Mozambique farmers hope drought-tolerant GMO seeds can help them adapt to changing climate

Image: Farmers Review Africa
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Natural disasters like extreme drought and floods are prevalent in Mozambique, and the country has experienced about 15 protracted droughts over the last 25 years, according to officials running the country’s irrigation system.

The National Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM) is developing a number of improved seeds to help farmers, including the drought-tolerant Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) varieties. The WEMA project is a cooperative effort coordinated by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and involving public sector scientists in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

Though the research is still in its early stages in Mozambique, scientists and other stakeholders are upbeat WEMA will make vast difference in the lives of farmers. “The idea is to bring technology that will improve the production and productivity of these small farmers,” [Samuel Camilo, head of the Chokwe Research Station of the National Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM) of Mozambique] explained. “What we are trying to do is to test crops or varieties that are tolerant to drought stress. Climate change is really affecting our farmers.”

Farmer [Celina Issai] Chirindza is also hopeful: “WEMA has showed good seeds that can cope with pests and the weather. This is a good transfer of technology.”

Read full, original post: Mozambique looks to improved seeds as it struggles with the impacts of a changing climate

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