Fortified, drought and heat resistant maize introduced in Zimbabwe

Researchers in Zimbabwe are breeding a drought and heat resistant maize variety as a part of their initiatives to fight hunger across the continent.

The vitamin-A fortified varieties are being developed at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, funded by USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Since its inception, this program has been able to produce more than 50,000 tons of maize seed, not just for Zimbabwe, but for Southern Africa, Eastern Africa and West Africa,” Cosmos Magorogosho, head of the center’s southern Africa program, told VOA.

“And these seeds are certified. They have been produced by seed companies and have been marketed in communities, and communities are benefiting from increased yields.” he said.

Production of Maize is almost fully rain dependent in the Sub-Saharan Africa, where droughts are frequent.

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