Stenocarpella maydis and Fusarium graminearum maize cob rots are two most devastating cob rots in maize which causes yield losses and reduce grain quality as a result of mycotoxins which is produced from this fungus. Developing varieties resistant to cob rots is a practical and economic strategy that provides cheaper protection against yield loss and poor grain quality. There is still low adoption of improved varieties partly because of limited incorporation of farmer preferred standards. Therefore farmers’ preferences and perceptions should be captured early in a breeding program to enhance the adoption of released varieties. A focus group discussion (FGD) participatory approach was used in four districts of Uganda to assess farmers’ perceptions on maize cob rots and to investigate the possibilities of breeding for farmer-preferred cob rot resistant varieties. Semi- structured questionnaires were administered to selected seed merchants to consolidate and verify farmers’ reporting on seed varieties. Results ofinvestigationsuggested that absolute cob rot resistance was associated with undesirable traits such as small seededness, late maturing and low yields. Yield and earliness were the most preferred farmer agronomic traits, with a farmer-preference mean derived score of 4.5 and 3.75 respectively from the total of 5. In this regard, selection for farmer-preferred cob rot resistance varieties should strike a balance between yield and or earliness with cob rot resistance.
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RUFORUM Journal Articles