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International Maize Improvement Consortium – Africa

The International Maize Improvement Consortium in Africa (IMIC-Africa) is a partnership of member institutions, including seed companies, national programs and foundations, formed by CIMMYT to achieve enhanced maize yields in Africa.

Members of IMIC-Africa share a vision: meeting the challenges of maize production by scaling out and fully exploiting the potential of improved climate-resilient and stress-tolerant varieties in sub-Saharan Africa.

IMIC-Africa incorporates lessons learned from CIMMYT’s Maize Program in Africa, such as the effective use of improved, climate-resilient and multiple-stress-tolerant maize varieties that have achieved tangible results in this region. Examples include elite drought-tolerant (DT) and elite heat-tolerant maize hybrids developed by CIMMYT and the rapid development and deployment of elite maize lethal necrosis (MLN)-resistant hybrids that were instrumental in the containment of this threat to eastern Africa.

The consortium formalizes the sharing of maize lines under development with public and private maize breeding programs. It also supports a vibrant germplasm testing network, offering opportunities for training and cross learning among members, and granting access to other special services offered by CIMMYT in Africa including MLN testing, doubled haploid development and molecular quality assurance/quality control.

The provision of early generation or advanced maize lines enhances members’ capacity for germplasm development in their own breeding programs. The subsequent multi-location testing of elite pre-commercial maize hybrids throughout sub-Saharan Africa by members serves to identify products that can advance to commercialization and deployment.

Funding Institutions

  • Consortium members

Principal coordinator

Stephen Mugo
Peter Setimela

Objectives

Develop and test inbred and hybrid maize with abiotic and biotic stress tolerance and high-yield potential based on needs and priorities identified by partners.

Provide multi-location testing of elite pre-commercial maize hybrids in sub-Saharan Africa.

Strengthen the capacity of partner institutions for germplasm development in their own breeding programs through provision of early generation or advanced maize lines and value-added services.

Promote the development of the maize seed industry in Africa.

Improve food security and farmers’ livelihoods in Africa by broadening access to and use of stress-tolerant improved maize germplasm as well as strengthening maize breeding programs.

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