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CIMMYT strengthens partnership with Zimbabwe

Thomas Lumpkin, CIMMYT director general, and Honorable Joseph Made, Minister of Agriculture and Mechanization of Zimbabwe, signed a new memorandum of understanding on 29 October 2012 to strengthen the relationship between CIMMYT and the government of Zimbabwe.

During the ceremony, Made expressed gratitude to CIMMYT for its continued support of Zimbabwe during the past 10 years of economic hardships. “For so long CIMMYT has been a visitor, but from today it will remain a permanent resident in Zimbabwe and our region — Southern Africa. The Government of Zimbabwe appreciates CIMMYT’s confidence in Zimbabwe to retain its Southern Africa Regional Office and its scientists during the difficult periods we underwent,” said Made. Lumpkin then thanked the Government of Zimbabwe for providing a favorable working environment and support for CIMMYT’s activities. Lumpkin confirmed that CIMMYT would continue to bring cutting-edge science to Zimbabwe and the region as a whole to ensure sustainable maize production. Special focus will be on cooperation in breeding drought and heat tolerant maize varieties, crucial in the face of climate change particularly in sub- Saharan Africa.

The ceremony was attended by a team of senior government officials from the ministry of Agriculture and Mechanization, CIMMYT staff, and Lindiwe Sibanda, CIMMYT Board of Trustees member. During the event, Lumpkin presented the 2012 Award for the Best Maize Breeding Team to Made and the Zimbabwean breeding team for the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project. The Zimbabwe team has won this award for the third consecutive year. The DTMA team also received a new pickup truck from Made to facilitate the field breeding work around Zimbabwe.