Tef (Eragrostis tef) Variety ‘Tesfa’
Tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] is extensively cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia where it is annually grown by about 6.5 million smallholder farmers on about 30% of the total area allocated to cereal crops.However, the productivity of tef is very low compared to other cereals mainly due to lack of high yielding and lodging tolerant cultivars. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of the recently released tef variety called Tesfaand to provide unique morphological and agronomic descriptions of this new variety. Ten genotypes which were derived from three independent crosses and bred for at least eight generations plus a local and standard check varieties were tested at six tef growing sites in Ethiopia (namely, Adet, Chafe Donsa,DebreZeit black soil, DebreZeit light soil,Ginchiand Holetta) using RandomizedCompleteBlock Design with three replications. The study found that Tesfa(DZ-Cr-457 RIL-181) which was obtained from a cross between kinde (a semi-dwarf mutant line developed at the University of Bern, Switzerland) and Kay Murri(a landrace) outperformed other genotypes and approved for release by the Ethiopian National Variety Release Committee in March 2017.The main advantages of Tesfa over other tested lines were its higher grain yield and higher lodging tolerance. In addition, Tesfa possesses unique properties for which high acceptance by growers is expected. These are its compact panicle, lack of shattering, and thick and strong culm which makes it potentially cultivated under irrigation and also mechanically harvested.