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Game-changer for farmers: improved drought-tolerant maize

The reality of the overall agricultural sector in the sub-Saharan region – and maize production in particular – is that it is largely rain-dependent. This leaves smallholder farmers vulnerable and at the mercy of erratic rains, drought and other climatic calamities. Of these, drought is one of the most devastating challenges, with many smallholders experiencing drought several times every decade.

Drought tolerant maize for farmer adaptation to drought in sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants of adoption in eastern and southern Africa

Drought tolerant maize for farmer adaptationIn sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Bmaize is life,^ due to its importance to food security and economic wellbeing. Around 40 % of Africa’s maize-growing area faces occasional drought stress, resulting in yield losses of 10–25 %. Around 25 % of the maize crop suffers frequent drought, with losses of up to half the harvest. To reduce vulnerability and improve food security, the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project has made releases of 160 drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties between 2007 and 2013.

icon Drought tolerant maize for farmer adaptation to drought in sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants of adoption in eastern and southern Africa (1.02 MB)

Factors that transformed maize productivity in Ethiopia

Factors-that-transformed-maize-productivity-in-EthiopiaMaize became increasingly important in the food security of Ethiopia following the major drought and famine that occurred in 1984. More than 9 million smallholder households, more than for any other crop in the country, grow maize in Ethiopia at present. Ethiopia has doubled its maize productivity and production in less than two decades. The yield, currently estimated at >3 metric tons/ha, is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa; yield gains for Ethiopia grew at an annual rate of 68 kg/ha between 1990 and 2013, only second to South Africa and greater than Mexico, China, or India.

icon Factors that transformed maize productivity in Ethiopia (1.66 MB)

DTMA on the blog

  • Uganda Team Shines at DTMA Awards for Eastern Africa
    By Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project recognized country teams that demonstrated excellence in breeding and disseminating droughttolerant maize varieties during the Regional Maize Working Group (MWG) meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 17 to 19 February. For the third time since 2011, Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) won […]
  • Seed Systems Team Strategizes and Plans for Africa
    By Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT   The CIMMYT-Africa seed systems team met in Nairobi, Kenya, on 7 February to take stock of progress in 2013, identify challenges and brainstorm on turning those challenges into opportunities. Global Maize Program (GMP) Director B.M. Prasanna and members of the breeding, communications and socioeconomics teams also attended.   The teams’ successes […]
  • Trained maize breeders can bring huge benefits to Africa
    By Cosmos Magorokosho/CIMMYT CIMMYT recently conducted an intensive, three-week course in Kenya for 37 young maize breeders – including 10 women – to provide them the knowledge and skills to use modern breeding methods efficiently in their maize programs. The course included participants from national programs and seed companies in 14 African countries. Dennis Kyetere, […]
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