TELA Maize Project

The TELA Maize Project is a public-private partnership that is working towards initiating commercialisation of transgenic drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize varieties to enhance food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. The word ‘TELA’ is derived from the Latin word TUTELA which means ‘Protection’. The TELA Maize Project builds on progress made from a decade of excellent breeding work under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project.

Africa is a drought-prone continent, making farming risky for millions of smallholder farmers who rely on rainfall to water their crops. Climate change will only worsen the problem. Identifying ways to mitigate drought risk, stabilize yields, and encourage small-scale farmers to adopt best management practices is fundamental to realizing food security and improved livelihoods for the continent.

Drought is just one of the many challenges facing Sub-Saharan African farmers. Insects present additional challenges as farmers in the developing world have little or no resources to effectively manage them. Insect protection complements and protects yield made possible through research and development.

MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

TELA maize provides better drought tolerance, protection against stem borers, and partial but signicant protection against FAW. As a result, farmers will spend less money on insecticides and reduce their exposure to these chemicals. They will also enjoy higher profits due to improved yields and better grain quality.

The new transgenic hybrids will be made available to
farmers through seed companies in Africa through a royalty-free license from AATF.

Seed companies can receive license rights to produce and commercialize the new TELA® hybrids under their private brand. Licensed seed companies will access the technology royalty-free for them to produce and sell the seed brand to farmers at prevailing market prices. Better yield performance, combined with improved seed quality, will deliver more value to farmers and create more demand and prot potential for the seed brand.

Farmers are already growing TELA maize in South Africa. Other countries are in dierent stages of the approval process, which will determine when farmers can access the improved seeds.

Investors

AATF

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports the WEMA, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa and the Hybrid Rice: Breeding by Design projects. It has also previously provided core funding for operational support.

AATF

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), one of the original funders of AATF, is the world's premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results.

Project Contacts

AATF

Sylvester Oikeh

Project Manager

S.Oikeh@aatf-africa.org

Partners

AATF AATF AATF AATF AATF AATF AATF AATF

INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

  • TELA Maize Project: General FAQs
    The TELA Maize Project is a public-private partnership that is working towards initiating commercialization of transgenic drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize varieties to enhance food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. The word “TELA” is derived from the Latin word TUTELAwhich means “Protection.” The TELA Maize Project builds on progress made from a decade of excellent breeding work under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project.
  • TELA Maize Technology: FAQs for seed companies
    TELA® Maize is the brand name for genetically modified (GM) maize hybrids developed by the TELA Maize Project. The hybrids have Bt genes that provide protection against stem borer and helps the maize plant tolerate moderate drought. These two genes have been integrated to new maize hybrids which have been bred conventionally for drought tolerance and improved yield.