CIMMYT Annual Report 2004-2005: A solid future

Most people in the developing world depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. Maize and wheat alone provide nearly half the food by weight and a quarter of the calories for the 4.9 billion people of the developing world. In much of Africa the land—which has to produce the food, sustain the farming systems for production, and nurture the crops that farmers grow—can not keep up with demand, even when conditions of climate and politics are stable. More than half a billion people depend on wheat or maize but have little or no access to agricultural inputs, farm on degraded soils, or have to make do in marginal climates. With a continuously growing population, less good land for agriculture, and climate and water constraints that seem to grow more severe each year, yesterday’s solutions are not sufficient for today. In this annual report for 2004-2005 we focus on one of the most severe constraints to production in wheat and maize farming systems—drought—and the approaches CIMMYT is taking to help farmers cope. A major priority is finding ways that maize and wheat can continue to produce high, stable yields with less available water. We are working both at the breeding level to develop plants that use water more efficiently and at the plot level to help farmers to conserve and better use what moisture they have. In the reports that follow, you will find accounts of progress by CIMMYT and its partners. For example CIMMYT has devised a “smart crossing” approach to produce wheat varieties with better drought tolerance, and uses a decentralized global shuttle breeding system—an extension of its time proven method in Mexico—to test and adapt drought tolerant varieties to diverse conditions around the world. Another trend to note is the adoption of conservation agriculture practices that save farmers soil, water, money, and time, in addition to bringing environmental benefits. This is global science for local impact.

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Bibliographic Details
Other Authors: Listman, G.M.
Format: Annual Report biblioteca
Published: CIMMYT 2005
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