WEMA wraps up phase 1 and ushers in phase II

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The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project marked the end of the first phase of the Project (2008-2013) and ushered in the second phase (2013-2017) during its fifth annual review and planning meeting in February 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting that brought together representatives from the eight partner institutions discussed achievements and challenges faced during the first phase of the project and also planned for phase two which will focus on the deployment of the drought-tolerant and insect protected maize varieties to smallholder farmers.

Among the key achievements for the project during phase one included successful conduct of confined field trials for transgenic varieties in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa; and submission of conventional drought tolerant maize hybrids into the national performance trials in Kenya.

During the meeting, participants also laid out plans for the deployment of the first WEMA conventional drought-tolerant maize varieties that are set to be released to farmers in 2013/2014.
The partners also had an opportunity to visit the WEMA confined field trials for Bt insect-protection and the drought tolerant trials that are in their first and fourth seasons respectively at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Kiboko field station. While here they observed that most of the WEMA varieties had outperformed some of the best local hybrid checks on the market.

For more information on the WEMA project contact Dr Sylvester Oikeh s.oikeh@aatf-africa.org

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