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Working group to enhance seed delivery to African farmers formed

By Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT

The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Program for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS) formed a working group this week to address challenges in commercializing improved seed to benefit smallholder farmers. The two initiatives – funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – will combine efforts to ensure farmers have access to improved maize seed. PASS works with seed companies while DTMA partners with research institutes and seed companies to develop and deploy drought-tolerant maize seed. “We want to create synergies by combining efforts to reach more farmers,” said Tsedeke Abate, DTMA project leader.

Partnerships deliver drought-tolerant maize to African farmers

 Project partners from eastern, southern and West Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 September for DTMA’s annual meeting.

Partners from 13 countries working with the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project said they benefitted from its help during the 2012-13 crop season. DTMA trained maize breeders and technicians, rehabilitated seed storage facilities, supported research institutes and seed companies to release varieties and produce breeder seed and began hybrid seed production in places where seed companies did not exist. Project partners from eastern, southern and West Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 September for DTMA’s annual meeting. They discussed progress made in developing and deploying drought-tolerant maize varieties to benefit smallholder farmers in Africa. Maize varieties that respond to climate change challenges – such as drought and infrequent or unevenly distributed rainfall – are key in helping those who depend primarily on rain-fed agriculture. The DTMA project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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