Through the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, 13 maize hybrids were approved for commercial production by relevant authorities in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa between October 2014 and March 2015. This means that farmers will soon access these hybrids and benefit from higher yields within their specified environments.
WEMA provides farmers with maize varieties that produce higher yields under moderate drought and are protected from insect damage by their pest resistance. As a key player in the WEMA partnership, CIMMYT contributes its technical expertise, particularly in breeding, to the project.
“Our main focus is to give farmers durable solutions,” explains Stephen Mugo, CIMMYT Regional Representative for Africa and maize breeder who also coordinates CIMMYT’s work in WEMA. “These seeds are bred with important traits that meet farmers’ needs, and have the ability to give higher yields within specific environments.”
All hybrids released under the WEMA project will be sold to farmers under the trade name DroughtTEGO™. “Tego” is Latin for cover, protect or defend. The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), which coordinates the WEMA project, has sub-licensed 22 seed companies in the four countries to produce DroughtTEGO™ seeds to sell to farmers.View the full story here and read more about WEMA and the newly released hybrids.