Other Cereal Crops Section
The section is responsible for the improvement of maize, wheat, sorghum and other small grain cereals. The following objectives have been pursued for each specific mandate crop.
1. Development of high yielding open pollinated maize varieties (OPV) and hybrids resistant to stalk rot and Rhizotonia leaf and sheath blight for the lowland tropics and Helmenthosporium turcicum blight for hilly subtropics.
2. Development of rust resistant wheat varieties with good quality and high yields for different agro ecological zones.
3. Development of shootfly resistant dual purpose sorghum varieties.
In order to achieve the above objectives, breeding and hybridization programs for each mandate crop are in full swing at DAR and its satellite farms. Moreover, Other Cereal Crops research program is actively participating in CIMMYT’s International Maize and Wheat Testing Programs and also ICRISATs’s; International Sorghum and Pearl Millet Testing Programs. It also participates in Tropical Asia Maize Network (TAMNET); which is a regional network organized by FAO to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among Asian NARS in maize research and development activities. To date, 12 open pollinated (OPV) and 5 hybrid maize varieties, 7 wheat, 11 sorghum and 4 pearl millet varieties have been released as commercial varieties. These improved varieties of maize, wheat and sorghum respectively, now cover 50%, 14% and 13% of the total sown area of concerned crops. Hybrid corn research program, has been initiated at DAR,Yezin, since 1974-75. In 1990-91 two high yielding single cross hybrid varieties namely Yezin# 1 and Yezin# 2 were released for the first time in Myanmar as commercial hybrids. These hybrids have a yield superiority of 30-35% over the best check OPVs. From 1993 to 2003, three new hybrids Yezin# 3, Yezin# 4 and Yezin# 5 were released out of national maize improvement program. Yezin Hybrid # 2 and # 4 are early varieties with lowland tropic adaptation.
Yezin hybrid# 3 is an intermediate variety with highland subtropics adaptation and is highly resistant to helminthosporium leaf blight disease which is very severe in the Shan State. These hybrids now cover more than 20% of total maize area. At present, DAR is also involved in the production of hybrid maize seeds at different farms under MAS and also jointly between DAR and Extension Division on the farmers’ fields at various townships. During 2002-2003 growing season, 120,000 acres were under DAR maize hybrids. It is targeted to produce hybrid seeds to cover 50% of the total maize area in 2004-2005 and 70% in 2005-2006.