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CIMMYT’s new project to help African farmers

14 April 20162 min reading
CIMMYT and its partners announced their Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project to reduce the environmental effects in maize production. The new project will develop new improved varieties and hybrids with resistance and tolerance to drought, low soil fertility, heat and diseases. h_76_11 The International Maize and Wheat Improvement center (CIMMYT) and its partners have unveiled a new project – Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) – to diminish devastating environmental effects in maize production that occur simultaneously across many regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The new project will develop new improved varieties and hybrids with resistance and tolerance to drought, low soil fertility, heat, diseases such as Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) and pests affecting a large target of maize production areas in SSA. “STMA will use modern breeding technologies that will confer the desired resistance to pests and diseases and tolerance to climatic stresses like drought and heat to benefit farmers within their socio-economic capabilities, that often dictate their access to important farm inputs like fertilizers and improved seed,” said Tsedeke Abate, Project Leader of STMA. STMA will draw from successes and lessons of the just concluded Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) and Improved Maize for African Soils (IMAS) projects, which successfully developed and deployed over 250 improved drought-tolerant and nitrogen-use efficient maize varieties benefiting more than 43 million people in the region. The new stress tolerant varieties and hybrids will increase maize productivity by 30–50 percent for smallholders in 12 countries in eastern (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda), southern (Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe) and west Africa (Benin, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria).
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