Characterization of Selected Maize Varieties for All-Year-Round Sweet Corn Production in Malawi

Blessford Chisata Mubanga, Kabwe Harnadih Mubanga, Tobias Alubi


In Malawi, production and consumption of sweet corn have been on the increase. An estimated 11-16% of the country’s annual maize production is consumed as sweet corn. In this study, we evaluated characteristics of eight maize varieties suitable for all year round sweet corn production based on sweetness, disease susceptibility, and yield. The attributes assessed included; days to horticultural maturity, total yield, sugar content and susceptibility to maize stalk borers, maize streak virus and grey leaf spot. Six of the maize varieties assessed were early to medium maturing hybrid varieties (DKC 8033, DKC 8053, MH 18, SEEDCO 403, PAN 53 and PAN 4M-19) with a local variety (Bantam) as a negative control and STAR 7714 as a positive control. The results showed that DKC 8053 and PAN 4M-19 were both high yielding varieties with a mean yield of 14.93 thaˉ¹ while STAR 7714 was the lowest yielder at 11 thaˉ¹. However, STAR 7714 (12 % brix) was the sweetest variety followed by DKC 8033 (11 %), DKC 8053 (10%) and MH 18 (9%) respectively. Even though STAR 7714 and PAN 4M-19 were highly susceptible to grey leaf spot, all the varieties showed tolerance and resistance to maize streak virus and maize stalk borer. From the overall characteristics of the maize varieties selected, DKC 8033, DKC 8053 and MH 18 had a better mix of attributes for all-year-round sweet corn production in Malawi.

Keywords: Certified seed, grey leaf spot, sugar content, yield, Zea mays

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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