Drought tolerant maize for Africa project
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/36138
Internet URL: https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/33832
Context: Up to 65% of arable land in Africa is dedicated to maize production. It is a major commodity and source of food yet the constraint is drought, disease and weeds. The project is trying to make 100 varieties of maize in Africa that we are trying to make drought tolerant. Gender has become an important issue for helping the least privileged groups. Other differentiations such as level of education and wealth are important as well. Interface: Farmers are engaged through long-term participatory varietal selection. Learning: Learning occurs between researchers and farmers, including women, about appropriate varieties in the first 1 or 2 seasons. Once varieties are identified, you ask farmers to experiment with 1?2 dozen to compare to the varieties they are used to (that is, commercial, local). They plant and manage (timely planting, right stand, population, fertilizer/input application). They are then asked at different stages, what variety they would choose and why. For instance, benefits relate to resistance to drought, aesthetics, germination. Channels: Stories about learning and knowledge are used to expand that knowledge to farmers/beneficiaries, by demonstrating learning and impact/results. Local media is used, both print media and radio. 80% of farmers are exposed to the radio, a useful communication. Bulletins are used to target farmers. Journalists are invited to national meetings to get exposure to the issues (that is, Farm Radio). Capacity building is occurring at different levels. Trainers of trainers deal with local situations via direct training and on-farm trial/research. National programs help train graduate students. Farmers are getting exposed to what we are doing – use of new technologies and varieties, and practices. Outcome: Now mainstreaming more optimal varieties on the basis of resistance to drought, diseases, and weeds. Lessons learned in the storytelling phase of the project then become part of a new learning cycle to address different issues.
Describes experience of: CIMMYT with Storytelling, Participatory varietal selection
Related reference: http://dtma.cimmyt.org/