ZSAES launches 19 new sugarcane varieties

Increase Gumbo
MIRROR REPORTER


CHIREDZI-The Zimbabwe Sugarcane Association Experiment Station (ZSAES) has launched 19 new sugarcane varieties to increase yields by two-15%. 
ZSAES senior plant Breeder, Dr Leo Thokoza Mpofu, launched the seeds during a Sugar Value Chain competitiveness seminar in Chiredzi last week.
He told attendees to plant a few experimental varieties and assess their performance before they select the cane varieties.
Dr Thokoza said farmer can access the varieties at Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe (THZ) estates. 
“We are excited to launch the 19 new varieties. It took us ten years because the varieties were undergoing some rigorous tests to suit in the industry.
“The seeds for the new varieties will be sent to THZ estates and farmers will be able to access them after lodging their requests using existing requesting mechanisms. We identified the new varieties in 2012 and they have been undergoing tests,” he said.
Small-scale sugarcane farmers, National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) members, ZSAES representatives, Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), sugarcane associations, mill group and The Mirror attended the seminar. 
Mpofu added that the 19 varieties are in two groups; High Biomass varieties, which can be grown in any corner of the industry.
The second group has a high % of Estimated Recoverable Crystals (ERC) of sugar extractable from the cane. This group targets farmers far from the mill as they will assist in catering for increased transport costs.
Farmers have been using 10 seed varieties ZN1C, ZN2E, ZN3L, ZN4, ZN5, ZN6, ZN7, ZN8, ZN8, ZN9, ZN10, N14, NCo376, CP72-2086 and CP72-1314. The latest was released in 2004. 
The new varieties are ZN11, ZN12, ZN13, ZN14,ZN15,ZN16,ZN17, ZN18,ZN19,ZN20,ZN21,ZN22,ZN23,ZN24,ZN25,ZN26,ZN27,ZN28 and ZN29.

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