African farmers confront climate change with genetically improved seeds

| | June 9, 2016
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Less than 30 percent of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa use improved seed that has recently undergone a formal breeding process.

But it does not have to be that way.

Consider the Drought-Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project. . .

This partnership of national and international agricultural research institutions has to date released about 200 distinct drought-tolerant maize varieties.

. . . .

The Pan-African Bean Research Alliance has released more than 450 new bean varieties . . . (PDF). . .bred to be more resilient to extreme weather while offering higher yielding and better nutrition than their ancestors.

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. . . .

. . .[N]one of the technologies cited above has anything to do with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Moreover, they were all produced by public research institutions and commercialised by small, locally owned seed companies.

. . . .

. . . [I]mproved seed offers perhaps the cheapest way for farmers to adapt to climate change because farmers can use the seed without any need for additional training.

Moreover. . . improved seed is scale-neutral – it can be used with the same efficiency on big or small farms.

Read full, original post: Climate change and ‘smart seeds’ in Africa

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