India Maize Summit Focuses on Partnerships

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Maize

By Christian Böeber and Subash S.P./CIMMYT

A recent summit in India provided a platform for various stakeholders along the maize value chain to discuss maize trade, technological gaps, industrial utilization, post-harvest management, risk management, marketing and scaling up of maize value chains through public-private partnerships (PPP).

“Road Map for Sustainable Growth and Developing Value Chain” was the title of the India Maize 2014 Summit held on 20-21 March in New Delhi. The summit was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX). Participants included representatives from private input companies, millers, the poultry industry, the starch industry, service providers, national and international research institutions, policy makers, embassies and farmers from across India. A. Didar Singh, secretary general of FICCI, said there has been a “quiet revolution” happening in Indian agriculture with the emergence of the export market and an evolving private sector, particularly in maize, during the last several years.

Organization Takes Technology to Farmers in India

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, collaborative projects

By Meenakshi Singh, Raj Kumar Jat and Raj Gupta/CIMMYT

A recent field day in Bihar, India, showed farmers have confidence in conservation agriculture and don’t need agri-input subsidies but rather easy access to quality inputs and fair compensation for their produce.

During a field day on 12 March, about 100 farmers shared their experiences regarding zero tillage and its benefits and travelled through seven villages to see the performance of zero-till crops. The non-governmental organization (NGO) GUVVS is developing alternate options for rural improvement and has been working in several areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal since 2011. India’s Eastern Gangetic Plains are characterized by fragmented land holdings and resource-poor farmers who consistently face drought or floods. These conditions and the suboptimal crop management practices make agriculture risky.

Breeders Trained on Molecular Markers Data Analysis in Tanzania

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize, Training

By Kassa Semagn/CIMMYT


A training course held in Tanzania provided maize breeders with hands-on experience in using molecular markers for quality control analysis (genetic identity, genetic purity and parentage verification), germplasm characterization, marker-assisted backcrossing and marker-assisted recurrent selection.

Partners Recognize Achievements in Insect- Resistant Maize Delivery

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Wandera Ojanji/CIMMYT


The Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA) project received praise for significant progress on field and post-harvest insect pest research at its conclusion last month.


“Several new maize hybrids and open pollinated varieties with substantial insect resistance have been produced that will greatly benefit maize growers in eastern and southern Africa,” said Mike Robinson, program officer for the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) at the IRMA End-of-Project Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, from 24-26 February. Robinson congratulated CIMMYT and project partners and wished the participating organizations continued success. The purpose of the conference was to share experiences, achievements and lessons from IRMA III and discuss future prospects in the release, dissemination and use of insect-resistant maize in eastern and southern Africa.

Government of Zimbabwe Promises to Support Grain Storage Project

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Wandera Ojanji/CIMMYT


Ringson Chitsiko, Zimbabwe’s permanent secretary for Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development, has reiterated his government’s commitment to support the Effective Grain Storage for Sustainable Livelihoods of African Farmers Project (EGSP-II). The project is improving food security and reducing the vulnerability of resource-poor farmers in eastern and southern Africa through the dissemination of metal silos and super grain bags.

Tirivangani Koza (right), deputy director, Department of Agricultural Mechanization, Ministry of Agriculture, demonstrates the proper use and handling of the metal silo.

Tirivangani Koza (right), deputy director, Department of Agricultural Mechanization, Ministry of Agriculture, demonstrates the proper use and handling of the metal silo.

“The Government of Zimbabwe fully appreciates the fact that complementary policy and institutional innovations that enhance development, deployment and adoption of effective post-harvest management practices at various points in the maize value chain is not only an effective strategy for fighting hunger and food insecurity, but also essential for enhancing the incomes of smallholder farmers,” said Chitsiko when he officially opened a training workshop for extension staff and agro-dealers. “The government is, therefore, committed to make this project a success by developing both the institutional innovations and enabling policies that can ensure adoption of effective post-harvest management practices and bring the benefits to producers, agro-dealers and farmers,” he added. “Accessibility and affordability are the key driving factors in the adoption of metal silos and hermetic bags technology.”

Capacity to Analyze Quality Protein Maize Enhanced in Ethiopia

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Adefris Teklewold/CIMMYT


The Nutritious Maize for Ethiopia (NuME) project recently donated key laboratory equipment to the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) to help analyze new quality protein maize varieties. Institutional capacity building is a cross-cutting feature of NuME, which aims to disseminate quality protein maize (QPM) varieties in Ethiopia to improve nutrition.

Indian Farmers Reach Policy Makers and Researchers

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, BISA

By Raj Gupta and Raj Kumar Jat/CIMMYT

A three-day agricultural festival held in India allowed farmers to articulate their production technology needs in the presence of policymakers, researchers and extensionists. The Rajendra Agricultural University (RAU) organized FarmFest from 8-11 March in Pusa, India, and a field day in Mathlupur. The theme of the FarmFest was “Making Agriculture Profitable under Changing Scenarios.”

Ph.D. Perspective: Nematode Research with CIMMYT an ‘Inspiring Opportunity’

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Guest Post, Wheat

By Samad Ashrafi

Ashrafi is a Ph.D. candidate from Iran working with CIMMYT under Amer Dababat on a project funded by Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Plant parasitic nematodes in Iran threaten the production of agricultural commodities and cause significant economic hardships for farmers whose crops are damaged. Cyst-forming nematodes, in particular the Heterodera and Globodera species, cause similar problems throughout the world.

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