Posts Tagged ‘seed companies’

South Asian seed companies appreciate CIMMYT’s efforts to enhance local capacity on hybrid maize seed production and marketing

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.

Angola: Shifting from landraces to improved maize varieties

CIMMYT, in partnership with the Instituto de Investigação Agronómica (IIA), the Angolan national agricultural research institute, is helping the country shift from using maize landraces to locally adapted materials.

Angola2Angola is rebuilding its infrastructure after a prolonged civil war that slowed down agricultural production. During the war, farmers could not access improved maize seed and relied on landraces. “After the war, they started shifting from the landraces to open-pollinated varieties (OPVs),” explained Peter Setimela, CIMMYT seed systems specialist. “Five years ago, there were no improved maize seeds in Angola. Now, we have some good OPVs and hybrids.”