Description/achievement of initiative
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation is leading a public-private partnership called WEMA to develop drought-tolerant African maize using conventional breeding, marker-assisted breeding, and biotechnology.
Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011
The long-term goal is to make drought-tolerant maize available royalty-free to small-scale farmers in Africa through African seed companies to mitigate drought risk, stabilize crop yields, and encourage small-scale farmers to adopt best management practices. Efforts are being undertaken in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Biotech trials began in 2010 and will continue through 2011. This program aims to improve food security since new varieties of maize are expected to increase yields by 24% to 35% compared to current varieties without this form of drought tolerance. Improved income security due to agricultural yield increases isexpected. Reduced need for pesticides and chemicals and associated human health benefits, as well as reduced soil erosion are other benefits.