Amazing maize

maize_100Research on maize improvement by IITA and partners, including CIMMYT, shows increased harvests and enhanced livelihoods of farmer-beneficiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. Total net benefit from maize research in West Central Africa from 1981 to 2005 alone using varieties from IITA, CIMMYT, and national programs is estimated at US$6.8 billion.

Issue 10, March 2013

Breakthroughs in maize breeding
Extra early white maize hybrids
Ensuring the safety of African crops
Helping farmers benefit from drought tolerant maize
New maize brings hope
Promoting drought tolerant maize
Saving maize from Striga
Ecofriendly bioherbicide
Developing aflasafeTM
Drought tolerant maize for Mali

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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.