Mega-environment identification for soybean [glycline maxl. merrill] in Zambia

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Cheelo, Pride
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University of Zambia
Soybean is one of the most important cultivated crops in the world with about 6% of the world’s arable land dedicated to its production. Compared to other major food crops, soybean experienced the highest percentage of yearly increases in production area over the period 1968 to 2013 from 29 million ha in 1968 to 102 million ha in 2008. Despite these high increases in the global perspective, Zambia is currently producing less than 0.01% of the global production, producing 261,063 metric tonnes in 2013. This is despite the fact that Zambia has vast arable land ideal for crop cultivation including soybean. Efforts are being made to improve the production trends in the country through many avenues among which is the introduction of new varieties. This effort has been concentrated in agro ecological region II of Zambia. There are no region specific adapted soybean varieties in Zambia. The current study was carried out in the 2013/2014 agricultural season to define soybean mega environments in two (2) agro ecological regions of Zambia. The study had 15 soybean varieties grown at four (4) locations in the two agro ecological regions of Zambia under rainfed conditions. The sites included GART, Kabwe, Msekera and Masumba. The trials were laid out in a Randomised Complete Block Design with four replications. The parameters which were collected were days to 50% flowering, plant height at harvest, pods per plant, seed size and computation of yield. Data analysis was done using Genstat version 16 and GGE biplot. The results showed the existence of three mega environments namely Kabwe/Msekera, GART and Masumba. Kabwe was found to be the most ideal environment for soybean production with Masumba being the worst. Kabwe was also the most descriminating location for testing of genotypes. Masumba was descriminating but not ideal. The genotypes yield mean score was 1239 Kg/ha and TGX 1988-22F was the highest yielding genotype with mean of 1517 kg/ha and the lowest was TGX 1835-10E with 418 kg/ha. In terms of variability in accordance to GGE biplot, Safari was the most variable and the most stable was TGX 1988-22F. Therefore, the study concluded that the best genotype for general adaptability was the variety TGX 1988-22F which was ideal across all the locations as it was high yielding and stable. Six genotypes had yield which was below the mean performance of the genotypes across all the locations; these were Lukanga, TGX 1835-10E, TGX 1830-20E, TGX 1988-18F, TGX 1987-23F and TGX 1987-11F. The mega environment Kabwe/Msekera had TGX 1988-22F as the winning genotype, GART had safari and Masumba had Magoye.
Master of Science in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems
Soybean—Zambia , Plant Breeding