Quinoa research in the Lake Victoria region of Kenya
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) is collaborating with Washington State University (WSU) to introduce quinoa into the cropping system of the Lake Victoria Basin of Kenya which covers an area of 4,100 km2, with an estimated population of 20 million. Over-reliance on maize as the main staple cereal in the region exposes the population to adverse effects of climate change. To address the increasing risks of total crop loss and diet imbalances in the region, JOOUST team led by Peter Bulli is partnering with the Sustainable Feed Systems Lab of WSU to build and enhance resiliency of the rural farming populations through diversification of the agricultural system and food sources with climate-resilient crops such as quinoa.
Current Research Status
The JOOUST Quinoa Research Program was initiated in 2018 using germplasm from Brigham Young University and the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2021, segregating populations from Washington State University were evaluated for adaptability at the Siaya Research Farm (0.0626° N, 34.2878° E); and a number of promising lines with decent level of performance and adaptation (including good agronomics, tolerance to preharvest sprouting, and resistance to downy mildew) have been identified for yield trials in the long rainy season of 2023. Moreover, additional genotypes developed by WSU will also be evaluated for preharvest tolerance under field conditions. Another area of future collaboration between JOOUST and WSU is identification of the downy mildew pathotypes that are prevalent in the Lake Victoria region.