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climate change

More robust maize

Research institutions in Mexico and countries in Africa launched a partnership to develop 70 new varieties of maize that are better at tolerating drought, low soil fertility and pests. The Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project aims to combat the effects of climate change on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, where rainfall has been less frequent and less intense in recent decades. It is expected that the varieties will increase maize productivity by 30 to 50%, according to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, based in Mexico. This could benefit over five million families of small farmers that plant maize in the region. On the SciDev.net portal, Tsedeke Abate, project leader and former director of the Agriculture Research Institute of Ethiopia says: “the project will use modern technologies that withstand pests and water stress.”

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