Biotech Updates

Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Ghana Plan to Disseminate Drought Tolerant Maize

May 2, 2013

Researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders working under the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project from Mali, Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria have converged on the campus of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan on 22nd April 2013 for their annual review and planning meeting.
Addressing participants at the meeting, Dr. Tsedeke Abate, Coordinator of the DTMA Project, reminded stakeholders that the project provided a platform for researchers to demonstrate to donors and policy makers in Africa the benefits of research."This is an opportunity for us to show our policy makers that with the right kind of approach, we can make a difference," Dr. Abate added. According to him, increasing the cultivation of drought tolerant maize varieties in Africa will bring the necessary transformation and the needed boost for maize production in the continent. He noted that other drivers of adoption of drought tolerant varieties include increasing the participation of women in maize projects and also the creation of new partnerships.

Launched in 2007, the DTMA project provides insurance against the risks of maize farming, using conventional breeding to develop and disseminate varieties that can provide a decent harvest under reduced rainfall.

To effectively make the varieties available to more farmers, they proposed the strengthening of community seed producers to complement efforts of seed companies in the region. Implemented by CIMMYT, IITA, and national partners in 13 African countries of sub Saharan Africa; the third phase of the DTMA project will end in 2016.

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