Helping farming families thrive while fighting climate change in Mexico

Women and youth help lead efforts to adopt climate-friendly farming and safeguard indigenous maize yields

Farmers walk through a field that has been cleared by slash and burn agriculture in the Yucatan peninsula. Photo: Maria Boa/ CIMMYT

The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has been hard hit by drought and extreme weather events related to climate change in recent years, exacerbating local poverty and food insecurity. In addition, slash-and-burn agriculture techniques have led to environmental degradation and contribute to climate change. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is working to help indigenous Mayan farming families in the Yucatan peninsula adapt to and mitigate climate change, increasing maize yields and food security while minimizing negative environmental impact. This comes as world leaders mull a crucial decision on agriculture at the UN Climate talks in Bonn, a decision that could support farmers everywhere to take similar actions.

New crop varieties that counter climate change: a best bet for farmers

Stress-tolerant maize varieties are helping farmers produce more food despite climate change. Photo: Johnson Siamachira/CIMMYT.

As the world’s changing climate makes it more difficult to feed a growing population, smallholder farmers need sustainable solutions to improve food security and livelihoods while adapting to the impacts of climate change. Stress tolerant crop varieties offer much-needed answers, as one of the “10 best bet innovations for adaptation in agriculture” according to a new working paper from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Partners invited to apply for allocation of new CIMMYT pre-commercial hybrids

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is offering a new set of improved maize hybrids to partners in southern Africa and similar agro-ecological zones, to scale up production for farmers in these areas.

National agricultural research systems and seed companies are invited to apply for the allocation of these pre-commercial hybrids, after which they will be able to register, produce and offer the improved seed to farming communities.

The deadline for applications is November 1st, 2017.

New screening cycle for deadly MLN virus set to begin in Kenya

The maize lethal necrosis (MLN) artificial inoculation screening site in Naivasha, Kenya will begin its second screening cycle of 2017 at the end of October, interested organizations from both the private and public sectors are invited to send maize germplasm for screening.

In 2013, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) jointly established the MLN screening facility at the KALRO Naivasha research station in Kenya’s Rift Valley with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.