The International Conference on MLN Diagnostics and Management in Africa, held on 12-14 May 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, is the second meeting CIMMYT has organized this year on maize lethal necrosis (MLN), coming soon after an MLN diagnostics and screening workshop held in March. This points up how important the disease is to the entire CIMMYT fraternity in Africa.
This week, CIMMYT had the honor of hosting Dr. Eliud Kireger, the Acting Director General of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). His visit included travel to the experiment station at Ciudad Obregón for first-hand experience regarding CIMMYT wheat research, as KALRO is one of the few partners in Africa with whom we work on both maize and wheat.
A sister strain of highly virulent Ug99 stem rust disease is devastating wheat crops in Kenya, putting smallholder farmer livelihoods at risk.
Sub-Saharan African farmers typically apply less than 20 kilograms of fertilizer per hectare of cropland — far less than their peers in any other region of the world. In 2014, partners in the Improved Maize for African Soils (IMAS) project developed 41 Africa-adapted maize varieties that respond better to low amounts of nitrogen fertilizer and are up for release in nine African countries through 24 seed companies.