Drought-tolerant maize

Drought-tolerant maize developed and disseminated by IITA, other international agricultural research centers, and national partners are helping farmers make a profit despite droughts in northern Nigeria. Drought remains one of the major limiting factors to profitable maize production in Africa.

“The drought-tolerant maize varieties have mitigated the effects of drought on maize production and farmers are having better incomes,” says Olumide Ibikunle, Research and Development Manager, Premier Seeds. “The seed industry is also better off because demand for maize has actually increased.”

Over the years IITA, CIMMYT, and partners have released several drought-tolerant varieties including Samaz 16, ZM309, and ZM523, in sub-Saharan Africa to cushion the effects of drought on the crop and, ultimately, on farmers and their households.

Researchers and other stakeholders said that developing such varieties will boost maize production, enhancing not only incomes but more importantly food security.