Maize (Zea mays L.) is the second most important summer cereal crop after wheat in Khyber Pakhtoonkhua province of Pakistan. It occupies more than 27% of the total cropped area of the province, however, with a very low yield as compared to the achievable potential of 10 t ha-1. Such a low average yield is primarily due to a widespread use of low-yielding open-pollinated maize cultivars by farmers in different areas of the province. In the year 2000, Hybrid-oriented maize breeding research work for the development of indigenous maize hybrids was initiated at the cereal crops research institute (CCRI), Pirsabak, Nowshera, Pakistan. The main objective was to evolve single-cross maize hybrids of high yield potential, white kernel and low to medium maturity for the environments of Khyber Pakhtoonkhua province. A large number of replicated field experiments, both on-station and on-farm, were carried out in 2005 and 2006 to evaluate the experimental hybrids. Grain yield, Stover yield, and maturity were among the important traits used in these investigations. A highest grain yield of 9.84 t ha-1, and a Stover yield of 30.56 t ha-1, with maturity earlier than other hybrids, including a leading maize hybrid of private sector (Pioneer-3025) were observed for one of the experimental hybrids, FRW-2 x FRW-8. This hybrid with a few exceptions was invariably found higher yielding and early maturing as compared to other hybrids included in the trials. The new experimental hybrid was officially named as “Kiramat”. The results of the current study provided a sound basis for its approval by the ‘Provincial Seed Council’ and its registration by the ‘Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department’ for commercial cultivation.
Key words: Maize hybrid, Kiramat, grain yield, MSTAT, Khyber Pakhtoonkhua.
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