The December issue of the DT Maize Bulletin celebrates the launch of a new project, Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Seed Scaling (DTMASS), was born out of the progress made by DTMA and other CIMMYT-Africa maize projects between 2007 and 2014. Over 80 stakeholder representatives gathered for the official project launch on 17-18 November 2014 in Addis Ababa. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project is implemented in seven countries in eastern (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) and southern (Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia) Africa.
Addressing Challenges in Maize Breeding to Deliver Improved Maize Seed to African Smallholder Farmers
By Florence Sipalla
In Swaziland, maize is a staple crop and a source of livelihood for many. “The work on our staple crop cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Vusumuzi Mkhonta, acting director, Department of Agriculture, Research and Specialist Services in Swaziland. “If anything were to happen to maize, the entire population might perish.”
Tanzania has the second largest area planted to maize in Africa, after Nigeria. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) data, approximately 4.12 million ha of land was planted to maize in Tanzania in 2012.Other staples include cassava, paddy, common bean, sorghum, sweet potato, banana, groundnut, sunflower and several others. A Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) adoption monitoring survey of 900 maize-growing households (HH) in nine districts in northern Tanzania conducted in 2012 found that farmers allocate nearly 70 percent of their land to this crop.