Screening upland Rice genotypes for grain yield and grain quality in Kenya
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Smallholder farmers in Kenya grow local rice cultivars that have low yield potential and poor culinary qualities. Therefore, urban consumers prefer imported rice. The imported rice is expensive and unaffordable to the rural poor. Therefore, improving the yield potential and grain qualities of the local cultivars wi ll increase their consumption and competitiveness in the local market. The objective of this study was to improve the yield potential and grain quality of upland rice cultivars in Kenya. Seven F 2.3 families were selected from 16 segregating rice population s and evaluated for two seasons. The physical quality characters determined were grain length grain shape while the chemical and cooking qualities were alkali spreading value, gelatinization temperature, gel consistency, aroma, and cooking time. The data f or yield and grain quality was subjected to analysis of variance using GENSTAT 15 th edition. The results showed that the F 2.3 families of NERICA 4 x MWUR 4, NERICA 4 x NERICA 1 and NERICA 10 x KUCHUM exhibited slender grain shape while NERICA 4 x MWUR 4, N ERICA 4 x NERICA 1 and WAB - 56 - 104 x NERICA 4 had soft cooked texture and recorded low gelatinization temperatures of 55 to 69 o C and cooked fast in 22.3 to 23.3 minutes. The F 2.3 families of WAB - 56 - 104 x NERICA 4, NERICA 4 x MWUR 4, MWUR 4 x NERICA 4 and CG 14 x NERICA 10 had mild aroma while NERICA 4 x NERICA 1, NERICA 13 x K45 and NERICA 10 x KUCHUM were non - aromatic. Therefore, the F 2.3 families of MWUR 4 x NERICA 4, NERICA 4 x NERICA 1 and WAB - 56 - 104 x NERICA 4 had high yield potential and exhibited better cooking and physico - chemical qualities. However, the check variety Basmati 370 was outstanding for physical grain quality and aroma compared to the non - Basmati rice genotypes suggesting that Basmati 370 has implication for future breeding. However, there is need to advance these F 2.3 families to F 6 or F 7 for further selection in order to ascertain their yield potential and culinary qua lities.
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