Laboratoire de Biotechnologies, Ressources Génétiques et Amélioration des Espèces Animales et Végétales (BIORAVE), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Dassa, Université Polytechnique d'Abomey, BP14 Dassa-zoumé, Benin
Sugarcane is an important food and cash crop in Benin. In order to gather information that will help preserving its diversity and to identify best performing varieties that could meet the needs of both producers and consumers in Benin, fifty-two (52) villages were surveyed. The survey focuses on diversity inventory and varietal preferences, two key elements for breeding programs. Subject to synonymy, a total of 89 sugarcane accessions were collected in the villages surveyed. The number of accessions ranged from 1 to 5 (2 on average) per village. The analysis of the distribution and extent of the farmers’ named varieties revealed that only one variety is cultivated by many households on large area. The average rate of varietal loss loss was 45.90% and the reasons reported by farmers were either of agronomic (61.88% of responses), economic (23.76% of responses) and technological (14.36% of responses) nature. The participatory evaluation of 66 varieties recorded (subject to synonymy), revealed a variation in the number of performing varieties according to the parameters considered. Eleven varietal preference criteria that can be used for breeding programs were identified and prioritized. Agronomic trials and biochemical analysis were proposed to confirm the performance of the varieties identified.
Despite of the multiples usages of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) in Benin, Sugar- cane still neglected by research and development. National data base revealed a decline of Les the production from 2010 (99231.5 tones) to 2014 (71017 tones). In Benin, eight (Lokossa, Athiémé, Bopa, Houéyogbé, Grand-popo, Comé, Sèmè-podji et Copargo) were considered as the major sugarcane production in Benin with Sèmè-Podji district as principal zone of its production. Surveyed in 52 villages selected through producing district showed that for the most (79.2% of responses) sugarcane contribute for income generating. In generale, sugarcane is used like food but participate also in treatment of many of some infections like malaria (36.3% of responses), miscarriage (5.6% of responses), women painful menses (3.2% of responses) and gonococcus (2.8% of responses). Sugarcane production is subject to ten (10) biotic and abiotic constraints. Among these constraints the most important were pests attack (40 % of responses), rodents (30% of responses), sensibility of some varieties to weeds (24.7% of responses) and to drought (24.7% of responses). Although sugarcane producers did not mention the susceptibility of some varieties to diseases, direct observation in field on 36205 plants revealed 61.3% plants infested and rust (68.7%), coal (16.4%), chlorite’s streak (9.1%) and leaves scald (5.8%) were found as the most disease which were observed in the sugarcane field. Practices cultural and traditional seed system were documented and their applications are contributing to an increasing of sugarcane production and to maintain existing diversity in Benin.