The Affordable, Accessible, Asia (AAA) is a five year project that aims to develop and deliver improved maize cultivars that are affordable, assessable and drought tolerant. The five-year project is funded by Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) and is implemented through a coordinated partnership between CIMMYT-India Team, Asian National Agricultural Research Systems (Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines) and Syngenta. As drought poses a huge threat to farming in Asia, this partnership aims to aid 80% of the farmers who grow crops under rainfed, and often, drought-affected conditions. This project has the potential to have a dramatic impact on addressing the hunger and poverty issues in the region.
Crosses using drought tolerant inbreds from CIMMYT as donors and elite lines from Asian NARS and Syngenta are the foundation for the project. Besides field-based breeding, the project also aims to undertake capacity building of the Asian partners in implementing novel strategies for deriving drought stress tolerant germplasm, including genome-wide association mapping, marker-assisted recurrent selection and genomic selection for trait improvement.