Biotech Updates

KARI Develops Disease Resistant Napier Grass

May 2, 2013

The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) has developed two varieties of Napier grass that are resistant to the Smut and Stunt diseases. Napier grass, a main fodder in Africa, has been severely affected by the two diseases that hit the region 20 years ago. The two varieties, Ouma and South Africa3, were developed by scientists at the KARI Center in Kakamega and a masters student from the Masinde Muliro University.

Francis Muyekho, the center director of KARI Kakamega said that tons of the disease resistant grass were released by  to farmers in Siaya, Kakamega, Bungoma, and Busia counties during the previous week for multiplication purposes. Farmers in Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia are now eagerly waiting to try the two new grass varieties.

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