Development of Disease Tolerant Green Gram Varieties for Improved Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihood in Marginal Areas of Kenya

Diseases Tolerant Green Grams Research Activity

Research Centre: KALRO AMRI Katumani

Principal Researcher: Ms. Rael Karimi

Research Background:

Green gram is a drought-tolerant crop and a central income-generating agro-enterprise in semi-arid Kenya ranking second after indigenous chicken. On-farm yield is <1 t/ha. Low production is attributed to biotic (anthracnose, angular leaf spot, mung bean yellow mosaic virus, bacterial blight) and abiotic factors.

Insufficient farmers’ knowledge of crop management options is also a major limitation. Under Arid and semi-arid lands Agricultural Productivity Research Project (ASAL APRP) support, KALRO recently developed and released three varieties that are early maturing, large-seeded with >20% yield advantage over the local varieties. However, these varieties have shown susceptibility to major green gram diseases. There is, therefore, a need to extend genetic gains to value the addition of disease tolerance in the newly released varieties.

Research Objectives:

  • Identify disease-tolerant donor parents for use in the green gram breeding programme.
  • Develop high-yielding, market-acceptable disease-tolerant varieties.
  • Develop and validate agronomic packages for field management of green grams.


  • 3 bacterial blight-tolerant green gram lines have been identified. The 3 varieties are have undergone National Performance Trial by KEPHIS.