By AbduRahman Beshir, Hari Kumar Shrestha, and Shailaja Thapa
The demand for maize in South Asia is increasing, with the main driver coming from the growing need for poultry feed. Countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan produce nearly 10 million metric tons of maize annually from an aggregated area of about 2.4 million hectares. This annual yield is achieved mainly through the use of hybrid maize seeds. However, the maize seeds that contribute to these national yields need to be imported, costing these countries millions of dollars annually. Nearly all the demand for hybrid maize seed in these countries has to be met via imports, which often makes retail prices – ranging from USD 4-8 per kilogram – expensive for small holder farmers.
KATHMANDU, Nepal — I feel humbled and honored to have been chosen for the 2018 MAIZE-Asia Youth Innovators Award. I want to thank my father and brother for never clipping my wings and letting me fly high. I want to thank my mother, who despite having no education, not being able to read or write a single word, dreamed of having a scientist daughter. Everyone has a story and this is mine.
Dinesh Panday received the 2018 MAIZE-Asia Youth Innovators Award from the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) for his work in soil fertility and nutrient management to determine the effectiveness of industrial by-product (i.e., char) in reducing environmental nitrogen loss and improve nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency in maize. A native of Nepal, he is a Doctorate Graduate Research Assistant in Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In a recent interview, he discussed the challenges and opportunities facing maize in Asia, as well as the importance of involving youth in agriculture and maize-based systems.
Just in time for International Women’s Day, a series of videos have been published by the GENNOVATE initiative to raise awareness about and explore the interlinkages between gender norms, agency, and innovation in agriculture and natural resource management. The videos include stories of men and women from Mexico, Tanzania, and Nepal from the perspectives of local women and men themselves.