National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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IBBR publication #2563

Agricultural biodiversity in Northwest Somalia - an assessment among selected Somali sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) germplasm

Manzelli M, Benedettelli S, Vecchio, V

Biodiversity And Conservation 14: 3381-3392. [ISSN: 0960-3115] (2005)
doi: 10.1007/s10531-004-0545-y

The seed sector situation in Northwest Somalia is critical. The availability of food has decreased and many people are at risk of hunger. Food security can be restored by enhancing the local genetic resources and creating an efficient seed sector. Sorghum is important as a food and fodder crop in this region. It is close to Ethiopia, which is considered as the probable origin and domestication of Sorghum. Twelve morphological and productive characteristics were chosen to assess the phenotypic variability of 16 accessions of sorghum from Northwest Somalia. Univariate (analysis of variance and G test) and multivariate (discriminant and cluster analysis) methods were used to assess the morphological variation within the accession and to group the 16 accessions into clusters based upon quantitative and qualitative characters. Elmi Jama Cas, Masego Cas, Masego Cad and Carabi clearly represent distinct landraces with specific features suitable for different purpose, such as grain and/or forage production. Each landrace tested is able to grow under harsh environmental conditions, thus ensuring a low, but stable production for small poor resources farmers. Knowledge and conservation of local landraces will provide a broad base of genetic variability from which improved sorghum varieties can be developed, thus aiding in the stabilisation of a secure and sustainable food supply for farmers of Northwest Somalia

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