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.
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.
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).
Efforts to improve the productivity and production of maize in DR Congo have received a boost as trials across the various agroecological zones in that country show promising results.
Dr Silvestro Meseka, IITA Maize Breeder who is back from the field, reports that the results are the product of a collaborative research project on the introduction of improved maize hybrids and varieties that was initiated by IITA in early February 2013 under the CGIAR Research Program MAIZE. First, two senior technicians were invited and trained after which hybrid and variety trials of different maturity groups for evaluation at Mvuazi (Bas Congo), Kipopo (Katanga), and Ngandajika (Kasai- Oriental) were deployed.
According to him, the main purpose of this research was to evaluate and identify high-yielding, adaptable maize hybrids and varieties for release to farmers that will contribute to food security as well as increase income of maize-growing smallholders in DR Congo.