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November 30th, 2019 / CIMMYT

Zambia’s vice-president has recently called to reduce maize dominance and increase crop and diet diversification in his country. The reality is that maize is and will remain a very important food crop for many eastern and southern African countries. Diet preferences and population growth mean that it is imperative to find solutions to increase maize production in these countries, but experts forecast 10 to 30% reduction in maize yields by 2030 in a business-as-usual scenario, with projected temperature increases of up to 2.7 degrees by 2050 and important drought risks.

Knowing the importance of maize for the food security of countries like Zambia, it is crucial to help maize farmers get better and more stable yields under erratic and challenging climate conditions.

To address this, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and its partners have been developing hundreds of new maize varieties with good drought tolerance across sub-Saharan Africa. Stakeholders in the public research and African seed sectors have collaborated through the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project and the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) initiative to develop drought-tolerant seed that also incorporates other qualities, such as nutritional value and disease resistance. Read more …