Decades of cultivar development: A reconciliation of maize and bean breeding projects and their impacts on food, nutrition security, and income of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa
The past decades have seen the implementation of several multi-national maize and common bean cultivar development projects in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, the impacts of these projects on income generation and food and nutrition security have not been adequately interrogated and documented. This chapter provides a synthesis of some of the past and current multinational maize and common bean breeding projects in terms of international distribution, cultivars released, cultivar adoption rates, and impacts on food, nutrition, and income security in SSA. The information used in this chapter is from reliable published journal articles, institutional reports, and authors’ knowledge of cultivar development and agricultural systems in SSA. Good progress has been made in the past decades in terms of the number of cultivars released with huge yield advantages over unimproved landraces, good tolerance to biotic and abiotic factors. Millions of farmers were moved out of poverty and cushioned from hunger after adopting the improved cultivars. Biofortified maize and bean cultivars with enhanced content of ion, zinc, protein, and provitamin A are proving to be effective solution for malnutrition, which is widespread in SSA. However, more promotional efforts are still needed to increase the adoption of improved cultivars by farmers.
Kondwakwenda, Aleck; Mutari, Bruce; Simango, Kennedy; Nchanji, Eileen Bogweh; Chirwa, Rowland; Rubyogo, Jean Claude; Sibiya, Julia