Posts Tagged ‘KIT’

New reports shed light on maize seed sector functioning and adoption

A farmer who took part in the KIT study in Bihar, India. Photo: Genevieve Audet-Bélanger/KIT.

Maize is a staple food in many developing countries, and ensuring that smallholder farmers have access to and are familiar with the improved maize varieties available to them is critical in improving food security worldwide for farming families and consumers. In order to understand whether smallholder farmers have access to improved maize varieties and how the organization of the seed sector supports this, the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) recently conducted four studies on seed sector functioning and the adoption of improved maize varieties.  

Promoting the careers of women scientists in CRPs MAIZE and WHEAT

Professional advancement is a challenge for all scientists. Women and men scientists, however, face different constraints and opportunities in advancing their careers. In order to address this, MAIZE CRP sponsored a study from the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) into how the MAIZE and WHEAT CRPs approach the professional capacity enhancement of men and women scientists, and what can be learned from other organizations that have successfully addressed the advancement of women’s careers in science.

Women representation CIMMYTIn addition to a literature review, the study involved interviews with managers and women scientists in several organizations working within the two CRPs.

Gender Analysis of Small-Scale Farm Mechanization in Ethiopia and Kenya

Smallholder farmer prepares maize plot for planting with CIMMYT improved varieties, Embu, KenyaA Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) study funded under the Competitive Grant Initiative of the MAIZE CRP, “Gender Matters in farm Power,” investigates how gender matters in small-scale farm power mechanization in African agriculture, particularly in maize-based systems in Ethiopia and Kenya. KIT collaborated with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’s (CIMMYT) Farm Power and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) project on the study in order to leverage FACASI’s experience with national project partners and to build on and complement the project’s work.

Research, Reorganized

Agricultural research is changing. In order to have a greater impact, research must be relevant to a greater variety of farmers in different contexts, while being both applicable and adaptable.

Ways must also be found to solve institutional constraints, which are very often beyond the researchers’ sphere of control. Policies can be changed to allow community seed production, better connections established between maize producers and traders, extension systems strengthened or willing agro-dealers found to commercialize new seeds.