About the Project

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The WEMA partnership was formed in response to a growing  call by African farmers, leaders, and scientists to address the effects of drought and insect-pest pressure in a cost effective way for smallholder farmers in Africa.

Developing drought tolerant and insect pest protected maize

  • WEMA uses three breeding approaches: conventional; marker assisted; and genetic  modification.
  • The project focuses on developing, field testing and deploying new maize hybrids in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • The new maize hybrids will be assessed by national authorities according to their regulatory requirements.
  • All WEMA maize hybrids will be made available to smallholder farmers through  local seed companies across Sub-Saharan Africa.  
  • Seed companies will not pay royalties for WEMA hybrids in order to make them more affordable for farmers.
  • The first WEMA conventional maize hybrid WE1101 was made available to farmers in Kenya in 2013. New hybrids will be available in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa in 2015. WEMA conventional hybrids are being traded under the brand name DroughtTEGO™.
  • Transgenic drought‐tolerant and insect-pest protected hybrids will be available thereafter depending on research results and regulatory approvals in each of the WEMA countries.
  • WEMA uses breeding materials contributed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’s Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project, Monsanto Company and national agricultural research systems.
  • Seed companies, government agencies, farmer groups and other relevant organisations will ensure access by farmers to WEMA hybrids.

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