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CIMMYT Introduces Climate-Resilient Crops in Ethiopia and China

October 2011: The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) has reported on the release of new wheat and maize varieties that are resistant to disease and adapted to climate change in China and Ethiopia.

The wheat and maize varieties were developed over the course of decades-long relationships between CIMMYT and national institutions.

In China, CIMMYT is working on steep landscapes in the Yunnan Province, and is helping farmers adapt to the increased frequency of the failure of the monsoons, which has occurred in both 2010 and 2011. CIMMYT has partnered with local institutions to draw on CIMMYT's maize and wheat seed bank to develop 22 hybrid species of maize that improve performance under drought. These seeds have been distributed to cover 200,000 hectares of farmland and have become the most popular hybrid wheat varieties in the province.

In Ethiopia, new wheat varieties have been introduced in response to the stripe rust epidemic, which struck in 2010. Since 1998, CIMMYT researchers have identified wheat lines that are resistant to the stripe rust, and have been working with national programmes to identify and promote the most useful resistant varieties for local conditions. Additional strains were released in Ethiopia in 2011 from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

ICARDA and CIMMYT are members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [CIMMYT Press Release on the Ethiopian Stripe Rust] [CIMMYT Press Release on the Yunnan Province]