Biotech Updates

New Varieties for Drought Tolerant Maize

August 27, 2010

Widespread adoption of recently developed drought-tolerant varieties of maize could boost harvests in 13 African countries by 10 to 34 percent. This could generate up to US$1.5 billion in benefits for producers and consumers, says a study conducted as part of the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Initiative (DTMA). The study is being implemented by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture ( IITA) with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

"We need to move deliberately, but with urgency, to get these new varieties from the breeders to the farmers, because their potential to avert crises is considerable," said Roberto La Rovere, a socio-economist at CIMMYT and lead author of the study. "Our analysis shows that with high rates of adoption, more than four million producers and consumers would see their poverty level drop significantly by 2016."

See the news release at