Fast-tracked adoption of second-generation resistant maize varieties key to managing maize lethal necrosis in Africa
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, United States of America
Scientists are calling for accelerated adoption of new hybrid maize varieties with resistance to maize lethal necrosis (MLN) disease in sub-Saharan Africa. In combination with recommended integrated pest management practices, adopting these new varieties is an important step towards safeguarding smallholder farmers against this devastating viral disease.
A new publication in Virus Research shows that these second-generation MLN-resistant hybrids developed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) offer better yields and increased resilience against MLN and other stresses. The report warns that the disease remains a key threat to food security in eastern Africa and that, should containment efforts slacken, it could yet spread to new regions in sub-Saharan Africa.