Lalmi 04- A new rainfed wheat variety for Afghanistan


M. Qasem Obaidi1, M. Hashim Azmatyar1, Elias Mohmand2, Assadullah Habibi3, Abdul Qayum2, Rajiv Sharma2


1: Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan

2: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Kabul, Afghanistan

3: Food and Agriculture Organization, Kabul, Afghanistan


Corresponding author: Rajiv Sharma





A new rainfed wheat variety Lalmi 04 has been released in Afghanistan from out of the genotypes introduced through 14th Semi Arid Wheat Yield Trial of CIMMYT in 2006. The variety was tested in a total of eight yield evaluation trials over a period of four years at drought prone locations across country in North, East as well as West viz., Mazar, Takhar, Jalalabad, Kunduz and Herat. Lalmi 04 gave more than 10% higher yield than the check variety Lalmi 02. The released variety showed an yield potential of 6836 Kg/ha and an average yield of 3826 Kg/ha as compared to an average of 3463 Kg/ha by Lalmi 02. The candidate variety Lalmi 04 had an average 1000 grain weight of 44 grams and matured in 179 days. The variety has an erect flag leaf and grew to a height of 88 cm. The variety was resistant to all the rusts in Afghanistan under natural conditions.


Key Words: Afghanistan, wheat, rainfed, variety, productivity




Wheat is the most important food crop of Afghanistan occupying about 80% of total cereal area in the country (APR, 2012). The country does not have a consistent wheat production record as about 55% of the total wheat acreage depends on rains which have been erratic and insufficient during many years in recent past. Afghanistan harvested its highest wheat harvest of 5.1 million tonnes in 2009 and a slightly less of about 5.0 million tonnes in 2012 owing mainly to good rains. Irrigated wheat domain is a more assured supplier of wheat in Afghan agriculture and contributed 70 to 90% of total wheat production during last many years (APR, 2012). Figure 1 shows how country’s wheat harvest fluctuates when rainfed wheat falters. However, rainfed wheat as such faces a number of constraints that render its cultivation prone to risk. Lack of sufficient number of improved high yielding disease resistant varieties is one of the reasons. The poor yield levels and opportunistic nature of rainfed wheat shies away rainfed wheat farmers from investing in its cultivation. The country currently has about 16 irrigated wheat varieties in seed chain compared to only three for rainfed wheat. Interestingly these three varieties, catering to 55% of acreage, account only for 33% of total certified seed production plan. Another alarming situation has been the emergence of new yellow rust races to which important rainfed wheat variety viz., Ghori 96 has become susceptible (Zamarai et al., 2013) further denting the availability of new certified seed to rainfed wheat farmers. CIMMYT in association with national agricultural research system represented by Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA) routinely introduces large number of new high yielding and disease resistant rainfed wheat genotypes into the country and jointly test their suitability for Afghanistan in multilocation yield evaluation trials. Based on the results of these trials and on ARIA’s proposal, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL) of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) has recently released a new rainfed wheat variety for commercial cultivation for the farmers of Afghanistan. This note reports the performance and adaptability of this CIMMYT genotype to Afghan conditions and how the variety compared with other existing variety.



Materials and Methods

The variety Lalmi 04 was introduced into Afghanistan through 14th Semi Arid Wheat Yield Trial (SAWYT) in 2006. The variety was tested for four years (Table 1) at several locations in the country. Lalmi 04 has proven rainfed varieties like Silver Star (from Australia) and Pastor (from CIMMYT, Mexico) in its pedigree [SLVS (Sliver Star)*2/ PASTOR] and was tested in 14th SAWYT at Jalalabad, Mazar and Takhar during the crop season 2006-07. The SAWYT trial comprising of 50 genotypes was laid in alpha lattice design with two replications. The following year Lalmi 04 was tested in Preliminary yield trial- semi arid (PYT-SA) at Kunduz in completely randomized block design (CRBD) design with three replications. However, during next two years, the variety could not be tested and it entered wheat yield evaluation trials again in 2010-11 and was tested in National Uniformity (NUT) trial at two locations of Herat and Takhar. The genotype was tested once again in NUT during 2011-12 at Takhar and Mazar. Both the NUT trials were conducted in CRBD with three replications. All the trials were sown in a timely fashion using the standard seeding rate (105 kg/ha). Individual experimental plots of 6.0 m2 were seeded as six rows with 0.20-m row spacing. In addition to yield potential, the variety was also evaluated for other important traits like height, days to maturity and disease reaction. The variety was also screened for rust reaction at Njoro Kenya as part of National Rust Screening Nursery (NRSN) during 2010-11. In all the yield evaluation trials, the locally recommended agronomic practices were adopted.



Results and Discussion

Good wheat harvest in Afghanistan depends on good rainfed wheat crop. Though irrigated wheat is more or less consistent in yield, however, is unable to produce sufficient for the country’s requirements. Only when rainfed wheat also produces a good crop, the country harvests wheat quantities closer to its self sufficiency needs. The variety Lalmi 04 was introduced into Afghanistan through 14th Semi Arid Wheat Yield Trial (SAWYT) in 2006. The variety was found superior to existing check Lalmi 02 by about 10% and was thus released in the variety release committee meeting in January, 2013. During the first year of testing, Lalmi 04 yielded an across location mean yield of 3325 Kg/ ha against Lalmi 02 which yielded 2900 Kg/ ha in SAWYT. The following year in PYT-SA at Kunduz, Lalmi 04 yielded 4591 Kg/ ha, lower than 4796 Kg/ ha of Lalmi 02. However, during 2010-11 and 2011-12, this variety yielded higher than the check and achieved an overall superiority of over 10% against the check Lalmi 02. Its across location mean yield stood at 3853 Kg/ ha in 2010-11 and 4170 Kg/ ha in 2011-12 against 3508 Kg/ha and 3598 Kg/ha of Lalmi 02, respectively. The variety recorded no rust in Afghanistan during four years of testing whereas under artificial epiphytotic conditions at Njoro, Kenya, Lalmi 04 was observed to have 10M stem rust and 10-15 M yellow rust. Lalmi 04 has an average plant height of 88 cm and mature in 179 days. It has an erect flag leaf and 1000 grains weigh 44 grams. Lalmi 04 showed an yield potential of 6836 Kg/ ha and an average yield potential of 3826 Kg/ ha compared to 3463 Kg/ ha of Lalmi 02 showing over 10% yield superiority over four years of yield evaluation trials. The other distinguishing features of Lalmi 04 are presented in Table 2. The release of this variety for commercial cultivation addresses the critical gap of lack of suitable rainfed varieties in the country. This issue has assumed alarming proportion with Ghori 96, a highly popular rainfed variety, falling susceptible to yellow rust recently (Zamarai et al., 2013). Though rainfed wheat yields remain opportunistic in nature, release of this variety offers farmers a high yielding and disease resistant option.




APR. (2012) Agricultural Prospects Report, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock, Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan, pp. 55.


Zamarai A, Obaidi MQ, Ghanizada AG, Mashook M, Azmatyar MH, Jan A, Qayum A, Mohmand E and Rajiv S (2013) Reaction of some of Afghanistan’s wheat varieties to yellow rust under natural conditions. African J Agrill’ Res 8: 1255-1257.