of breeding lines in collaboration with Sokoine University researchers Dr. Susan Nchimbi. Significant progress was made in advancing breeding populations directed towards release of improved varieties in Tanzania. Thirty promising F4:7, 1st generation 2014 PIC (Phaseolus Improvement Cooperative) and ~100 F4:6, 2nd generation 2015 PIC breeding lines were selected. In addition, ~300 F4:5, 3rd generation 2016 PIC single plant selections were completed in Arusha and Mbeya (photos from Arusha below). These breeding lines, derived from 109 PIC populations specifically developed to combine abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, showed superior agronomic potential compared with checks and local landraces. The diversity, scale, and potential of the material in the PIC breeding pipeline is invaluable and requires continued support to ensure the release of varieties that promise to increase the productivity of common bean in the E. African region.
Twelve superior lines from ADP evaluations during previous years were evaluated in on-station trials in Arusha, Mbeya, and Morogoro, and in on-farm trials in the Arusha and Mbeya areas (photos below). The first village near Arusha was Kikatiti (District of Arumeru) where bush beans were preferred (left photo below). The second village was Sakila (in Arumeru as well). This village was at a higher elevation with higher rainfall and fertile soils. A high incidence of white mold was found at this site. About 17 male and 2 female farmers participated in an evaluation of the material in the 12 entry ADP field trial with the local extension agent, indicating their most preferred and least preferred lines (middle photo below).
The first village near Mbeya was Ivuanga, in the District of Mbezi. The 4 male and 3 female farmers had selected individual plants to present the characteristics that they preferred. Several of the ADP were mentioned in this discussion as having good potential including ADP 395, ADP 468, and ADP 111 (right photo below). The two local checks in this area are Wanja and Kigoma. In the field, ADP 479, a red mottled, Calima type also looked promising. A second location in the village was also visited. This site had noticably lower soil fertility and reduced vigor. At this site, ADPs 395, 462, 468, and 479 again looked promising. A second village was then visited in the vicinity, Nambala. An enthusiastic group of farmers composed of 13 men, 6 women, and 5 children showed us their plots, that had been irrigated by hand, that were at mid pod fill stage. It was too early to evaluate the material for yield performance, but they did indicate that palatability of the leaves was an important characteristic.