Introduction

Maize is the most important cereal crop for food in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, and a key feed crop in Asia. . It originated in Mexico but spread widely across North and South America during the pre-Columbian times. It was introduced into Africa in the 1500s and has since become one of Africa's dominant food crops.

Declining soil fertility and environmental stresses affect crop production and health in less developed regions. Climate change and degraded soils threaten the food security of millions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Lack of access to seed and other inputs, underdeveloped markets, and low investment in research and extension worsen farmers’ marginalization in low-income countries.