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BRAC International team visits CIMMYT-Kenya

On 09 April 2010, a team of four executives from BRAC International (formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) visited CIMMYT-Kenya’s Nairobi office to discuss increased collaboration.

In 2009, BRAC-Tanzania collaborated with CIMMYT offices in Kenya and Zimbabwe on regional maize trials. Thirteen of these trials performed well and will be planted again this year in five locations in Tanzania to test some of the best CIMMYT hybrids. After testing these new hybrids for drought tolerance, BRAC plans to release and market hybrid seed of these varieties in Tanzania.

After winning a competitive grant from the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project through the Maize Working Group, the BRAC team requested stronger collaboration with CIMMYT – mainly through the sharing of maize germplasm and the training of their maize breeders and technicians. They will now work closely with CIMMYT maize breeder Dan Makumbi and, the Selian Agricultural Research Institute in Arusha, Tanzania, one of CIMMYT’s partners.

BRAC International, the largest non-governmental development organization in the world, is committed to fighting poverty through improvements in agriculture, health, education, and income. Founded in Bangladesh, BRAC’s work is mainly in Asia and Africa, with offices in 11 countries. In Africa, BRAC is working in Tanzania, Uganda, Southern Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

“We are excited by this collaboration, and we appreciate CIMMYT-Kenya’s support to BRAC in Tanzania on maize research and seed production,” said Aminul Alam, executive director of BRAC International Programs. “As we expand to cover five more African countries, and to develop and promote suitable maize varieties, we look forward to continuing this collaboration.”

Attendees of the CIMMYT-BRAC meeting included Wilfred Mwangi, Global Maize Program associate director, Makumbi, Alam, and Imran Matin, BRAC deputy director. BRACTanzania was represented by Abdus Salam, senior production agriculture manager, and Mizanur Rahman, livestock senior manager.