Breaking ground: Mike Olsen uses new technology to improve farmer’s yields

Global challenges to agriculture such as climate change, crop diseases and pests mean that the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is constantly working to develop new, improved, resistant varieties for farmers.

However, crop breeding is expensive, time-consuming work, meaning that it takes several years for farmers to get seed solutions to the challenges they are facing today.

Mike Olsen, upstream research coordinator for CIMMYT maize program, works with scientists to use new technologies to increase breeding program efficiency and genetic gain — developing improved maize varieties with the traits smallholder farmers’ need, such as disease resistance or drought tolerance, using less time and resources than ever before.