the potential to be drivers of agricultural transformation in Africa, holding
the key to improving their families’ livelihoods and food security. However, such constraints as lack of access to initial
capital, machinery, reliable markets, and knowledge and training are difficult
to overcome, leading to restricted participation by women and young people in
agricultural systems in Africa.
A new video from the Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) project highlights the importance of gender equity and social inclusion to achieving project impacts and outcomes, helping to drive transformative change towards securing a food secure future for Africa. Case studies and interviews with women and men farmers – including young people – detail how SIMLESA’s approach has re-shaped their maize-based farming lives.
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.
Nominations are open for the 2018 Maize-Asia Youth Innovators Awards. 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 Asian maize-based agri-food systems, including research-for-development, seed systems, agribusiness, and sustainable intensification.