Drought-Tolerant (DT) Maize Varieties (Djéma- Bossi - Benin; Melkassa-1Q-Ethiopia;Sanu-Mali;)


Within the Research Project "Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa- DTMA", developed from 2006 to 2015 through the international partnership CGIAR ( Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), a great number of maize drought - tolerant (DT) varieties have been released for each country involved (Angola, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), on the basis of the specific climatic /agricultural context. As examples the following varieties are considered:

_Djéma- Bossi, developed for Benin, suitable for moist savannas, with high grain yeld, Striga-tolerant with good nitrogen use efficency

_Melkassa-1Q, developed for Ethiopia,suitable for moisture stressed marginal maize growing areas, with low-medium grain yeld,terminal drought stress escape;

resistant to major diseases

_Sanu, hybrid variety developed for Mali, suitable for Guinea and Sudan Savanna, high grain yeld,low soil nitrogen-tolerant, Striga-resistant, single-cross.

The seeds are stocked by local seed companies. Maize is grown on some 33 million of the total 194 million hectares of cultivated land in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the region’s most important food crop. Smallholder farmers produce maize under diverse and varied agro-ecologies and socioeconomic conditions.The maize production is under threat because of drought, degraded and infertile soils, diseases, insect pests, and weeds, as well as limited use of improved seed or chemical fertilizer.Maize agriculture in Africa is rainfed and depends on the region’s increasingly erratic precipitation. An estimated 40% of Africa’s maize area faces occasional drought stress, with yield losses of 10-25%; a quarter of the maize crop suffers frequent drought, with losses as high as half the harvest. Total crop failure is common in severe droughts. Drought tolerant maize seed can provide African farmers with benefits in increased grain harvests and reduced risks.

Problem addressed: Need for drought-tolerant maize.

Potential improvement: Developing maize varieties resistant to drought, allowing millions of people to preserve their own main food source.

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Km. 45, Carretera

México-Veracruz, El Batán,

Texcoco CP 56237

Edo. de México,


Tel: +52 (55) 5804 2004 or +52 (595) 952 1900

Source: CIMMYT website DTMA (Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa) Project website






+52 (55) 5804 2004

Date of release