Drought tolerant maize in Africa


Photo credit: CIMMYT

Young lady carrying home flour from millers, Salina, Malawi. Photographer: Tsedeke Abate/ CIMMYT

The legacy of drought tolerant maize in Africa

By Brenda Wawa

The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project has contributed towards improving seed system in sub-Saharan Africa for almost nine years (2007–2015), through 233 varieties released including about 200 distinct drought-tolerant (DT) maize hybrids and open-pollinated varieties (OPV) developed to help farmers cope with drought constraint in maize farming.

The main purpose of DTMA was to increase the food and income security of smallholder farmers through the development and dissemination of drought tolerant, well-adapted DT hybrids and OPV maize varieties. The project was jointly implemented by CIMMYT (eastern and southern Africa) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in West Africa with collaboration from the national agricultural research sytems in participating countries and concluded at the end of December 2015.

Since its inception, the project has supported production of nearly 54,000 tons of certified DT maize seed benefiting an estimated 5.4 million households – or 43 million people – across the DTMA countries (Angola, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

Read the full article: CIMMYT


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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