Maize is the most important staple food crop in sub-Saharan
Africa, providing food security and a source of income to more than 200 million
households. Nonetheless, maize yields in this region rank among the lowest worldwide.
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
(CIMMYT) launched the International Maize Improvement Consortium for Africa
(IMIC-Africa) in May 2018, to better engage with a committed set of partners
from the public and private sector, and to achieve enhanced maize yields in
Members of IMIC-Africa share a vision: meeting the
challenges of maize production by scaling out and fully exploiting the
potential of improved climate-resilient and stress-tolerant varieties in sub-Saharan
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.
January 3, 2019 is the deadline to submit applications to be considered during the next round of allocations. (Applications received after that deadline will be considered during the following round of product allocations.)
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.
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 SecurityPodcast, 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.