In order for a CIMMYT project to succeed it must have several components: high-quality seed, responsible agronomy, good policy, and a functioning market.

Socioeconomic data is integrated into all of CIMMYT’s decisions. Accurate information leads to wise decisions by farmers, policy makers, and researchers. Detailed and timely information about markets, weather, policy, seed, and agronomy makes an enormous difference in the livelihoods of small farmers.


Droughts in major wheat areas can fuel revolutions

Droughts in major wheat areas can fuel revolutions

A February 2013 report from the Center for Climate & Security entitled “The Arab Spring and Climate Change” identifies climate change consequences—among them global and local wheat shortages and price hikes—as stressors that can ignite underlying causes of social conflict. In the opening chapter of the report, Oxford University Geographer Troy Sternberg notes how “…once-in-a-century winter drought in China reduced global wheat supply and contributed to global wheat shortages and skyrocketing bread prices in Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer.” New York Times OpEd writer Tom Friedman wrote about the Center for Climate & Security study (see The Scary Hidden Stressor.)

African maize seed companies: Management by the book

Local companies constitute a key source of improved seed for maize farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, but face many challenges: a cash-strapped, widely dispersed clientele, high operating costs, limited access to quality foundation seed, and lack of trained personnel, to name several.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: Bangladesh tries maize cropping for feed

Demand for maize has popped up across Asia, but much of the grain is enjoyed by poultry, not people. In Bangladesh, maize is a fairly new crop, yet demand in this country already mirrors that of neighboring nations like China and India. A recent CIMMYT report explores these emerging trends and the efforts to incorporate sustainable and economically viable maize cropping systems into a traditionally rice-based country.

Maize in Kenya: The search for a successful subsidy

It is a common dilemma for non-profits and assistance programs: how to deliver benefits to the needy without creating dependency or disrupting markets. Addressing this problem, Maize Seed for the Poor (MSP), a pilot project in Kenya, is exploring ways to offer farmers subsidized agricultural inputs to boost farm productivity, while also energizing local seed markets.

Supplying the world's daily bread: Wheat Facts and Futures

Increasing at only 0.9% each year, wheat production is lagging behind the demands of a global population that grows 1.5% or more annually. Recent price spikes, local grain shortages, and associated civil unrest show the dangers of complacency regarding supplies of key food crops like wheat. A major new publication from CIMMYT describes present and future constraints to wheat yield, and how resilient, high-yield varieties and resource-conserving cropping practices can be developed to help farmers supply tomorrow's daily bread.
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