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Annual crops section
Mukono ZARDI is mandated to carry out adaptive and applied agricultural research in the Lake Victoria Crescent Agro-ecological Zone. This means that on-station and on-farm technology evaluation is a key activity and technologies are sourced from different NARIs and private sector, new technologies are first evaluated on-station and Participatory evaluation of promising (appropriate) ones are taken on-farm.

Objectives of unit

  • Create awareness of NARO’s old and new technologies.
  • Evaluate performance of new technologies both on-station and on-farm.
  • Demonstrate recommended agronomic practices.
  • Multiply and disseminate appropriate technologies to uptake pathways.
  • To empower farmers, students and other clients with skills in crop production through training.
  • Strengthen the linkage between researchers & end users of the technologies.
  • Integrate the new technologies into the farming system.

On-station crops under annual

  • Banana
  • Cassava
  • Groundnuts
  • Sweet potato
  • Beans
  • Horticultural crops (fruits & vegetables)
  • Maize and Rice.



M2, M9 “KIWANGAZI”, M14, M17, FHIA 17 & selected locals Kisaasa, Nakitembe, Mpologoma and Mbwazirume


4271, 0686, 2961, 9200067

Sweet potato 



NABE 1-16


Fox tail millet


Elite and Clonal (A, B, C, D, F, H) & Tissue culture (Kituuza R2, R3, R6 & R7)

Fox tail millet
The crop was introduced to Uganda by the former FAO representative Dr. Victoria Sebagereka. It was brought to Mukono ZARDI for evaluation in the zone. The crop has been planted both on and off-farm in Nakasongola, Kayunga and Mukono.

Observations so far made on the crop: The crop comes into tussling much earlier and matures between 90 – 100 days.  It got a phyto- sanitary certificate from MAAIF.

SWEET POTATO breeding and multiplication
Sweet potato is one of the major food crops in the country however, its production is constrained by several factors like low yielding varieties, declining soil fertility and pests and disease (Weevils, sweet potato virus disease and Alternaria leaf petiole & stem blight (Alternaria blight). Two hot spots of the disease i.e. MUZARDI and Kachwekano in Kabale.

Research: This is focusing on breeding sweet potato varieties that are resistant to Alternaria blight.  Controlled (hand) crosses have been made and sweet potato F1 seedlings from botanical seeds generated.
So far several sweet potato varieties are being cross bred to get resistant ones. In the 1st phase, 1600 genotypes were used and 160 genotypes were selected for the 2nd phase. The most promising F1 genotypes across environments through are yet to be identified.

Participatory Clonal Selection (PCS) for Preliminary Yield Trial (PYT) will be done and will use participatory farmer evaluation in multi locational areas to produce final resistant varieties.