Breeding Maize for Drought Tolerance



Early knowledge of the weather factors of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) showed that the agroclimatic zones were characterized by consistent and fairly predictable onset and recession of the rainy season. Although sporadic dry spells could occur during the season, they were exceptions rather than the rule until agrometeorologists started reporting what is now known globally as climate change. Drought occurs at the beginning and towards the end of the season, as well as at any growth stage of the maize crop. Flowering the early part of grain-filling periods are the two most drought-sensitive growth stages of maize. Drought effects can be minimized by using supplemental irrigation, raising the crop in hydromorphic soils, or planting drought-tolerant varieties. The latter is the most durable control method and the cheapest to the farmer. Maize breeders at CIMMYT and IITA, in collaboration with their counterparts in the national programs of SSA countries and with financial support from international donor agencies such as USAID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have worked out the best screening method for drought tolerance (DT) and developed DT maize varieties in all maturity groups of the crop.


Well-watered Environments Extra-early Maize Drought Tolerant Maize For Africa (DTMA) Ikenne Genetic Gain 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute of Tropical AgricultureIbadanNigeria
  2. 2.Obafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria

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