Forty-five maize scientists gathered at CIMMYT’s office in Hyderabad, India, from 31 August until 5 September for a course on maize hybrid breeding for rainfed areas in Asia. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), and the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) organized the course, which received nearly 90 applications from interested scientists.
Various aspects related to hybrid maize breeding were covered by competent and qualified scientists from CIMMYT, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Indian maize programs, and the private sector. “This course was very successful,” said Harun-or Rahsid, a participant from Bangladesh. “We were introduced to several new ideas that we can use to develop stable maize hybrids in a more effective and resource-efficient manner.” The majority of participants came from India (23), but others came from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The private sector was well represented; 12 participants came from the following companies: Monsanto, Syngenta, BIOSEED, Krishidhan Seeds, Ajeet Seeds, ABS Seeds, Safal Seeds, JK Seeds, VNR Seeds, and Vibha Agri-tech.
“I’m glad the CIMMYT-Asia program took the initiative to organized this much anticipated course,” said CIMMYT scientist S.K. Vasal. “It will strengthen partnerships and collaboration in the region and help us to achieve our goal of doubling maize production by the year 2020.”