Crop Biotech Update

Drought Tolerant Maize Wins 2012 UK Climate Week Award

March 30, 2012

The "Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa" (DTMA) project of the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) was recognized as the Best Technological Breakthrough at the UK Climate Week Awards. The award was given in recognition of its support to a project to develop drought tolerant maize in Africa.

The project focused on the development and dissemination of 34 new drought tolerant maize varieties developed through conventional breeding, in 13 project countries that include Angola, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe between 2007 and 2011.

"This maize is like an insurance against hunger and total crop failure, even under hot, dry conditions like those of recent years", says 79-year-old Rashid Said Mpinga, a maize farmer in Morogoro, Tanzania, who has been growing maize for almost half a century. "Without good quality maize seed, you cannot earn enough, you cannot have life."

The project is jointly implemented by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) with complementary grants from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation (HGBF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

See the article at