MAIZE Annual Report 2017

To read the MAIZE Annual Report 2017, please click here.

In 2017, 79 improved maize varieties were released by MAIZE partners worldwide, including 26 in Latin America, 44 in Sub-Saharan Africa and 9 in Asia. These varieties are based on use of CGIAR lines from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Some of the special traits stacked in these varieties include drought and heat tolerance, nitrogen use efficiency, enhanced protein quality, high kernel zinc and resistance to diseases of regional or global importance, such as maize lethal necrosis (MLN), tar spot complex (TSC), and resistance to the parasitic weed, Striga.

First conference of new global research alliance to establish practical field solutions against Fall Armyworm

Time to scale up fight against the voracious pest

Despite significant efforts to control the spread of the invasive Fall Armyworm, first detected in Africa in 2016, the pest keeps advancing to new areas in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

The effects of its insatiable appetite continue to be felt across the continent as it feeds on many crops in addition to maize, with for instance an increasingly growing appetite for sorghum and millet. Without appropriate action, the Fall Armyworm threatens to cause billions of dollars in annual damage to African food staples.

Food security podcast features Dr. B. M. Prasanna

by Carolyn Cowan

The challenges facing African agriculture, the need for enhanced investment in African agricultural research for development (R4D), and the formation of an International R4D Consortium to combat one of the most destructive crop pests in the world were among topics for conversation during episode 3 of Chakula-The Food Security Podcast, which aired from Kenya this week and featured Dr. B. M. Prasanna, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) & the Global Maize Program, CIMMYT.

Reflections on the global impact of biofortification

by Carolyn Cowan

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 lead to severe health damage, blindness, or even death, particularly among children under the age of five. Furthermore, a recent FAO report estimates the number of undernourished people worldwide at over 800 million, with severe food insecurity and undernourishment increasing in almost all sub-regions of Africa, as well as across South America.