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Crop Biotech Update

Transgenic Hybrid Corn Harvest Boosts Cuba's Confidence in Corn Yield

October 7, 2020

Transgenic hybrid corn seeds developed by Cuba's Centro de Ingeniería Genética y Biotecnología (CIGB) were recorded to have performed well during its harvest in central Cuba. Based on the amount that was harvested, it is possible for the country to reduce imports of corn for animal feed in the future.

The transgenic corn that was harvested by the Juan Darias de Yaguajay Cooperative from the province of Sancti Spiritus amounted between 4.6 and 6 tons per hectare, with more to be harvested from the original 384 hectares in the weeks to come. Leonel Diaz Camero, provincial delegate of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment, said that the yield could be as high as 9 tons per hectare in optimal conditions with the recommended mechanized technology. He also referred to the harvest as a positive experience that the Ministry is prepared to provide farming inputs for the transgenic hybrid corn's seed production next year.

Sancti Spiritus is one of the areas identified by the Cuban government for its programs to promote food security and nutritional education. The area where the transgenic corn was planted was regularly monitored by the CIGB. For this particular harvest, they classified that 96.8% of the area planted with the transgenic hybrid corn as Good, 2.1% as regular, and 1% as bad, based on the criteria that take weeding, incorrect crop rotation, lack of nutrition, and fungal and disease presence all into consideration. Pillar Telez Rodriguez of the Corn Improvement Project stated that hybrid technology brings greater corn productivity which leads to better yield. Hybrid corns are stronger, healthier, and more-resistant crops compared to conventional corn and when enhanced with transgenic elements become more productive and easily managed in vast areas of land.

Read more details in the news release by CIGB.

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