Three new drought-tolerant maize hybrids have been released in Malawi. The hybrids - Malawi Hybrids 30, 31, and 32 - can yield up to eight tons per hectare under optimum condition and are also resistant to Malawi’s major maize diseases.The hybrids were developed under the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project, let by CIMMYT.
“The farmers liked them because of the high grain yield, drought tolerance, and flint grains,” explains the Malawian Agricultural Technology Clearing Committee maize commodity team leader Kesbelll Kaonga, noting that Malawian farmers prefer flint maize because its grains store better and provide more flour per kilogram compared to dent maize.
Seed companies will start seed production for the new hybrids during the coming season. Most Malawian seed companies depend on germplasm from CIMMYT and the national agricultural research institutes as they do not have their own breeding programmes.