This question was very popular with the candidates. In question 5(a), majority of the candidates could state the aims of crop improvement. Also, in questions 5(b) and (c), most of the candidates were able to give conditions necessary for seed germination and state the importance of conducting germination test. However, in question 5(d), some candidates could not discuss briefly problems associated with the use of poor quality planting materials.
The expected answers include:
Problems associated with the use of poor quality planting materials
- It may lead to uneven germination and establishment which will eventually require replanting
- Germinated seeds may be very weak or feeble thereby predisposing them to mechanical damage, disease infection and pest attack
- It requires grading and disinfection of the planting materials against seed borne pests and diseases so as to avoid germination failures. These actions require costs.
- The plant growth would not be equal or it will be uneven
- Uneven growth may lead to uneven maturity. This will lead to haphazard nature of harvesting.
- Marketing of produce is affected by uneven maturity and harvesting
- Poor quality produce is harvested
- Processing is affected due to the unequal sizes of the produce
- Yield is reduced/poor.