Over two billion people across the world suffer from hidden hunger, the consumption of a sufficient number of calories, but still lacking essential nutrients such as vitamin A, iron or zinc. This can cause severe damage to health, blindness, or even death.
At the 4th annual Latin American Cereals Conference (LACC) in Mexico City from 11 to 14 March, presenters discussed global malnutrition and how biofortification of staple crops can be used to improve nutrition for farming families and consumers.
A publication from the Global Crop Diversity Trust delves into the science behind Provitamin A maize, a biofortified maize variety with the power to reduce malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children, and approximately one third of children under 5 are at risk.
Photo: Christopher Bendana
Unprecedented droughts have hit Uganda’s farmers hard in recent years, affecting household income and food security by drastically cutting maize yields, a staple crop in the country. In 2016, at least 1.3 million people in Uganda faced hunger and urgently needed food aid after a dry spell decimated harvests, leaving some with less than one meal per day. When MLN, a maize disease with the ability to cause extreme or complete crop loss in maize, arrived in Uganda in 2013, farmers needed a variety that could cope.
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is offering a new set of improved maize hybrids to partners in eastern 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 February 10th, 2018.
To apply, please fill out the CIMMYT Improved Maize Product Allocation Application Form
*Please note: This form has been updated since the last cycle; please download a fresh copy from the link above. Applications using the old format may not be accepted.
Information about the newly available hybrids, application instructions and other relevant material can be downloaded here: Announcement of the Results of the 2017 CIMMYT Eastern Africa Regional Trials