The world faces the challenge of growing more maize, responsibly and sustainably.
CIMMYT collaborates with national agricultural research institutions, non-government and community-based organizations, seed sector organizations, regional research networks, other CGIAR centers, private companies, and advanced research institutions to tackle the problem on a global scale by providing farmers the best seed, agronomy, and information needed to increase yields.
Provide diverse, high-yielding maize varieties that withstand infertile soils, drought, pests, and diseases.
Conduct research to help farmers exploit the full potential of improved seed while conserving soil and water resources.
Explore new market opportunities for small farmers.
Provide training opportunities in maize breeding and crop management research.
Farmers in Kenya’s drylands continue grappling with very low maize yields due to frequent drought and erratic rains. Despite the availability of improved drought-tolerant maize varieties released by the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Project, most farmers are yet to benefit from these seeds due to a host of reasons. CIMMYT is working towards scaling up the production and delivery of these improved varieties to farmers, in close collaboration with seed companies.
Although climate change is a global phenomenon, its impacts vary depending on region and season. For appropriate adaptation and timely responses, we first need a better understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on maize yield and production at different spatial and temporal scales. To help fill this gap is a forthcoming article in the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management entitled 'Maize systems under climate change in sub-Saharan Africa: potential impacts on production and food security'.
A total of 13 drought-tolerant hybrids have been approved for commercial production across four countries. Across them, the new hybrids also have resistance to rampant leaf diseases like maize streak virus, turcicum leaf spot and gray leaf spot.
One of the fruits of the partnership between agricultural scientists and nutritionists were the world’s first “orange” maize varieties rich in vitamin A. This ‘orange’ vitamin A maize has been conventionally bred to provide higher levels of provitamin A carotenoids, a naturally occurring plant pigment also found in many orange foods such as mangoes, carrots and pumpkins, that the body then converts into vitamin A.
Enrique Martínez y Martínez, head of SAGARPA, and Martin Kropff, newly appointed director general at CIMMYT, held a meeting to discuss research and development priorities in the framework of their strategic collaboration.