The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
(CIMMYT) is offering a new set of improved maize hybrids to partners in eastern
and southern Africa and similar agro-ecological zones, to scale up production
for farmers in these areas.
Research has shown that compared to other packaging and storage facilities, polyvinyl plastic containers (PPC) and dark compartment storage have the highest retention of Pro-vitamin A carotenoid (pVAC) and xanthophylls in yellow-seeded maize.
Pro-vitamin A carotenoid (pVAC) foods contribute to the reduction of
vitamin A deficiency diseases within the human body. Yellow-seeded maize
flour, being a pVAC-rich food, needs the right packaging materials and
storage conditions that retain pVAC as it is essential for health
Within a lush and humid valley in the state of Nayarit on
Mexico’s Pacific coast, a giant resides. The local maize landrace, named ‘Jala’
after the valley in which it grows, produces the biggest maize ears in the
world. Its plants grow to such a height the only way to harvest the ears is on
horseback. However, despite its vigor and size, the survival of this landrace
is at risk as its genetic diversity fades and young people who might carry on
growing traditions leave the rural land looking for a better life.
A new maize festival, the Feria de la Mazorca del Maiz Nativo, or Native Maize Festival, was launched on December 10, 2018 in the town of Coapan, which adjoins the valley’s namesake town of Jala. The festival aims to improve this remarkable landrace’s future by encouraging farmers to protect its genetic potential and creating a space for young people to have their views heard. The festival is a collaboration between Denise Costich, head of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) maize gene bank, Carolina Camacho of CIMMYT’s socioeconomics program, Victor Vidal of INIFAP-Nayarit and local partners including Gilberto Gonzalez, Ricardo Cambero, Alondra Maldonado, Ismael Elias, Renato Olmedo (CIMMYT), and Miguel Gonzalez Lomelí.
Nominations are now open for the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa! 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 African maize-based agri-food systems, including research-for-development, seed systems, agribusiness, and sustainable intensification.