First WEMA Project Bt maize trials harvested in Kenya

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Following the decision in 2011 to include insect-pest resistance in the drought-tolerant maize varieties being developed by the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project, the first maize trials with the Bt trait were harvested in Kenya in May 2013.

Speaking during the harvest, Dr Stephen Mugo, a maize breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, one of the partners in the WEMA Project said that the successful trial and harvest was a milestone in the country’s struggle to attain self-sufficiency in maize production.

Describing the Bt maize confined field trials that had been going on since January 2013, Dr Sylvester Oikeh, the WEMA Project Manager at AATF said that the Project expects the drought-tolerant varieties being developed to also benefit from insect-protection which will give farmers a seed that not only needs less water, but also resists pests especially the stem-borer. Similar trials were planted in Uganda in May 2013.

For more information on the WEMA Project contact Sylvester Oikeh (s.oikeh@

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