“WE RELY ON MAIZE SO MUCH SO THAT EVEN WHEN THE HARVEST FAILS COMPLETELY, WE WILL STILL PLANT IT IN THE NEXT SEASON.”
Scientists have made progress in identifying maize varieties that could combat maize lethal necrosis (MLN) disease, reported SciDev.Net Sub-Saharan Africa last month in the article “Experts on track to create maize varieties to tame virus” by Robin Hammond.
A training course on developing stress-resilient maize for early-/mid-career maize breeders from national programs, agricultural universities and seed companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), was held at CIMMYT-Hyderabad, India, on 15 May 2015. The course was open to partners in the Heat Tolerant Maize for Asia (HTMA) project and members of the International Maize Improvement Consortium (IMIC-Asia). It covered key aspects of precision phenotyping, including enhancing precision of field trials, managing adequate levels of stress to express available genotypic variability, using advanced tools to capture data efficiently and precision in recording various traits in phenotyping trials.
Farmers in Chuadanga District of Bangladesh have been using a unique local method to store their maize: the gola.
Bangladesh’s Minister of Agriculture Motia Chowdhury (3rd from left) visited the CGIAR Pavilion while inaugurating the National Agricultural Technology Fair held in Dhaka on 5-7 April 2015. In the photo, Zia Uddin Ahmed, CIMMYT GIS and Remote Sensing Scientist, briefs her on the use of the Octocopter in agricultural research and development and other CIMMYT activities in Bangladesh. In her inaugural speech, the Minister mentioned CIMMYT’s role in maize production expansion and mechanization. “Since our land is fragmented, we need to focus on small but power-operated machines,” she said. She also asked organizations working in Bangladesh, such as CIMMYT, to think about how to use solar energy to operate agri-machines.
A delegation of 15 Nepalese seed entrepreneurs learned about various business models and innovations for seed industry development on their first visit to India. The visit, sponsored by the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia in Nepal (CSISA-NP), lasted from 1 to 10 June.
“Cereal system productivity cannot be improved without improving agronomic practices,” declared Shahid Masood, Member of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) at a two-day AIP-Agronomy national meeting on conservation agriculture held in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 26-27 May 2015. He lauded CIMMYT’s efforts to strengthen conservation agriculture (CA) research and disseminate CA to Pakistan’s farming community and mentioned the importance of public and private partnerships for promoting CA technologies. The meeting was jointly organized by CIMMYT and PARC under USAID’s Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan.
CIMMYT designed and gave an integrated maize seed systems training course for 32 seed technicians from the public and private sectors on 18-22 May at Chitedze Agricultural Research Station. The course is part of CIMMYT’s capacity building initiative to enhance maize seed production in Malawi, established after the successful launch of USAID Feed the Future’s Malawi Improved Seed Systems and Technologies project on 6 May 2015 in Liwonde, Machinga District.
A farm budgeting booklet and training empower women with knowledge so they are able to make decisions and increase their family income.
Nele Verhulst, Strategic Research Coordinator of the Global Conservation Agriculture Program (GCAP), led CIMMYT’s 21st International Training Course on Conservation Agriculture from 25 May-26 June. A total of 132 people have taken the course since its inception. This year, participating researchers from Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico were trained in sustainable technologies and conservation agriculture (CA).