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Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Seed Scaling

Start date 2015 – End date 2020

The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Seed Scaling (DTMASS) project was officially launched in November, 2014, and started its activities in March 2015, with the aim to meet demand and improve access to good-quality maize through production and deployment of affordable and improved drought-tolerant, stress-resilient and high-yielding maize varieties for smallholder farmers.

Led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, and implemented through in-country public and private partnerships, DTMASS emphasizes scaling up and scaling out of drought tolerant maize seed, and uptake of the same among smallholder farmers. Over its lifespan, the project aims to produce close to 12,000 metric tons of certified seed for use by approximately 400,000 households, or 2.5 million people, in six countries in eastern and southern Africa.

DTMASS target countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) account for 25 percent, or 252 million, of the people in sub-Saharan Africa, and 41 percent of the maize production areas. Even so, majority of households in these countries face rampant poverty, malnutrition in children under five years, and adults are undernourished. DTMASS, in realizing its objectives, will benefit smallholder farmers by improving their food security and incomes.

Public and private sector partnerships are core to the implementation of DTMASS, therefore capitalizing on existing strong networks of partners in sub-Saharan Africa is key. Significant emphasis will be placed on bringing on board national extension systems, additional private-sector institutions, and other relevant stakeholders for effective scale-up and delivery of climate-resilient maize varieties in participating countries.

DTMASS was born out of the progress made by Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa and other complementary CIMMYT maize projects in Africa, including Improved Maize for African Soils and Water Efficient Maize for Africa. Therefore, DTMASS will build on experience, successes and lessons from these and other projects to further strengthen production and delivery of drought tolerant maize seed in sub-Saharan Africa.

Implementing Institution
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center

Project Manager
Kate Fehlenberg

Communications Officer
Kelah Kaimenyi

Related Articles
Going further down the path to bolster Africa’s maize sector
Seeds for needs in Malawi
Download DTMA Moves to The Next Level – Welcoming DTMASS.pdf

  • Maize trials
  • Maize farmer in Tanzania
  • Inspecting drought tolerant maize
  • Drought tolerant maize in Zimbabwe
  • Farmer surrounded by maize
  • Drought tolerant maize experiment in Kenya

Funding Institutions

  • United States Agency for International Development

Principal coordinator

Boddupalli Maruthi Prasanna

project website



Sustainably increase the availability, affordability and usage of prioritized, new, drought-tolerant maize varieties in the targeted countries, focusing on seed supply and demand

Contribute towards improved food, livelihood and nutritional security of smallholder farm families in the targeted countries