Quinoa growth and yield performance in Tanzania: A prospect crop for food security
Shonga, Flora Flossy
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Quinoa is an emerging potential cereal crop that has recently been recommended for food security worldwide. This study was to evaluate growth and yield performance of quinoa genotypes under rain-fed conditions at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) farm in Arusha and Kibosho (KB) in Kilimanjaro during the 2018/2019 growing season in Tanzania. The experiment had five genotypes (QQ74, Titicaca, Multihued, Biobio and Brightest Brilliant Rainbow) laid out in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Parameters evaluated were days to 50% flowering and maturity, panicle length, grain yield/ha, above-ground biomass, seed size (g/1000 grain weight) and harvest index. Data was analyzed by Genstat statistical package. The results showed that growth and yield performance of the five quinoa genotypes at the NM-AIST and Kibosho differed. Interaction of genotype and site significantly (P<0.001) influenced days to 50% flowering and plant height. The genotype × site interaction significantly (P < 0.05) affected panicle length, days to maturity, biomass and harvest index. Grain yield was higher at the NM-AIST (ranging from 3194 to 4306 kg/ha) than Kibosho (ranging from 2778 to 3917 kg/ha). The highest yielding genotype at both sites was BBR. The results strongly showed that quinoa can grow well in the Tanzanian environments, thus the crop can be introduced to Tanzania. Quinoa has a potential of addressing food and nutritional security due to its ability to adapt to a wide range of environmental condition and its high nutritional profile.