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Fighting drought in Kenya

East Africa is struggling with the worst drought in more than half a century. In Kenya, a lack of supply has pushed food prices to dangerously high levels.

In June 2010, a 90-kilogram bag of maize – the primary food for most Kenyans – cost $16. By July 2011 the same bag was $44 – a 160% increase.

Half of the people in the region live on less than $2 a day and spend about half their income on food. The rising price of staple foods has tragic consequences for the poor who must simply make do with less, or do without.

There is hope for East Africans, even in the midst of drought. CIMMYT (The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) has developed varieties of maize seed bred specifically for dry conditions.

Meet Philip Ngolania, an ex-schoolteacher and current maize farmer who planted the new seeds this February.

Other resources on drought tolerant maize: