Climate Resilient Maize for Asia
Climate Resilient Maize for Asia is supported by Germany’s development agency GIZ, and implemented as a public-private partnership, which targets enhanced resilience among resource-poor, maize-based farming families in South and Southeast Asia by providing them with abiotic stress-tolerant maize hybrids adapted to rain-fed stress-prone production systems for crop diversification, intensification and higher yields.
Most of the maize in Asia is grown as a rain-fed crop, which is prone to vagaries of seasonal monsoon rains. This is clearly reflected in the productivity of maize under rain-fed systems — usually less than half of the irrigated system. The erratic distribution pattern of monsoon rains results in drought or water logging at different crop growth stages, which is the main factor responsible for relatively low productivity of rain-fed maize. Due to the possibility of uncertain economic returns, farmers often hesitate to invest in improved seed, fertilizers and inputs, which further add to poor yields of rain-fed maize. Climate change effects are further threatening an already challenging maize mega-environment in the Asian tropics, which are identified as subject to climate change effects, with high vulnerability and low adoption capacity.
The project deals with high priorities of Asian stakeholders related to improving maize production in the face of current and anticipated effects of climate change and access to diverse and valuable maize germplasm, building upon the GIZ-funded project known as “Abiotic stress tolerant maize for increasing income and food security among the poor in South and Southeast Asia,” where significant progress is being made towards understanding the rain-fed stress-prone agro-ecologies in South and Southeast Asia, development of improved maize germplasm with enhanced levels of tolerance to drought, waterlogging or combined stress tolerance.