Yield and Growth Performance of Drought Tolerant Maize Varieties in the Forest-Savanna Transition zone of Ghana

  • K Agyeman
  • I Osei-Bonsu
  • J.N Berchie
  • S Yeboah
  • L.M Tengan
  • P Marno
  • Asamoah Adjei
  • M Apraku
Keywords: Drought tolerance, Maize, Hybrids, Mother and Baby, Participatory


Drought stress has deleterious effects on seedling establishment, vegetative growth, photosynthesis, root growth, anthesis, anthesis-silking interval, pollination and grain formation in maize crop. Drought is a major constraint to crop production in many tropical cropping systems where irrigation use is low and rainfall distribution is erratic. As a result of this, the performance of maize (Zea mays L.) in the major producing areas of Ghana is below its potential yield. The study evaluated drought tolerant maize varieties in the forest transition zones of Ghana. The study was carried out at Techiman and Wenchi districts both in the Forest Savannah transition agroecology in the minor season of 2013. The objectives of the study were to determine the performance of drought tolerant maize in the drought prone areas of Ghana using researcher managed mother and farmer managed baby trial design. For each of the parameters measured such as mean grain yield and non-productive parameters, the improved varieties performed better than the local varieties probably due to a prolonged mid-season dry spell, which coincided with silking and grain filling stages and affected the performance of the non-drought tolerant varieties. Mean grain yields ranged between 5195 and 6831 kg/ha and 3679kg/ha and 5225 kg/ha for the early maturing mother and baby trials, respectively. Yields ranged from 3638 to 6203 kg/ha and 2246 kg/ha to 6073 kg/ha for medium maturing mother and baby trials, respectively. Several drought tolerant varieties were identified as promising and a strategy is needed to achieve widespread adoption of these varieties in drought prone areas of Ghana. In general, the use of drought tolerant maize is seen as a panacea in mitigating the menace of climate variability on maize productivity in Ghana.

Keywords: Drought tolerance, Maize, Hybrids, Mother and Baby, Participatory


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2821-9023
print ISSN: 0855-5591