New Global Initiative to Boost Maize Research

Ears of corn. Photo by: Andrew Malone / CC BY

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research has announced a new global initiative that aims to broaden and speed up research into maize, a preferred staple food source of more than 900 million people in 94 developing countries.

The program was launched at a ceremony commemorating CGIAR’s 40th anniversary on July 6 in Washington, D.C..

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture will implement the program, which is expected to directly benefit 40 million smallholder farm family members by 2020 and 175 million by 2030. 

“Small holder farmers are among the most vulnerable people in developing countries,” Inger Andersen, World Bank vice president of sustainable development and CGIAR Fund Council chairwoman, said in a July 6 press release. “They should be among the first we seek to help. Enabling these people to produce more and better maize quickly and reliably will help to ensure their well being, as well as that of their communities.”

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.