Azerbaijan and Georgia showcase progress in wheat breeding during IWWIP Traveling Seminar
The International Winter Wheat Improvement Program (IWWIP) held its 2015 International Winter Wheat Traveling Seminar in Azerbaijan and Georgia on 24 May. More than 40 participants from 18 countries attended the seminar, which covered more than 1,000 kilometers in four days.
B.M. Prasanna appointed as MAIZE CRP Director
The CGIAR Research Program on MAIZE, CIMMYT and IITA are pleased to announce that as of 1 June 2015, the MAIZE CRP has been led by the former Director of CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program, who will now spearhead the CGIAR’s international maize research agenda. The CIMMYT Board, upon endorsement by the MAIZE Stakeholder Advisory Committee (StAC), has agreed to the CIMMYT Director General appointing Dr. B.M. Prasanna as MAIZE CRP Director.
In fond memory of Paula Kantor (1969-2015)
Paula had an exceptionally sharp, analytical mind and a deep understanding of how change can empower men and women to give them a better chance to influence their own lives and choose their own path.
Farmers in India embrace high-zinc wheat for its nutritional benefits
More than 50,000 farmers adopted zinc-biofortified wheat varieties during the 2015-2016 crop cycle.
For development expert Paula Kantor, gender equality was crucial
Gender and development specialist Paula Kantor had a deep understanding of how change can empower men and women to give them greater control over their own lives.
Conservation agriculture in Africa: where does it fit?
The controversial debate among researchers about the suitability of conservation agriculture for smallholder farmers in Africa continues while millions face food insecurity and degrading resources.
Growing land scarcity, the Borlaug hypothesis and the rise of megafarms
Derek Byerlee, former director of the CIMMYT economics program (1987-94) and current visiting scholar at Stanford University and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, presented some of his latest research at a brown bag lunch at CIMMYT headquarters on 1 May. His presentation, “Growing Land Scarcity, the Borlaug Hypothesis and the Rise of Megafarms,” examined the economic and environmental benefits and repercussions of cropland expansion, the recent rise of agribusiness and the delicate balance between crop intensification and deforestation.
First international training workshop on farming systems analysis in India
The international training workshop “Approaches for integrated analysis of agricultural systems in South Asia: Field, to farm, to landscape scale,” jointly organized by CIMMYT and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), was held at Karnal, Haryana, India, during 18-23 May. The workshop targeted farming systems and agricultural development researchers in South Asia and provided an overview of the approaches and tools used to assess agricultural systems.
WPEP strengthens farmer knowledge of wheat seed production in Pakistan
The Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (WPEP), led by CIMMYT and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), held technical training sessions on wheat seed production from March to May 2015 for farmer enterprise groups (FEGs) in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province. The training was held in collaboration with the Outreach Programme of the Agriculture Research System in KP Province, which formed the FEGs, each comprising 30-35 persons including farmers, seed dealers and seed company representatives.
UAVs provide researchers in NW China with a new view of agriculture
We have come a long way when it comes to obtaining aerial images of our research sites. My colleagues and I once used helium-filled balloons and twin cameras to obtain infrared and color images in an all-day operation; now we use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fitted with high-resolution lenses and multispectral cameras to take dozens of images over large areas in a matter of minutes.
HTMA offers stress-resilient maize hybrids to meet Bangladesh’s growing demand
CIMMYT’s Heat Stress Tolerant Maize for Asia (HTMA) project held a hybrid maize field day during 21-22 April at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute’s (BARI) Regional Agricultural Research Stations (RARS) in Khoirtola, Jessore and Gazipur. The event was attended by over 60 participants, including local maize farmers, Bangladeshi seed company representatives, agricultural input dealers, Bangladesh government seed system officers and BARI maize researchers.
CIMMYT receives “Excellence Through Stewardship” certification
CIMMYT has been awarded an Excellence Through Stewardship (ETS) certificate of achievement for successfully completing the ETS audit requirements for its operations in Mexico and Kenya. ETS is a global, not-for-profit industry-coordinated organization dedicated to “promote the responsible management of agricultural technology, through encouraging product stewardship and quality management systems practices and by educating the public.” The ETS audit was an independent third-party review of CIMMYT’s quality management system and standard operating procedures (SOP) for transgenic research. “The successful ETS certification is an important milestone in implementing and modeling – teaching and demonstrating – responsible stewardship of transgenic research,” according to Kevin Pixley, Director of CIMMYT’s Genetic Resources Program. CIMMYT is the first CGIAR center to achieve ETS certification.
New technologies to increase coffee-maize system profitability
To demostrate the advances of the project “Increasing the profitability of maize-coffee systems” conducted by CIMMYT in Colombia over the past 10 years in collaboration with the National Federation of Colombian Coffee Producers (FEDERECAFE, Spanish acronym), two field days were held at the Paraguaycito–Quindío (29 April) and La Catalina–Risaralda (7 May) Experiment Stations belonging to CENICAFE, FEDERECAFE’s research unit. At these events, attended by 158 representatives of the Local Coffee Growers’ Committees and the National Federation of Cereal Growers (FENALCE, Spanish acronym), the latest advances in the areas of climate change, agronomy and genetic improvement were presented.*