Maize Resistant to Stem Borer and Storage Insect Pests for Eastern and Southern Africa

Published on 19 August 2010

Research Areas


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Start Date: 31 January 2009 | End Date: 1 April 2014


The Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA) project has been supporting resource poor farmers to increase their maize crop yield, and reduce the loss from storage pests. Currently in its third phase, the project’s formal title is:  ‘Developing Maize Resistant to Stem Borer and Storage Insect Pests for Eastern and Southern Africa – IRMA III Conventional (2009-2013)’

Running from 2009–2013, this phase is funded by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, and will focus on developing and deploying conventional maize that is resistant to field and storage insect pests, for East and Southern Africa (ESA).

Objective 1: Develop insect resistant maize varieties for the major Kenyan production systems and insect pests;
Objective 2: Establish procedures to provide insect resistant maize to resource- poor farmers in Kenya;
Objective 3: Assess the impact of insect resistant maize varieties in Kenyan agricultural systems;
Objective 4: Transfer technologies to and Kenya to develop, evaluate, disseminate, and monitor insect resistant maize varieties; and
Objective 5: Plan, monitor, and document project processes and achievements for dissemination to other developing countries.

The project will concentrate on ESA countries where insect pests have the greatest impact on maize production, food and income security, and livelihoods. It will give a relative greater emphasis of post-harvest pests (70%) over stem borers (30%) and will focus on the major maize producing countries with significant areas in affected zones. Of particular interest are Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These countries have a total population of more than 190 million people, which is projected to rise to 230 million by 2015.

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