Scientists in Zimbabwe say they have developed new heat- and drought-tolerant varieties of maize that may be ready for sale ahead of the next planting season.
The seeds from CIMMYT – the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center – were developed to combat drought-induced food insecurity that has affected millions in southern Africa over the past year.
“I call them a game-changer, because farmers will be able to get some food security if they are able to adapt these varieties,” said Magorokosho, a senior scientist with CIMMYT.
“Food security in Africa will be partly addressed through these varieties, because in Africa, maize is life. A lot of seed companies in southern Africa, east Africa [and] north Africa have shown keen interest in adopting these hybrids because they know that they will be working in their environments.” He also added.
Early this year, Zimbabwe declared a national disaster after about a third of its 13 million people struggled with food shortages, caused by El Nino-induced drought.
Currently Zimbabwean Super Seeds — one of the companies distributing the Drought resistant maize seeds— said it is working to meet farmers’ demands.