The work of CIMMYT and its many valued partners on maize and wheat farming systems is more important now than at any time in the organization’s history. Our planet’s expanding population, changing diets, limited natural resources, demand for bio-fuels and increasingly variable climate are all putting extraordinary pressure on the global food system. The evidence is all around us. In 2012, for the third time in less than six years, we faced a global food price crisis with international maize prices reaching levels double those of just two years prior. In the wake of the Arab Spring, two major wheat production and cereal importing areas, North Africa and the Middle East, remain highly stressed by rising wheat prices. In recent years average wheat imports for all of Africa have reached more than 35 million tons annually, costing the continent’s nations more than US$12 billion and threatening the supply of wheat products for resource-poor consumers.
Prasanna, B.M.; Vijay Chaikam and George Mahuku
Abstract: This manual is primarily intended for maize breeders in the national agricultural research systems (NARS) and small and medium enterprise (SME) seed companies in the developing countries who would like to better underst and utilizes the doubled haploid (DH) technology in breeding programs. It is a compilation and consolidation of knowledge accumulated through scientific contributions of several maize geneticists and breeders worldwide as well as protocols successfully developed (in collaboration with University of Hohenheim, Germany) and being used by the CIMMYT Global Maize Program in DH line development, especially in Mexico. An overview of the utility and applications of DH technology in maize breeding is presented first in the Manual, followed by Chapters on in vivo maternal haploid induction using haploid inducers, haploid kernel detection using anthocyanin markers, chromosome doubling of haploids, deriving DH seed from colchicine‐treated plants, DH in commercial maize breeding, integrating molecular markers in DH‐based breeding pipeline, and finally, access to tropicalized haploid inducers and DH service from CIMMYT.
Tadele Tefera, Stephen Mugo, Regina Tende and Paddy Likhayo
Dixon, John ; Braun, Hans-Joachim ; Kosina, Petr ; Crouch, Jonathan (2009). Wheat Facts and Futures 2009. CIMMYT. Mexico.
For nearly half a century, the international wheat breeding system has delivered improved high yielding varieties of wheat that created (along with rice) the Green Revolution and underpinned strong growth in wheat productivity in irrigated and rainfed, developed and underdeveloped, regions. Future priorities for breeding and complementary sciences will still include yield but will also diversify in response to changing market demands and growing environments, particulary in developing countries. It is argued that in the coming decades research on wheat quality characteristics will become increasingly important to plant breeders, whose work will be supported by the development of markers and advanced tools from molecular biology. Breeders will have to contend with increased heat stress and variability stemming from climate change, which is expected to create regional winners, as the northern high latitudes grow warmer and moister, and losers, as the sub-tropics and tropics increasingly suffer from heat stress and drought. Yield response of improved varieties in farmers’ fields depends to a very great degree on sustainable systems management, which also is essential to reverse the ongoing degradation of agricultural resources. Finally, the importance of expanding the systems lens from farmers to policy makers, and of linking farmers, commerce, science, and policy is illustrated for the rice-wheat farming systems of South Asia.
Langyintuo, A.S.,W. Mwangi, A.O. Diallo, J.MacRobert, J. Dixon, and M. Bänziger. 2008. An analysis of the bottlenecks affecting the production and deployment of maize seed in eastern and southern Africa. Harare, Zimbabwe, CIMMYT.
Abstract: The publication describes outcomes of a study conducted in 2007/08 to analyze the bottlenecks affecting the production and deployment of maize seed in eastern and southern Africa. The objectives of the study were to provide a better understanding of the factors limiting the production and deployment of improved maize seed in Africa, and to contribute to increasing the efficiency of variety release, seed production and seed dissemination for new drought tolerant maize varieties. The study identified a number of institutional bottlenecks affecting the maize seed value chain, in particular in the area of policy, credit availability, seed production, germplasm and marketing. To address these bottlenecks and improve the efficiency of seed production and deployment to African farmers, the authors recommended a coordinated effort from policy makers, private and public organizations and farmers. The study was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.