Free access | Review Article

Niger improvement and production in Ethiopia: progress and major challenges

Misgana Merga

Published on: 31 Mar 2022 | DOI: | Volume: 9, Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-9 |

Niger crop is one of the under-utilized oil crops, but very crucial in Ethiopian diets and export system. Despite its importance, many problems have to be addressed through research. Starting from the beginning when a multidisciplinary approach of niger breeding started during the late 1960s century, some efforts have been made to overcome the major limitations of niger production and productivity in Ethiopia. However, there is a minimum application of modern breeding, and many challenges persist. The major challenges that face the niger breeding and production in Ethiopia are the nature of the crop (self-incompatibility), lodging and shattering, low yielding potential, susceptibility to pests, poor agronomic practices, less attention, and low inputs and modern farm technology. These challenges are retarding the breeding and also the production system of the niger. To make niger research more impactful on these challenges, exploiting and the use of novel research techniques which may include gene identification and transformation are very important. Moreover, genomic assisted breeding holds tremendous potential for improving productivity and provides better information for the breeding of niger. This review was provided with a brief explanation of the status of niger breeding and biotechnology aspects and the major challenges facing niger research and production in Ethiopia. Besides, the gap of research was forwarded in this document.