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
The maize lethal necrosis (MLN) artificial inoculation screening site in Naivasha, Kenya will begin its phenotyping (screening/ indexing) cycle of 2018 at the begining of January, 2018 and in other four intervals, 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.
New insurance products geared towards smallholder farmers can help them recover their losses, and even encourage investment in climate-resilient innovations.
What stands between a smallholder farmer and a bag of climate-adapted seeds? In many cases, it’s the hesitation to take a risk. Farmers may want to use improved varieties, invest in new tools, or diversify what they grow, but they need reassurance that their investments and hard work will not be squandered.