Around the world, the COVID-19 crisis has emphasized the need to strengthen food systems while improving the food security and livelihoods for the most vulnerable, especially the resource-constrained smallholder farmers.
In 2019, MAIZE made great advances in the development of improved stress-tolerant maize varieties, with enhanced genetic gain and novel genetic diversity and tools. National partners and seed companies across Africa, Latin America and Asia released 82 unique CGIAR-derived maize varieties. In addition to high yield, these elite varieties are stacked with multiple traits needed by the smallholder farmers to protect their crops from drought, heat and diseases. These MAIZE varieties also included nine nutritionally-enriched varieties with improved protein quality, provitamin A and high kernel zinc.
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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.
International consortium established to connect research with practical field solutions against pest
NAIROBI (Kenya) — As the invasion of the voracious fall armyworm threatens to cause US$3-6 billion in annual damage to maize and other African food staples, 35 organizations announced today the formation of a global coalition of research for development (R4D) partners, focused on developing technical solutions and a shared vision of how farmers should fight against this pest. After causing extensive crop damage in Africa, the presence of the fall armyworm was recently confirmed in India.