AAA Hybrids Move Towards Commercialization

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

B.S. Vivek

PLC6 is a term used to refer to an advanced stage of hybrid testing at Syngenta, a partner of the Affordable, Accessible, Asian (AAA) Drought Tolerant Maize Project. Four hybrids, representing combinations of Syngenta and CIMMYT germplasm are currently at PLC6 in big plots at multiple locations.  The trajectory of this process points to pilot marketing of a limited quantity of hybrid seed in 2016 and a full market launch in 2017.

AAA Drought Tolerant Maize Project Meeting, ICRISAT Campus, Hyderabad, India. 22-23 July 2015. Photo: P.S. Rao/ICRISAT

AAA Drought Tolerant Maize Project Meeting, ICRISAT Campus, Hyderabad, India. 22-23 July 2015. Photo: P.S. Rao/ICRISAT

Four million hectares in India and Indonesia is the potential target area of this project.  This translates to a market potential of about 80,000 metric tons of seed and offers the opportunity to address the needs of over five million households.  In Indonesia, this primarily covers the island of Sulawesi and eastern Java province. In India, the targeted west central zone includes drought prone and tribal areas, a high risk environment where farmers require improved low-cost seed.

According to Syngenta, the region’s climate and other dynamics make seed marketing risky, unpredictable and unattractive, and is often overlooked by the private seed sector – exactly the kind of underserved area CIMMYT is mandated to target.

The AAA annual meeting was held at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) campus in Hyderabad, India on 22 and 23 July 2015.  Members of the AAA team highlighted achievements over the past five years that ranged from identifying hybrid combinations, fast tracking them to deployment, developing new inbred lines, identifying molecular marker leads for grain yield under drought and for root traits, generating information on genomic selection and genome wide associations and building human, infrastructural, informatics and networking capacity.  All this was done through an exploratory partnership model that included NARS partners (from Vietnam and Indonesia) in addition to Syngenta.

CIMMYT and the AAA team would like to thank the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), especially Mike Robinson, Chief Science Advisor and the mastermind behind this approach, for the support provided and for enabling such a collaborative opportunity.

Government of Zimbabwe and CIMMYT to establish Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) Quarantine Facility at Mazowe

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

Johnson Siamachira

A modern quarantine facility to safely import maize breeding materials to southern Africa, and to enable local institutions to proactively breed for resistance against Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease, will be established this year at Mazowe, just outside Harare in Zimbabwe.

QPM Maize Expected to Improve Protein Intake in Ethiopia

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

Seifu Mahifere

For community health extension workers (CHWs) in Ethiopia, as elsewhere, educating smallholder farmers on the importance of protein is a continuous task year in, year out. It’s not that farmers don’t know how important protein is. The big problem has been the availability of affordable protein that is within the reach of smallholder farmers. Now life is getting easier for CHWs in Ethiopia thanks to quality protein maize (QPM), a pioneering technology developed several decades ago by CIMMYT scientists. Read more here at CIMMYT’s Nutritious Maize for Ethiopia project page.

Climate Change, Maize Production and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized


Although climate change is a global phenomenon, its impacts vary depending on region and season. To formulate appropriate adaptation options and ensure timely responses, we first need to better understand the potential impacts of climate change on maize yield and production, on different spatial and temporal scales.

CIMMYT-SARO Steps Up Efforts in War against Malnutrition

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

Johnson Siamachira

CIMMYT-Southern Africa Regional Office (CIMMYT-SARO) is stepping up efforts to combat malnutrition, especially among women and children, through agricultural research and the release of orange maize varieties.

Orange maize is nutritionally enhanced and provides higher levels of vitamin A than white maize. In addition, orange maize varieties are high-yielding, disease resistant and drought tolerant, which helps farmers face challenges posed by recurrent droughts and climate change.

Tech-savvy Women in Haryana Implement Precision Fertilizer Application

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

Munmun Rai, H.S. Jat, L.K. Singh and Tripti Agarwal         

The state of Haryana, India’s breadbasket, faces a major challenge due to the excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer (N: P: K = 27.2: 9.8: 1) in agriculture. The overuse of nitrogen fertilizer in the rice-wheat systems of Haryana has led to high production costs, low efficiency, environmental pollution and nitrate contamination of groundwater, which causes blue baby syndrome in young children.

14 Years of CA Research on Display

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

In 2002, ACIAR and Gansu Agricultural University initiated a rainfed conservation agriculture research project in Dingxi County, Loess Plateau, Gansu Province. Li Lingling and her team have religiously maintained this site, gathering data and training postgraduates, while quantifying the long-term impacts of CA in a very arid environment. CIMMYT-China, in close collaboration with GAU, is developing the site into an innovation platform to demonstrate and promote sustainable farming approaches in the region, which was demonstrated through a farm walk during China Science Week.

The research station has housed and trained 100 students at a time, and is home to 10-15 postgraduates during peak sampling periods. Refurbished laboratories, a collection of field tools and Li Lingling’s 14 years of research results were displayed during the farm walk.

That increased crop water use efficiency can be achieved in this arid zone was a key message from the wheat/pea rotation system under CA, whereas zero tillage with straw removal was one of the worst performing soil treatments. The farm walk effectively demonstrated soil-water interactions under CA, no till, straw removal and continuous grazing, highlighting the benefits of CA and its effectiveness in addressing local and regional resource management issues.

Activities culminated with a postgraduate research walk where the main presenters were two Ph.D. students from Ghana who are working on greenhouse gas emissions, among other subjects.

CIMMYT-China Science Week: Modern Conservation Agriculture Systems

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

Jack McHugh

CIMMYT-China, the Gansu Foreign Expert Bureau and Gansu Agricultural University (GAU) in Lanzhou City sponsored an international farming systems research workshop from 30 June–4 July 2015. Jack McHugh, CIMMYT-China Systems Agronomist, and Li Lingling, Vice Dean of the Agronomy Department at GAU, were the lead organizers of the event.

Fostering Public-Private Partnerships for Decentralized Wheat Seed Production in Pakistan

Written by bpietrzykowski on . Posted in Uncategorized

Tariq Saleem, Attiq Ur Rehman, Ghulam Ullah, Amanullah Baloch and Krishna Dev Joshi

To strengthen functional linkages between private seed companies and public sector institutions in Pakistan, CIMMYT and its national partners jointly organized four training sessions, one each in Punjab and Sindh and two in Khyber Pakhtunkhaw during March and April, 2015. Participants included 45 staff members from 10 private seed companies from those provinces.

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) edits and publishes an internet periodical in blog format entitled “CIMMYT.” The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center is domiciled at Km. 45 Carretera México-Veracruz, Col, el Batán, Texcoco, Estado de México, México, C.P. 56237; phone + 52 (55) 5804-2004; Responsible Editor: Genevieve Renard. Reserved Right for Exclusive Use granted by the Mexican Copyright Office (valid in Mexico) no. 04-2013-091212312700-203. Responsible for updating this blog: Carissa Wodehouse, communications officer, Km. 45 Carretera México -Veracruz, El Batán, Texcoco, Estado de México. C. P. 56150, México. Weekly update. © CIMMYT 2014.

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) Copyright © 2014