PRESS RELEASE: Delivering transgenic drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize varieties to African farmers
[Mpumalanga, South Africa, April 2023]: AATF has reiterated its commitment to deliver transgenic drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize varieties to caution African farmers from the impact of climate change on their productivity and enhance their livelihood. AATF Executive Director, Dr Canisius Kanangire reaffirmed the commitment while addressing the 5th TELA Maize Project Annual Review and Planning […]
GM crops have gene(s) inserted from the same or unrelated organism using genetic engineering methods, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). These genes, FAO says, confer beneficial traits such as pest resistance, ability to grow in extreme and unfavourable conditions and increased nutrient levels among others. Take an example of a GM […]
(Kaduna: October 5, 2022) Nigeria will achieve self-sufficiency in maize production when farmers embrace hybrid varieties, a leading seed producer has said. Mr. Brighton Karume, the managing director of ECOBasic Seeds Limited, said productivity was hampered by farmers’ reliance on traditional varieties that are not resistant to disease, pests and drought. Addressing a press conference […]
by AATF Africa Since the disease was discovered, banana farmers have used several cultural methods such as sanitary measures to try and control its spread without much success. As they say necessity is the mother of invention, and scientists have had no option but to explore a lasting solution to this malady. This led to the […]
by AATF Africa Pastor Felix Afolabi, owner and founder of Afolabi Agro Divine Ventures (AADV), has been a farmer since 2014 — farming on 360 hectares of land — 300 of which he intends to set aside for growing cassava. This season, AADV has targeted cassava planting on 90 hectares of land, and 75 hectares […]
by AATF Africa Majority of farmers in Zambia own land in excess of ten hectares. However, until recently very few farmers had ever imagined cultivating a full hectare of cassava. Most of the land in the cassava growing areas in the country, like in Mansa and Samfya districts of Luapula province and Kaoma district of […]
by AATF Africa Cassava, a highly nutritious crop, can be time consuming to plant, maintain and harvest. This has caused many farmers to shun planting the crop and those who plant cassava neglect its maintenance leading to below optimum yields. Cassava Mechanisation and Agroprocessing Project (CAMAP), currently being implemented in Nigeria, Zambia and Uganda, is […]
by AATF Africa When Celestina Mumba Chanda heard that there was a new project being implemented in her locality to help cassava farmers improve their crop production she was eager to be one of the first beneficiaries. A resident of Mansa district in Zambia, one of the areas in the country that grows the most […]
by J.Muthie When Maureen Kiptum, a farmer in Perkerra Irrigation Scheme in Kenya’s Rift Valley region, first noticed yellow spots on her maize plants in 2013, she feared for the worst. An outbreak of the notorious maize lethal necrosis diseases (MLN) had just begun and Kiptum and her rank of farmers in Marigat area had no […]
by J.Muthie For Peter Mutisya, the Managing Director of PealAgro Services Enterprises Ltd, meeting future food demand will require quick growth in the agriculture sector by embracing modern technologies that have been proven to boost farm productivity. “Any genuine business must adapt to advances of modern-day technologies in the world, and agricultural biotechnology is one such […]
by AATF Africa Every year, Striga damage to crops accounts for more than US$ 1 billion in yield loss in SSA, and affects the welfare and livelihoods of over 100 million people. In SSA, the weed infests some 20 million ha, while in Kenya alone, it is estimated that over 200,000 ha of land are infested […]
by AATF Africa “I gave them the worst Striga-infested portion of my land,” says Pastor Timothy Nyagol Ochiel, a farmer in Simbiri village in Rachuonyo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. “Now it is the most Striga-free part of my farm.” He pauses for a while and adds: “I have never seen a wonder seed like this that kills Striga. I never thought […]
by AATF Africa Christine Achieng Onyango hails from Nyabenge village of Maranda Division, Bondo District in western Kenya. She is a member of Kayongo Farmers Association, which is named after the Striga weed ‘kayongo’ in Dholuo dialect. The association comprises 20 members, two of them male. Its key aim is to eradicate Striga weed in the area. Christine is a small-scale farmer […]
by AATF Africa I am a geography and agriculture teacher at Sinyolo Secondary School and also a small-scale farmer in Kisumu North district, Nyahera division, Sidika village. I have about one and a quarter acres of land on which I grow maize, beans, groundnuts and bananas. I got to know about the StrigAway Imazapyr Resistant (IR) […]
by AATF Africa I come from Itando village in Chavakali division of Vihiga district in Western Kenya. I have been a farmer since 2003. I practice what you would call intensive farming. I grow a mixture of crops like avocado, sweet potatoes, various types of vegetable, beans and I also rear chicken, goats and cows. Land […]
by AATF Africa My name is Daniel Ochieng Teti and I am a small scale farmer in Kisumu North district in Kenya. I grow various food crops such as maize, beans and millet. Growing maize is my most important farming activity as it is my family’s main source of food as it is for most families […]
by AATF Africa Imagine investing in a venture and reaping nothing at the end of the day. This is the sad story of Monica Mbeya – a primary school teacher who has been watching desperately as her maize crop is ravaged by the notorious Striga weed. Monica like many other farmers in Kosele village, Rachuonyo district in Western […]
by AATF Africa Richard Amolo takes this writer around his farm. He just ploughed it in readiness for the short rains that were expected the previous week. Yes, the rains delayed. Amolo says he is afraid they may fail altogether. But there’s one thing that no longer gives him sleepless nights -the Striga weed, known locally as Kayongo. He’s […]
by AATF Africa Busia is among the most fertile of Kenya’s 47 counties. Its rich soils receive between 760mm and 2000mm of rainfall. “Most parts of the County have high potential for agriculture and promises of faster growth,” according to the Busia County Integrated Development Plan 2013-2017. Yet this frontier region lags behind in virtually all […]
MLN Diagnostics and Management Project
Protecting maize against drought and insect damage
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) is a key regional challenge that continues to bring havoc to farmers’ maize grain harvest and threatens food security in the eastern African region. It causes yield loses of up to 100% and has been registered as a threat to food security in the region. MLND is caused by the co-infection of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus (MCMV) and any of the Potyviruses infecting cereals, especially Sugarcane Mosaic Virus (SCMV). The disease was reported in Kenya in September 2011, and later in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
MLN pathogens can be transmitted by insect vectors and also through contaminated seed. Some developed countries have managed the disease through strategies that include combining tolerant varieties, crop rotation, and having maize free seasons to reduce the insect vector pressure that transmits the disease. However, in eastern Africa, the epidemic is aggravated by little access to MLN tolerant maize varieties by farmers and year-round cultivation of maize, allowing transmission via insect vectors, among others.
AATF and AGRA are co-leading efforts towards supporting the commercial seed sector in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia in production of MCMV-free maize seed, as well as promoting the use of certified seeds by farmers in respective countries.
The Project is coordinated by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), under the USAID-funded MLN Diagnostics and Management Project.
TAAT Policy Enabler
PBR Cowpea Project
Control the spread of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus (MCMV) in MLN-endemic countries of Eastern Africa while preventing its spread to MCMV from entering non-endemic countries especially in Southern Africa.
Support the commercial seed sector in MLN-endemic countries in producing MCMV-free commercial seed and Promote the use of clean certified hybrid seed by farmers.
“If the industry does not get systematic and standardized scientific steps and operating procedures, decisions on control and management of MLN will be subjective.” – Erick Tegei, Quality Assurance Manager, Kenya Seed Company
Farmers can now control loss on harvest through use of and access to clean, certified MLN tolerant maize varieties.
Commercial farmers can now obtain maximum maize productivity by reducing/mitigating MLN disease incidences in their farms through supply chains of seed companies.
Increased levels of maize production that ensures the region is relatively food secure.
Number of seed companies engaged in MLN management and MCMV free seed production
Number of maize seed out-growers engaged in MCMV-free seed production training
Number of farmers engaged through field days & training on MLN management awareness
Level of uptake and use of MLN Management SOPs by seed companies engaged
FIELD & IMPACT STORIES
Training on MLN Rapid Diagnostic Kits and MLN-Free Seed Production in Kenya
Published on 2nd May 2020
Agricultural institutions partner to curtail spread of MLN in Sub-Saharan Africa
Published on 26th April 2017
Efforts towards saving maize farmers $300million yield loss caused by MLN Disease
Published on 26th April 2017
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INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Maize lethal necrosis (MLN): Efforts toward containing the spread and impact of a devastating transboundary disease in sub-Saharan Africa
SOPS – MLN disease portal
1. Technical Manual on MLN Management: Developed in collaboration with partners; awaiting publishing.
2. Book Chapter on Emerging Crop Diseases in collaboration with the University of Cambridge: Published by the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and has already been copyedited. Currently at the printer.
3. 2 Manuscripts awaiting review and publishing. Data was analysed from ODK platforms, analysed and manuscripts drafted.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), one of the original funders of AATF, supports the Nitrogen-Use Efficient, Water-Use Efficient, Salt-Tolerant Rice Project; Pod-Borer Resistant Cowpea Project; and the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project. USAID supports the MLN Diagnostics and Management Project through CIMMYT. USAID also supported the Striga Control in Maize project as part of the US government’s Feed the Future initiative.
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