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The new maize varieties doubled yields despite droughts

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Sven Torfinn/Panos

 

Drought-tolerant maize improves yields in 13 countries

“The aim is to ensure seed availability to smallholders at affordable prices, and to sustain seed demand among these farmers.” – Tsedeke Abate, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

by Finnigan wa Simbeye

Speed read

  • An earlier project has provided about 200 improved maize varieties for farmers
  • A new one focussing on seven countries aims to engage private seed companies
  • A farmer says the new maize varieties have doubled his yields despite droughts

A new project has begun following the end of a related initiative that has provided more than 200 improved maize varieties for farmers in 13 Sub-Saharan Africa countries.

The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project launched eight years ago under the Global Maize Program of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) has produced hybrids varieties which withstand drought and pests while boosting yields, says project leader Tsedeke Abate.
According to Abate, seven of the 13 countries will be involved in the new project Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Scaling Up which will engage private seed companies to produce 12,000 metric tonnes of certified drought-tolerant seeds in the next three years.

“The aim is to ensure seed availability to smallholders at affordable prices, and to sustain seed demand among these farmers,” Abate tells SciDev.Net,

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.