New varieties of white maize to quadruple savings of irrigation water and double crop yields for farmers

 

Photo credit: CIMMYT

Evaluating CIMMYT’s white maize germplasm at CCRI. Photo: CIMMYT

Water-saving maize holds potential to boost farmer resilience to climate change in Pakistan

New varieties of white maize in Pakistan have the potential to both quadruple savings of irrigation water and nearly double crop yields for farmers, thereby building food security and conserving badly needed water resources for the country.

Maize is the third most important cereal crop in Pakistan, which at a production rate of four tons per hectare, has one of the highest national yields in South Asia. Maize productivity in Pakistan has increased almost 75 percent from levels in the early 1990s due to the adoption and expansion of hybrid maize varieties. The crop is cultivated both in spring and autumn seasons and grows in all provinces throughout the country.

However, Pakistan is expected to be severely affected by climate change through increased flooding and drought, and is already one of the most water stressed countries in the world. If the country is to be able to meet future food demand, new maize varieties that can grow with less water under harsher conditions must be developed and adopted by farmers.

Read the full article: CIMMYT

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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