Water Efficient Maize for Africa
The Water Efficient Maize for Africa partnership was launched in March 2008 to help farmers manage the risk of drought by developing and deploying maize varieties that yield 24 to 35 percent more grain under moderate drought conditions than currently available varieties. The higher and more reliable harvests will help farmers to feed their families and increase their incomes.
The varieties are being developed using conventional breeding, marker-assisted breeding, and biotechnology, and will be marketed royalty-free to smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa through African seed companies. The current, second phase of the project (2013–2017) includes breeding for resistance to stem borers—insect pests that seriously damage maize crops in the field—as well as product and production management, promotion with seed companies and farmers, and product stewardship activities.
The project focuses on Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda.