Biotech Updates

$170 Million Expanded Global Maize Research Program

July 8, 2011

A global alliance project under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) will carry out a research program to expand and accelerate research in maize, the reported staple food of more than 900 million people in 94 developing countries, including one third of the world's malnourished children. The US$170 million research grant will include more than 130 national agricultural institutions, 18 regional and international organizations, 21 advanced agricultural research institutes, 75 universities worldwide, 46 private sector organizations, 42 non-governmental organizations and farmer associations, and 11 country governments. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) will implement the grant.

"This program aims to double the productivity of maize farms, while also making those farms more resilient to climate change and reducing the amount of land used for growing the crop," said Carlos Perez del Castillo, CGIAR Consortium Board Chair. "As a result, farmers' incomes are expected to rise and their livelihood opportunities to increase, contributing to rural poverty reduction in developing countries."

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