Disease-resistant wheat varieties debut in Kenya

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Wheat

Two new varieties of disease-resistant wheat have been introduced to farmers in Kenya.

The announcement was made by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Friday.

FAO says it has worked together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the development of the new wheat varieties.

It says the agencies manage an interregional technical cooperation project to develop varieties of wheat that are resistant to a devastating type of fungus that causes wheat stem rust.

According to FAO wheat stem rust was under control for over 30 years until it was discovered in 1999 in Uganda. It swiftly spread to neighbouring Kenya.

The agency says the disease, which can destroy 70 to 100 percent of wheat crop yield, has since spread to Iran, Yemen and South Africa and threatens crops as far away as India as spores are carried by wind.

FAO says that over the past two days, thousands of Kenyan farmers have visited Eldoret University in western Kenya for a two-day agricultural fair highlighting the latest farming technologies

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'22"

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