Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

13th Asian Maize Conference launched in Ludhiana, India

by Jennifer Johnson

International experts on maize have gathered in Ludhiana, Punjab, India, for the 13th Asian Maize Conference and Expert Consultation on Maize for Food, Feed, Nutrition and Environmental Security. The conference, being held from October 8-10, 2018, has attracted over 280 participants from 20 countries. The delegates come from a broad range of stakeholders, including researchers, policy makers, seed companies, service providers, innovative farmers, and representatives of several development organizations and funding agencies.

B.M. Prasanna gives the opening address of the 13th Asian Maize Conference. Photo: Jennifer Johnson.

In the opening ceremony on October 8, B.M. Prasanna, the Director of the Global Maize Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), discussed the current situation of maize in Asia as well as the themes of the conference. A diverse range of relevant topics will be covered, from breeding for climate resilience in maize based systems and climate-smart agriculture to socioeconomics for greater impact. “Gender and social inclusion is an important issue not only for Asia, but for the entire world. Women play a very important role in our farming systems, but women’s access to improved inputs such as seed is very low. All communities, regardless of caste or creed, need access to these inputs,” he said. The need for scale appropriate mechanization and the importance of public private partnerships will also be discussed.

International experts to convene for 13th Asian Maize Conference

International experts to convene in Ludhiana, India, to discuss the way forward to increase climate resilience and productivity of maize, and to strengthen maize-based cropping systems in Asia.

A farmer checks her maize as it comes out of a shelling machine powered by a 4-wheel tractor, Nepal. Photo: CIMMYT/P.Lowe

Ludhiana, India (CIMMYT)—Maize is one of the most important crops in Asia alongside rice and wheat, and provides important economic opportunities to smallholder farmers. The 13th Asian Maize Conference in Ludhiana, India (October 8-10) will bring together key Asian maize partners and global experts to discuss the present status, challenges, and future opportunities for enhancing maize for food, feed, nutrition and environmental security in Asia. The conference is jointly organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research (ICAR-IIMR), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), and the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA).

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.

Call for nominees for the 2018 Maize-Asia Youth Innovators Awards

Nominations are open for the 2018 Maize-Asia Youth Innovators Awards. These awards are part of the efforts that the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) is undertaking to promote youth participation in maize-based agri-food systems. These awards recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in Asian maize-based agri-food systems, including research-for-development, seed systems, agribusiness, and sustainable intensification.