The list of STMA-supported research publications from West Africa for the year 2019 is out

Posted on News, Press room, Published Journals, Research News, Seed System Publication, West Africa News, West Africa Publications, November 30, 2019

Melaku Gedil and Abebe Menkir. 2019. An Integrated Molecular and Conventional Breeding Scheme for Enhancing Genetic Gain in Maize in Africa. Published in Frontiers. Plant Sciences and accessible here

Adu, G. B., Badu-Apraku, B., Akromah, R., Garcia-Oliveira, A. L., Gedil, M., Awuku, F. J. 2019. Genetic diversity and population structure of early-maturing tropical maize inbred lines using SNP markers, published  in PloS ONE, volume 14, number 4 and accessible here  

Badu-Apraku, B., Talabi, A. O., Fakorede, M., Fasanmade, Y., Gedil, M., Magorokosho, C., Asiedu, R. 2019. Yield gains and associated changes in an early yellow bi-parental maize population following genomic selection for Striga resistance and drought tolerance, published in BMC Plant Biology, volume 19, number 129, and accessible here.

Bankole, F., Menkir, A., Olaoye , G.*, Olakojo, O.*, Gedil, M. 2019. Association studies between grain yield and agronomic traits of a MARS maize (Zea mays L.) population under drought and non-stress condition, published in Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, volume 114, and accessible here.

Kammo, E. Q., Suh, C., Mbong, G. A., Djomo, S. H., Chimi, N. L. L., Mbeungang, D. L., Mafouasson, H. A., Meseka, S. K. and Menkir, A. 2019. Biological versus chemical control of fall armyworm and Lepidoptera stem borers of maize (Zea mays), published in Agronomie Africaine, volume 31, number 2, and accessible here.

Kolawole, A. O., Menkir, A., Blay, E., Ofori, K. and Kling, J. G., 2019. Changes in heterosis of maize (Zea mays L.) varietal cross hybrids after four cycles of reciprocal recurrent selection, published in Cereal Research Communications, volume 47, number 1, and accessible here .

Sangare, A., Menkir, A., Ofori, K. and Gracen, V., 2019. Studies on estimation of heterosis for striga resistance in maize test crosses in Mali, published in Journal of Genetics, Genomics & Plant Breeding, volume 3, number 3, and accessible here

Akaogu, I. C., Badu-Apraku, B., Tongoona, P., Ceballos, H., Gracen, V. E., Offei, S. and Dzidzienyo, D. 2019. Inheritance of Striga hermonthica adaptive traits in an early-maturing white maize inbred line containing resistance genes from Zea diploperennis. published in Plant Breeding, and accessible here  

Annor, B., Badu-Apraku, B., Nyadanu, D., Akromah, R. and Fakorede, M. 2019. Testcross performance and combining ability of early maturing maize inbreds under multiple-stress environments, published in NATURE Scientific Reports, volume 9, and accessible here .

Nelimor, C., Badu-Apraku, B., Nguetta, S. P., Tetteh, A. Y. and Garcia-Oliveira, A. L. 2019. Phenotypic characterization of maize landraces from Sahel and Coastal west Africa reveals marked diversity and potential for genetic improvement, published in Journal of Crop Improvement, and accessible here .

Obeng-Bio, E., Badu-Apraku, B., Ifie, B. E., Danquah, A., Blay, E. and Annor, B. 2019. Genetic analysis of grain yield and agronomic traits of early provitamin A quality protein maize inbred lines in contrasting environments,  published in The Journal of Agricultural Science, and accessible here.

Nelimor, C., Badu-Apraku, B., Tetteh, A. Y.* and Nguetta, A. S. 2019. Assessment of genetic diversity for drought, heat and combined drought and heat stress tolerance in early maturing maize landraces, published in Plants, volume 8, and accessible here.

Badu-Apraku, B., Fakorede, M., Talabi, A. O., Oyekunle, M., Aderounmu, M., Lum, A. F., Ribeiro, P. F., Adu, G. B. and Toyinbo, J. O. 2019. Genetic studies of extra-early provitamin-A maize inbred lines and their hybrids in multiple environments, published in Crop Science, and accessible here.  

Badu-Apraku, B. and Akinwale, R. O. 2019. Biplot analysis of line X tester data of maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines under stress and nonstress environments. Published in Cereal Research Communications, volume 47, number 3, and accessible here.

Oyinbo, O., Mbavai, J. J., Shitu, M. B., Kamara, A., Abdoulaye, T. and Ugbabe, O. O. 2019. Sustaining the beneficial effects of maize production in Nigeria: does adoption of short season maize varieties matter?  Published in Experimental Agriculture, and accessible here  

Kadjo, D., Ricker-Gilbert, J., Shively, G. and Abdoulaye, T. 2019. Food safety and adverse selection in rural maize markets. Published in Journal of Agricultural Economics, and accessible here .

Assfaw Wossen, T., Alene, A., Abdoulaye, T., Feleke, S. and Manyong, V. 2019. Agricultural technology adoption and household welfare: measurement and evidence, published in Food Policy, and accessible here  

How to build gender-sensitive seed systems, share your experience on Nov. 21

Posted on Eastern Africa News, Media&Stories, News, News & Stories, News release, Press room, Seed System News, Seed Systems, November 14, 2019

Young woman displaying freshly harvested high-yielding maize in Western Kenya-credit CIMMYT-Joshua Masinde

”Improved maize seed is essential for African farming systems because of its relatively higher yield potential, better adaptation to common biotic and abiotic stresses such as diseases, pests, drought and low nutrients, and more efficient use of water. However, several studies have revealed that women farmers are less likely to use improved seed than men, leading to relatively lower productivity levels. These gender gaps represent real costs not only to women farmers but to their households, rural communities, but also to seed companies and agro-dealers”, says Rahma Adam, gender specialist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Nairobi.

”This is really a seed market missed by some seed stakeholders”, Adam adds.

She will speak at a webinar ”Gender and Seed Systems” on November 21, 2019, organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Maize and hosted by the CGIAR collaborative platform for gender research.

Rahma Adam will share STMA experience in seed systems that work for women, be it seed entrepreneur, seed grower, farmer, agrodealer or other positions in this sector still dominated by men.

Other speakers are Shawn McGuire, 20 years experience on smallholder seed systems and seed security matters, working at the FAO; and Esther Njuguna-Mungai, social scientist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and involved more recently on gender-sensitive legumes seed systems.

Is there a gender gap in maize seed systems and how to address it?

With widespread support from donors, national governments and research institutions, the seed sector in Eastern and Southern Africa has rapidly evolved in ways that have greatly altered the landscape of seed delivery to smallholder farmers. As the types and volumes of improved maize seeds increase, several questions arise, for instance: How do men and women farmers learn about the performance of these new improved compared to those that they presently grow? Which approaches are most effective in reaching different demographic groups? and How can one ensure that women get opportunities to learn about and access improved maize varieties?

As the types and volumes of improved maize seeds increase, several questions arise, for instance: How do men and women farmers learn about the performance of these new improved compared to those that they presently grow? Which approaches are most effective in reaching different demographic groups? and How can one ensure that women get opportunities to learn about and access improved maize varieties?

If you want to learn more about this issue, register at the webinar here.

Rahma Adam and her colleague Pauline Muindi will also organize a day workshop under the same theme on December, 2 in Nairobi. Many participants across CGIAR, development organisations and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will attend to share their views how to address the gender gaps in seed systems. More information to come.

Seeds of prosperity: Equator Seeds, Northern Uganda

Posted on Eastern Africa News, Eastern Africa News, Media&Stories, News & Stories, News Articles, Publications, Seed System News, Seed Systems, November 3, 2019

“80 percent of farmers in northern Uganda still use the farm-saved or recycled seed, which we consider as our biggest competitor. ”

Dorine Akoth, a demo-farmer in Gulu northern Uganda, admiring a maize plant on her demo plot. Photo: Joshua Masinde/CIMMYT.

“ Through demonstrations and our local seed marketing network, farmers can see how well the drought and disease tolerant hybrid UH5051 performs, even under erratic climate. This has helped them to gradually adopt our improved seed.” says Equator Seeds CEO, Tonny Okello.

A worker at the Equator Seeds processing plant in Gulu displaying 2-kg UH5051 maize seed packs. Photo: Joshua Masinde/CIMMYT

Discover this successful partnership between STMA and Equator Seeds to reach out maize smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda and South Sudan to improve their productivity and resilience here

Farmers adopting drought tolerant Maize in Makueni county, Kenya

Posted on Eastern Africa News, Media&Stories, News, News & Media, News & Stories, News articles, News release, Press room, Seed System News, October 14, 2019

Swedish journalists Eric Abel and Anna Liljemalm who are writing a book on climate change and seed visited the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa project in Kenya from Sept. 9-11, 2019.

Journalists from Sweden in action to understand how maize breeding can help Kenyan farmers adapt to climate change. Photo : CIMMYT/Bossuet

We met some farmers who adopted drought tolerant maize hybrid SAWA from Dryland Seeds Ltd (DSL) in drought-prone Makueni county.

Dolly Muatha is a 49 years-old demo farmer with four children.

Dolly Muatha, demo farmer in Makueni county shows her maize grain surplus.
Photo: CIMMYT/Masinde

Because her fields are well placed near the road, she has benefited for the last three years from DSL support to demonstrate the yield potential of SAWA DT maize in this terraced landscape.

Dolly likes SAWA ‘’because it produces 2 to three beautiful cobs and it matures early. In case rains stop when the maize is at knee height, even before tassel and silks form, that is where you see its potential compared to non-drought tolerant varieties.’’

Alex Somba, his wife and son in front of their house, near Wote. Photo: CIMMYT/Masinde

Alex Somba 45 year-old farmer near Wote saw how SAWA performed at Muatha’s farm and tried it out in 2017.

He usually practices dry planting from October 1, as rains usually start around the third or end October, until end of the year.

‘’SAWA beats other popular hybrids because of its early maturity and drought tolerance. It resists well to Grey Leaf Spot and grain stores well, resists weevil.’’

‘’If rains start end of October and after 2 weeks of rains there is a dry spell of 2 weeks, other varieties will perform badly whereas SAWA copes relatively well with such erratic rains patterns,’’ he added.

Providing good agronomic advice to the farmers is important to benefit fully from new varieties. Joyce, DSL field officer pointed out that ‘’ a good advice I usually give for farmers like Alex is optimum crop spacing.’’ For better yields, she would advise to practice 20cm x 30 cm spacing, one seed at a time. Traditionally farmers would put up to 5 seeds per planting hole, which will generate small cobs and much lower yields.

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