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GIZ-IICA Forum Presents Research on Adapting Maize and Bean Production to Climate Change

10 September 2012: A technical forum organized by the Organization of American States' specialized agency, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), presented the main conclusions and lines of work of two Central American projects that are aimed at helping to adapt the region's maize and bean production to climate change.

The forum was held during a training course on "Integrating Adaptation to Climate Change into Cooperation for Development," sponsored by German international cooperation (GIZ), which was held from 4-13 September 2012, in San Jose, Costa Rica. During the forum, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) discussed its examination of regional historical local climate data to identify critical points for planting maize and beans and its 2020-2050 production forecasts for these crops. It outlined that its research suggests that better soil and nutrient management, water harvesting and the use of improved crop varieties, among others, can be used to improve productivity while protecting natural resources.

IICA described its work with the Central American Integration System (SICA) to identify germplasm of white and yellow maize, and red and black beans, in regional germplasm banks and the centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) that offer high productivity, drought resistance and adaptability to climate change. Work is currently being carried out under pilot projects with Central American farmers to test the performance of resistant varieties, in areas projected to be most affected by climate change. IICA further explained that future work with promising varieties will involve joint activities on irrigation techniques, agronomic management and production marketing. [IICA Press Release]