CIMMYT recognized for support in restoring Guatemalan seed systems after hurricane

by Carolyn Cowan

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) maize germplasm bank recently received an award in recognition of its contributions towards the Buena Milpa initiative

CIMMYT maize germplasm bank staff preparing the order for the repatriation of Guatemalan seed varieties. Photo: CIMMYT

in Guatemala, which aims to enhance the sustainability of maize systems in the country. Denise Costich, head of the maize germplasm bank, received the award on behalf of CIMMYT during the event ‘Maize of Guatemala: Repatriation, Conservation and Sustainable use of Agro-biodiversity,’ held on September 7 2018, in Guatemala City.

Africa Food Prize Awarded to IITA

Africa Food Prize awarded to Agricultural Research Institute for leadership and innovation in finding solutions to the continent’s most pressing challenges

The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), one of the lead centers of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), was recognized for generating solutions on and off the farm that have improved the lives of millions in the face of climate change, a surge of crop pests and disease, and an urgent need for youth employment.

Toxin-producing fungal strains can now be detected in maize field soils with a new technique

by Alexander Loladze and Carolyn Cowan

Maize ear infected with Aspergillus flavus. Photo: Maize Pathology Laboratory/CIMMYT

A novel approach allows the detection of aflatoxin-producing fungi in maize fields. A new study explains the technique and how it was tested. “Detection of Aflatoxigenic and Atoxigenic Mexican Aspergillus Strains by the Dichlorvos–Ammonia (DV–AM) Method” was developed in collaboration between scientists from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Japanese National Agriculture and Food Organization (NARO) and Fukui University of Technology, funded in part by the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE).

Fall armyworm reported in India: battle against the pest extends now to Asia

By: Carolyn Cowan and Jennifer Johnson

A fall armyworm found on maize plants in Khamman district, Telangana state, India. Photo: ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research

The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, a devastating insect-pest, has been identified for the first time on the Indian subcontinent. Native to the Americas, the pest is known to eat over 80 plant species, with a particular preference for maize, a main staple crop around the world. The fall armyworm was first officially reported in Nigeria in West Africa in 2016, and rapidly spread across 44 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  Sightings of damage to maize crops in India due to fall armyworm mark the first report of the pest in Asia.