Groundnut is one of the most profitable crops to produce in the Teso system of eastern Uganda, providing that farmers can control groundnut rosette disease, a virus spread by an insect vector that can cause stunting of the plant and crop failure.
Current management methods include the use of insecticides to control the vector, or planting disease-resistant varieties. Production by poor households in the Teso is very limited, however, because they cannot afford to spray against the vector and because farmers lack access to good seed. A CPP project (R7445) involving Serere Agricultural and Animal Research Insitute (SAARI), ICRISAT-Malawi, AT-Uganda, SOCODIDO and NRI, UK, has been working on this disease for the past three years in the Teso and has assessed new disease resistant lines with farmers. One new line (ICG 12991), which is resistant to the vector rather than the virus disease, gives farmers 30% yield gains compared with existing varieties, and will be released shortly as a commercial variety by the national programme.