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 the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center better known as CIMMYT, were developed to combat drought-induced food insecurity that has affected millions in southern Africa over the past year.
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Cosmos Magorokosho a senior scientist with CIMMYT responsible for coming up with climate-resilient maize strains, told VOA that,
I call them a game-changer, because farmers will be able to get some food security if they are able to adapt these varieties. 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 said farmers in Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa, along with Zimbabwe, have shown interest in the new maize varieties CIMMYT developed with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.