Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 A message from the director...
 From the ground up : coping with...
 Secrets in the seed
 Technology and the test of...
 Research update/outlook
 Financial highlights 1997/98
 Trustees and principal staff
 In memoriam : Gene Saari
 CIMMYT contact information

Group Title: CIMMYT annual report ...
Title: Annual report
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077461/00001
 Material Information
Title: Annual report
Uniform Title: Annual report (1998)
Alternate Title: CIMMYT annual report
CIMMYT in review
Physical Description: v. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Creator: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Publisher: CIMMYT
Place of Publication: México D.F. México
Publication Date: 1998-
Frequency: annual
Subject: Corn -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Wheat -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Mais -- Périodiques   ( rvm )
Ble -- Périodiques   ( rvm )
Statement of Responsibility: CIMMYT.
Dates or Sequential Designation: 1997/1998-
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Some issues also have distinctive titles.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: 2005/2006.
General Note: Vol. for 2005/2006 has accompanying CD-ROM with title: CIMMYT in review.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077461
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 45160861
lccn - 2004240030
 Related Items
Preceded by: CIMMYT in ...


This item has the following downloads:

97-98 ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    A message from the director general
        Page 1
        Page 2
    From the ground up : coping with changing environments
        Page 3
        Sub-Saharan Africa : overtaxed soils imperil food security
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
        Africa countrt almanacs
            Page 8
            Page 9
        Feeding the world or fouling the planet?
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
        Genetic counterspells against witchweed
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
        The Saraguro Barley Project in Ecuador
            Page 19
            Page 20
        Crop management research training : empowering agronomists in Sub-Saharan Africa
            Page 21
            Page 22
    Secrets in the seed
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Biotech training makes a world of difference to National Programs
            Page 27
            Page 28
        In-house workshop helps CIMMYT extend biotech to the World
            Page 29
        IAmbionet : a different approach to technology transfer
            Page 30
            Page 31
        Geneticists' hunch results in higher wheat yields
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
    Technology and the test of time
        Page 35
        Economists confirm the impact of CIMMYT's rust resistance research
            Page 36
            Page 37
        Maize and Ghana : finding impact beyond the figures
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
        Markets and currencies grab headlines in Asian economi crisis; could food and grains be next?
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
    Research update/outlook
        Page 47
        CIMMYT on course with biotech response to aluminum toxicity in soils
            Page 48
        Fingerprinting historic wheats
            Page 49
        In Situ conservation of Mexican maize landraces : capitalizaing on farmer-breeders' knowledge
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
    Financial highlights 1997/98
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Trustees and principal staff
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    In memoriam : Gene Saari
        Page 59
    CIMMYT contact information
        Page 60
        Page 61
Full Text



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ns m the Director General

3 From the Ground Up: Coping with
Changing Environments
4 Sub-Saharan Africa: Over-taxed Soils
Imperil Food Security
8 Africa Country Almanacs: GIS for
National Programs Now!
10 F.. -i. _. ri,. World or Fouling the Planet?
12 New 11 .- r. -, Help Rice-Wheat
Farmers in South Asia Meet Food Needs
16 Genetic Counterspells against Witchweed
19 The Saraguro Barley Project in Ecuador
21 Crop Management Research Training:
Empowering Agronomists in
Sub-Saharan Africa

23 Secrets in the Seed
24 Opening Gene Bank Doors a Little Wider
27 Biotech Training Makes a World of
Difference to National Programs
30 AMBIONET: A Different Approach to
Technology Transfer
32 Geneticists' Hunch Results in Higher
Wheat Yields

35 Technology and the Test of Time
36 Economists Confirm the Impact of
CIMMYT's Rust Resistance Research
38 Maize in Ghana: Finding Impacts beyond
the Figures
43 Markets and Currencies Grab Headlines
in Asian Economic Crisis; Could Food
and Grains Be Next?

47 Research Update/Outlook
48 CIMMYT on Course with Biotech
Response to Aluminum Toxicity in Soils
49 Fingerprinting Historic Wheats
50 In Situ Conservation of Mexican Maize
Landraces: C .1~ r i1. -i on Farmer-
Breeders' Knowledge
51 Study to Clarify the Role of Genetic
Diversity in Production Systems
52 Enhancing Research Management in
Latin America

Financial Highlights
Trustees and Principal Staff
Contact Information

A 1M0e1ii1 tgector General

As stated in last year's Annual Report, we are in a
process of transformation at CIMMYT in order to reposition
the Center to meet the changing needs of our many
partners and the new global challenges which together we
must overcome. We believe that significant progress has
been made in the past three years, ensuring the
strengthening of CIMMYT as a modern, first-class
international research institute. Perhaps the single most
important evaluation of progress in 1997 was the
External Program and Management Review,
which concluded that:

The Centre conducts high-quality science and
has an impressive record of achievements as
well as impact on the daily livelihood of .,
hundreds of millions of rural and urban poor.
CIMMYT is well managed, has strong
leadership, and is a flagship centre of the
CGIAR System. The Panel firmly believes that
CIMMYT merits continued strong support from
the donor community. CIMMYT is providing much-
needed services and products for which it has a
definite comparative advantage and for which there
are no alternative suppliers. There is no perceived diminution
in the uptake of CIMMYT's enhanced germplasm by NARSs
throughout the world. There are also substantial spillovers to
other organizations in countries that are financial partners of
the CGIAR .... The Centre is not resting on its laurels, but is
taking steps to position itself strategically to meet the
challenges of a changing internal and external environment.

In this year's Annual Report, we take the opportunity to
review several facets of our changing environment,
especially in the regions where we work, and to review our
role as an agent of change. With our partners, we share the
belief that research towards sustainable agriculture in
developing countries is one of the few ways to bring about
positive change in an increasingly volatile era. We know
from experience that research has impacts that extend
beyond farmers' fields to many areas of global concern.
These concerns include the civil and economic stability of
nations; the availability of food and better nutrition for poor
people, wherever they live; and the preservation of gl ne ic
and other natural resources that are the foundation ot a
stable, more productive agriculture. Unfortunately
global support for agriculture continues to decline,
and I believe that we have grossly underestimated ti,-
challenge of meeting the 2020 targets for food
production. There is a belief in many quarters that fo. 'd
comes from supermarkets, but in reality it comes from
farms-farms that are subject to constantly

changing pests and diseases; to heat and to drought; to cold
and to waterlogging. If these farms and farmers are indeed to
meet the challenge of doubling food production in the next 20
years, they require a constant supply of new technologies and
skills-the products of research and development. We and our
partners still believe that our research can make a difference in
the lives of poor farmers and consumers.

How does CIMMYT bring about change for the
better? We have significantly re-positioned the
Center to meet the demands of our partners,
both South and North. A more inclusive and
participatory process in the workplace-
encompassing issues of gender and
diversity-has been reflected by changes in
research management. We have established
multidisciplinary project teams whereby plant
breeders, biotechnologists, physiologists,
agronomists, economists and other social
scientists, and natural resource specialists work
together to achieve the outcomes described in our
Medium-Term Plan (1999-2001+). As I have indicated in
a recent publication, Sustainable Intensification of Agriiulturc,
we have also adopted a new research paradigm-germplasm x
environment x management x people-that fosters a broader
range of external partnerships with national research systems,
non-governmental organizations, advanced research institutes,
other international research centers, and, where appropriate,
the private sector.

Highlights of This Report
Paradigms are powerless to foster change unless they are
grounded in reality. As virtually every story in this report
demonstrates, the impacts of our research originate in an
unequivocal understanding of real dilemmas facing real
farmers in developing countries.

From the ground up. By remaining in touch with
events in the field (a precept taken to heart by every
CIMMYT scientist from Borlaug and Wellhausen to their
successors), we seek to conduct the right kinds of research,
with the full range of partners who wish to be involved. Our
report begins with a close look at recent research to alleviate
failing soil fertility in sub-Saharan Africa; new methods for
curbing the harmful effects of excessive nitrogen use in Latin
America; and tillage systems to foster food security in South
Asia. What these and the other stories in this section show is
that all of us-researchers, farmers, and other partners-are
deeply engaged in learning how our combined skills can
improve conditions at the farm level.

Secrets in the seed. The second section of our report
highlights efforts to ensure that new knowledge and
information are transformed into technologies that farmers
can use. For example, we have started to investigate the
economic efficiency of alternative strategies for locating
useful material in gene banks. An even more exciting
development concerns new approaches to biotechnology
networking and capacity building, which may significantly
alter the pace of change in biotechnology research in
developing countries.

The test of time. The farmer's field, where the diverse
challenges to sustainable agriculture are manifested, is the
crucible where technologies are tested over time. The third
section of our report begins with a story of how a technically
sound but previously untried strategy to breed for disease
resistance has paid enormous dividends since it was adopted
nearly 30 years ago. We also examine the impact of a long-
term maize research project in Ghana. To some extent, a
technology's ability to meet the test of time depends on how
well researchers have identified farmers' needs. The last story
in this section gives some idea of the role that projections can
play in setting the future course of research in a very
unsettled world; it describes how the current crisis in Asia
may affect the supply and demand for wheat and maize.

A view of future impacts. Our final stories show
what the world can expect from us in the future-including
farmer participatory research methods, new methods for
assessing the effects of genetic diversity on crop productivity,
and an ambitious study of research efficiency in Latin

Research for a Changing World
This Annual Report describes the many ways that
innovation is alive and well at CIMMYT. In 1997-98, we
continued to dedicate considerable effort to understanding
and remaining flexible in a research environment where
developments in technology, intellectual property rights,
private- and public-sector interactions, and new funding
arrangements profoundly influence the way we work.

One notable change during the year was that Shivaji
Pandey, a respected researcher and leader of a highly
successful regional maize research effort for CIMMYT, was
named Director of the Maize Program. Among the major
strategic directions Pandey outlines for the Program is a
steady focus on solving the problems of resource-poor
farmers. The Maize Program must strike a proper balance
between technologies for subsistence farmers and products
for commercial farmers. This will mean even greater efforts to
develop and disseminate stress-tolerant, input-efficient, low-
cost maize varieties and cropping systems that reduce the risk
for small-scale farmers, providing reliable yields across years
and under forbidding conditions.

New offices were opened in China and Kazakstan, where
we are optimistic that stronger involvement in the field will
strengthen collaborative research accomplishments. A special
series of events celebrated the longstanding collaboration
between India and CIMMYT and laid the groundwork for the
future. One of our researchers, Marianne Binziger, received
the CGIAR's Promising Young Scientist Award in recognition
of her work on stress-tolerant maize. Finally, we have
encouraged greater research communication by sponsoring
and participating in numerous conferences, including an
international symposium on the genetics and exploitation of
heterosis in crops, and regional wheat and maize workshops.

This short introduction to our report can convey only an
impression of the tremendous energy and dedication that our
researchers and partners bring to the challenges of agriculture
in a changing world. The stories that follow give a more
detailed picture of the opportunities and exigencies of our
work. Change is inevitable, and we at CIMMYT have the
responsibility to ensure that our legacy to the world is a series
of innovations that enable change to occur in a positive way.

Prector n.i
Director Gener



Land is our traditional measure of wealth, ultimate resource,

and the foundation of the slender biosphere we inhabit.

The ancient Greek term for farmer, georgos, literally means

"one who works the earth." Mother Earth has richly

rewarded the efforts of those who till her, but now the

harmony of humankind's ancestral pact with the land is

breaking down. The consequences may be most severe for

the people of Africa.



In few places is the issue of soil
productivity more important than in
the sub-Saharan African nations of
Zimbabwe and Malawi. In both
countries maize is the chief staple.
Hybrid seed is widely grown, but
generally on infertile land with little
fertilizer or other inputs. Rising
populations have brought on
intensified cropping; land-restoring
fallows-once a common practice-are
only a memory. Farmers increasingly
lack cash, have few opportunities for
off-farm employment, and live with the
constant menace of hunger because
their nutrient-poor fields cannot yield

"Nine-tenths of smallholder farmers
in Zimbabwe grow their crops on
sandy, granite-derived soils that are
very old and depleted of nutrients,"
says Stephen Waddington, maize
agronomist at CIMMYT's office in
Harare, Zimbabwe. "Fertility is so low
at some sites that growing a crop is
almost like hydroponics. Few farmers
can afford chemical fertilizer."

In densely populated Malawi, once-
fertile soils have been mined by
decades of intense, subsistence
cropping and residue removal. Recent
currency devaluations and the
elimination of subsidies have pushed
fertilizer beyond farmers' reach. As a
consequence, productivity and
household food security have sunk to
dangerous levels.

: .

The Network
that Helps
In 1994 Waddington brought
together a network of soil fertility
scientists from Malawi and Zimbabwe
to help address these concerns for
maize-based farming systems. With
funding and guidance from the
Rockefeller Foundation, the soil
fertility network (SoilFertNet) has
provided a crucial venue for setting
priorities, allocating resources, sharing
information, and, through Waddington
and CIMMYT, obtaining first-rate
technical input and training. "Southern
Africa had a long history of research on
soil fertility, but little research had been
clearly directed to the needs of small-
scale farmers," Waddington says. "We
wanted researchers to become aware of
what colleagues elsewhere were doing
and of which technologies could make
a difference, enabling everyone to focus
scant resources on key areas. Most
importantly, we wanted to improve
communication among researchers,
extension workers, and farmers."

In four short years, SoilFertNet has
effectively cross-linked contributions
from an impressive range of sectors-
advanced research institutions,
international research centers, other
public research and extension agencies,
donors, national policymakers, non-
governmental organizations, and (last
but not least) farmers. In network-
supported projects, soil and crop
scientists collaborate with economists,
anthropologists, and geographic
information systems specialists, to
name a few disciplines. Joint planning
and priority setting have kept activities
closely attuned to the problems and
opportunities of smallholders in
Malawi and Zimbabwe. The
production and distribution of a range
of publications have improved the
capacity of participants and increased
general awareness of soil fertility

issues. Finally, the network has helped
members improve the quality and
appropriateness of their research
proposals. This, together with the
strength and importance of research
conducted through SoilFertNet, has
empowered its members to seek
additional financial support, one key .
to ensuring that this badly needed
work continues.

A notable achievement of the
network is its "best-bet" technologies-
especially more efficient organic and
inorganic fertilizer practices and the
use of various grain legumes or green
manures in association with maize.
These technologies are designed to
boost harvests quickly and
profitably on the poor soils typical
of small-scale maize production.

Naturally Nodulating
Soybean to
Supplement Maize
An example of a "best bet"
technology is the soybean variety
Magoye, studied and promoted by
University of Zimbabwe researcher
Sheunesu Mpepereki. Unlike typical
commercial varieties, Magoye requires
no bacterial inoculation to fix nitrogen
in the soil and yield well, making this
naturally nodulating variety a natural
for smallholder farms. "Growing
soybean is one of the most viable ways
to improve the sustainability of maize-
based smallholder systems in wetter
parts of Zimbabwe," Mpepereki says.
"In soybean, you have a food crop, a
cash crop, and a soil-improving crop-
very few plants give you that

"Soybean is a crop many farmers
want to adopt," says Jesmael Mushai,
who farms less than three hectares of
mixed maize, soybean, groundnuts,
pepper, sweet potatoes, and bambara
nut in the Mhondoro Communal
Lands, Chegutu District, southwest of

Researcher Sheunesu Mpepereki
hopes the rotation of naturally
nodulating soybean with maize will
boost productivity on unforgiving
farmlands in Zimbabwe. His
interest in helping farmers stems
partly from his upbringing in the
Midlands Province, one of the
nations's poorest agricultural
areas. don't know how my
parents made it. If you look at
everything that could possibly be
wrong for agriculture-sandy,
shallow soils, bad rainfall
distribution-you encounter it


Harare. Why? "Because it requires
fewer inputs than other crops, it is
nutritious, and when you market it,
the price is better than for maize,"
Mushai says. A coalition of farmer
unions recently endorsed naturally
nodulating soybean in a position
paper for the government of
Zimbabwe. Given the advantages of
soybean-maize systems and farmers'
interest, SoilFertNet members recently
agreed that this technology warranted
"fast-track" promotion in Zimbabwe.

Malawi: Food Security
in Crisis
Network-derived benefits are not
limited to the field, but also reach
farmers via informed policy decisions
that support economic growth while
staving off food shortages, as
occurred recently in Malawi.

In February, 1998, observers spoke
of a rising sense of panic throughout
this landlocked, southern African
country-grain stores from the
previous season were exhausted, the
harvest was not ready, and nobody
could get maize. Maize prices at local
markets had skyrocketed. People
were buying the bran (normally used
to feed animals) off the floor at maize
mills, and there were reports of
widespread theft of green ears in
ripening fields and even experimental
plots. When the harvest began in mid-
March, tensions eased and maize
prices quickly dropped to near-
normal levels, but the early draw-
down on grain is likely to hasten the
onset of the hungry season in late
1998 and early 1999. Indeed, many
experts fear that this year's shortfall
was not an exception, but a foretaste
of chronic shortages to come.

"I don't think people appreciate
how difficult a situation Malawi is in
right now," says Malcolm Blackie,
senior scientist in the Rockefeller

Foundation's Agricultural Sciences
Program. "Most Malawians suffer an
average two-to-three month deficit in
maize production and must pay as
much as four times the official purchase
price for maize. To understand what
this means, recall that 80% of rural
Malawians have an average annual cash
income of less than 15 US dollars."
Poor harvests are a basic cause of
Malawi's pervasive malnutrition and of
a child mortality rate that ranks among
the world's highest.

Seeking help on the best way
forward for this chiefly agricultural
nation, the government sought advice
from many quarters, including the
Rockefeller Foundation, which in turn
called upon SoilFertNet. "Scientific
results must get into policy," Blackie
explains, "so we used network studies
to put together a report on what was
feasible and what was not." The major
conclusions? Population growth in
Malawi would continue to exceed food
production increases into the
foreseeable future. "But ways of
achieving long-term food security other
than subsidies must be sought," Blackie
says. The report's suggestions thus
include providing all smallholders with
small packs of improved maize seed
and fertilizer as a near-term measure to
avoid serious food shortages. A
coalition of donors has agreed to
support this move for the 1998-99
cropping season.

Multicropping: The
Organic Option
Together with its short-term
recommendations for averting disaster,
the report also urged intensified efforts
to foster use of organic fertilizers-
particularly grain legumes-which can
improve household nutrition, furnish
cash, and reduce the need for chemical
fertilizers, while constituting
something that farmers really want to
grow. Research along these lines has

been one of the main endeavors of
Alex B.C. Mkandawire and George
Kanyama-Phiri, agronomists at
Bunda College of Agriculture,
Malawi, who work with farmers and
extensionists near Zomba in the
south. Population density there can
be as high as 500 persons per square
kilometer, according to Mkandawire's
estimates, and most farmers have but
an acre of land (0.4 hectare) or less to
support their entire family.
Mkandawire's on-farm experiments
test varied crops and approaches,
including undersowing green
manures such as Tephrosia and
Crotalaria into the maize, or rotating
maize with a soybean-pigeonpea
intercrop. "We want to see how far we
can go in reducing inorganic fertilizer
by using organic technologies,"
Mkandawire says. Another promising
organic option is to sow pigeonpea
directly into the maize crop. The
pigeonpea grows slowly early on, and
it can be harvested later than the
maize, Mkandawire explains. "In
addition, there's a considerable local
market for pigeonpea; it's used by a
community of Asian immigrants to
make dal."

aE: '.

Is Disaster Inevitable?
Though pleased with progress to
date, Waddington admits to the need
for more concerted action on soil
fertility management. "Developing and
disseminating relevant soil
management practices for smallholders
ultimately depends on many people in
many countries interacting in new,
more productive ways," he says.
Smallholder maize farmers in southern
Africa, for example, are quite diverse in
their circumstances, practices, and
problems, implying the need for a
systematic classification into strata of
coherent, useful size and, perhaps, a
greater focus on farmers with the
fewest resources. "We also need to
involve farmers even more in problem-
solving, ensuring that potential
solutions are not just affordable but

A greater concern in the region,
perhaps, is the long-term sustainability
of smallholder maize systems
themselves. Most experts concur that
nutrient removal through agriculture
continuously exceeds nutrient inputs,
and a net loss of organic matter is
degrading the soil structure and
quality. "Fertilizer is currently priced
beyond the means of most farmers,"
Waddington says, "and strategies that
depend on organic nutrient sources
alone simply cannot provide the yields
required for the region's growing

Still, if there is one impression that
researchers regionwide share, it is that
smallholder farmers are extraordinarily
good at what they do. "With the scant
land and money they possess, it's
simply amazing that they somehow
manage to make ends meet,"
Mpepereki says. Given a few more
resources and profitable production
options, farmers and their age-old

partner, Mother Earth, may pull off a
miracle to surprise even the experts.
One option that will help farmers get
the most from the little fertilizer
available, according to Waddington,
will be new, low nitrogen- and
drought-tolerant maize varieties being
developed by a network of breeders in
southern Africa, under a project
funded by the Swiss Agency for
Development and Cooperation and
executed through the CIMMYT-
Zimbabwe office.

More Information: s.waddington@cgiar.org


Africa Country

Alma u nin tional Programs Now!

L -.T I~--~k)~iiii

Now, with funding from the US Agency for
International Development, the Integrated Information
Management Laboratory (IIML) of Texas A&M
University, together with CIMMYT's Natural Resources
Group (NRG), has developed stand-alone, CD-ROM
software that incorporates powerful and flexible GIS
tools for agricultural and natural resource workers in

"The Africa Country Almanac, as this product is called,
puts the enormous power of GIS in the hands of
researchers who serve the world's neediest farmers," says
Jeff White, head of CIMMYT's GIS Laboratory and NRG

Accessible Tools and Information
Developed for users ranging from scientists to
policymakers, the Almanac offers a suite of accessible
tools and country-level data, as well as textual

information, enabling researchers to explore questions
such as:
* How representative of the country as a whole is a specific
study site?
* What is known about the performance of new management
practices or varieties in defined production environments?
* To which regions or sites will a newly developed
management practice or crop variety be best suited?
* Which regions or sites fit a specified altitude and
precipitation range and land-use category?

Users can manipulate and combine datasets and
search results to create customized maps and tables.
These are easily exported to word processing,
spreadsheet, graphics, or other packages. Text
information in the Almanac includes Internet sites, major
articles and journals relating to the country, general
background information, popular field manuals and

Agricultural scientists who seektheir bearings on the high seas of data

have lately found help in the form of geographic information

systems (GIS). By linking environmental data to specific

locations, a GIS allows users to examine, say, how

performance of varieties or agronomic practices varies across

sites, and to perform a range of other functions, at the click of

a mouse button. The fingertip functionality of GIS has remained

beyond the reach of many CIMMYT research partners in the

poorest areas of the developing world for a simple reason-it has

required specialized applications that run only on high-powered computer

work stations. That is, until recently.

iE: '.

other selected CIMMYT publications, and a collection
of ready-made maps.

Almanacs Already Available
Almanacs are currently available for researchers
in Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda and are
in development for Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi,
Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. They
will be distributed free of charge in sub-Saharan

"This product demonstrates what we feel is the
proper role for GIS at CIMMYT," White says. "Our
presence here is comparatively small, but we are
building strategic alliances with other groups, like
the IIML, who have access to resources and evolving
technology. In this way, we can offer the best of that
technology to partners in developing countries."

Piloting of a test version with researchers and
national program partners at CIMMYT headquarters
in early 1998 led to several improvements, including
development of on-line tutorials that walk new users
through Almanac functions using real-life scenarios.

Plans for Further Development
and Training
Besides increasing the number of countries
covered, Almanac developers are working to
upgrade its search and analysis capabilities and to
include key crop and farming systems databases,
such as the International Crop Information System
(ICIS) and the Sustainable Farming Systems Database

The CIMMYT-Texas A&M team demonstrated
the Almanac at the Regional Maize Conference in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in September, 1998-the
beginning of CIMMYT's promotional and training
efforts for the product in the region. "This is an entry-
level package that nonetheless offers genuine GIS
capabilities and will raise researchers' awareness and
expectations concerning this technology," White says.
"What is nice is that our national program partners
can have something to use right now, rather than
waiting to set up a sophisticated GIS unit ten years
down the line."

More Information: j.white@cgiar.org

* Angola Library

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Feeding the


The Question
Higher yielding wheats are absolutely essential to generate the huge
quantities of grain (an estimated 1 billion tons annually by 2020) needed
to feed a world population that is growing by nearly 100 million people
every year. At the same time, the amount of farm land per capital is
decreasing the world over due to soil erosion, encroaching human
settlement, and industrialization.

"If we want to harvest more grain from the same or maybe even less
land than we have today, we need nitrogen," says wheat agronomist Ivan
Ortiz-Monasterio, who leads CIMMYT efforts aimed at improving
wheat's nitrogen use efficiency. The ultimate goal is to limit the
environmental consequences of using nitrogen fertilizer.

Nitrogen fertilizer applications are expected to increase greatly over
the coming decades, with two-thirds of the increment taking place in the
developing world. Increased use of nitrogen fertilizer will come at a cost.
It will engender higher losses of contaminating nitrate from soils to
freshwater and marine systems and of nitrogen-containing gases into the
atmosphere. Fertilized agriculture is the biggest source of human-
generated greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide, and it also produces
high emissions of nitric oxide, a precursor to acid rain. These processes,
left unchecked, could cause serious ecological damage, both at the
regional and global levels.

Researchers have been handed a terrible dilemma. How can the world
continue to produce sufficient food without harming the atmosphere and
regional water supplies?

The Answer
Solving this dilemma requires a type of research that many do not
associate with CIMMYT's "traditional" work. But, in fact, CIMMYT
research has contributed significantly to reducing nitrogen losses into the
environment. Current CIMMYT-derived wheats produce more grain per
unit of applied fertilizer than the older varieties they have replaced (see
figure). To go with these wheats, CIMMYT has evolved agronomic
practices that promote better nitrogen uptake by the wheat plant and
more targeted, less wasteful use of nitrogen fertilizer by farmers. More
recently, CIMMYT, in collaboration with institutions of higher learning
such as Stanford University, started investigating what happens to
nitrogen once it is applied-how much is wasted, how much is emitted
into the atmosphere or escapes into the soil, and how much is actually
assimilated by the crop. This research is providing a better understanding
of how nitrogen fertilizer could be utilized more judiciously. Researchers
are also looking at the economic costs of nitrogen losses and of strategies
for reducing them.

"Sustainable agriculture requires striking a balance between reaching
productivity goals and reducing the impact of farming on soil, water, and air,"
says Pamela Matson of Stanford University's Institute for International Studies.
"But technologies that lessen the impact of nitrogen on the ecosystem have to
maintain yields and make economic sense to farmers. Otherwise they won't be

New Study Breaks New Ground
Previous research had not focused on developing agronomically feasible
management practices that could reduce nitrogen trace gas emissions and remain
economically attractive to farmers. To bridge this gap, Ortiz-Monasterio, in
conjunction with researchers Matson and Rosamond Naylor, also of Stanford
University's Institute for International Studies, undertook a study aimed
specifically at evaluating the environmental, agronomic, and economic aspects of
how fertilizer is managed in the Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico. The Yaqui Valley is
representative of the highly productive irrigated systems that
produce 40% of the wheat in the developing world. The
S area provides a gauge of what is likely to occur in
similar parts of the developing world that are critical
for wheat production.

Started in 1994, the study evaluated changes in
soil nutrients and gas emissions before and after
Fertilizer applications and compared alternative ways
of applying nitrogen, including the farmers' common
pi actice. The results appeared in the journal, Science.*

The experiment compared Yaqui Valley farmers' common practice with
several alternatives that included reducing the amount of nitrogen applied and
changing the timing of its application. The researchers found that with the
farmers' practice (250 kg/ha of nitrogen, two-thirds applied a month before
planting and before irrigating), relatively high levels of nitrogen are lost into the
atmosphere when nitrogen comes into contact with irrigation water, even before
the crop is in the ground. The best practice reduced the amount of nitrogen to 180
kg/ha (one-third applied at planting and two-thirds six weeks after planting) and
produced similar yields and grain quality as the farmers' practice.

N (kg for 5 t)

1970s 960s

0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
Wheat (ha for 5 t)

Kilograms of nitrogen required to
grow 5 tons of wheat. From right:
Tall, two tall cultivars of 1950 and
1960; 1960s, three semidwarfs of
1962-66; 1970s, three semidwarfs
of 1971-79; and 1980s, two
semidwarfs of 1981 and 1985.
Source: Calculated by Waggoner
(1994) from data in Ortiz-Monasterio
et al. (1996).

The best alternative practice also saved US$ 55-76/ha (equivalent to saving
12-17% in after-tax profits) by reducing fertilizer applications and nitrogen loss.
Since fertilization is the highest production cost in the Yaqui Valley, these potential
savings may induce farmers to alter their nitrogen management strategies. Indeed,
on-going surveys indicate that some farmers are now postponing their first
fertilizer application until planting.

This study shows that it is possible to reduce nitrogen gas emissions and
fertilizer losses through appropriate agronomic practices and, at the same time, to
maintain yields. With a greater knowledge about the efficient use of nitrogen,
farmers could apply these practices instead of higher nitrogen doses. The ultimate
effect would be to reduce the environmental costs of agriculture, both in the Yaqui More Information: i.monasterio@cgiar.org
ValleyMore Information: i.monasterio@cgiar.organd the rest of the planet.
Valley and the rest of the planet.

* Matson, PA., R. Naylor, and I. Ortiz-Monasterio. 1998. Integration of environmental, agronomic, and
economic aspects of fertilizer management. Science 280:112-114.

k g](~

Meet Food Needs

Through the Rice-Wheat

Consortium, CIMMYT, together

with farmers and researchers

from Nepal and Bangladesh, is

examining two tillage method

that promise to make

agriculture in South Asia a

more sustainable enterprise,

even for very poor farmers. The

first is an inexpensive hand

tractor and implements; the .

second is surface seeding -

of wheat.

Farmer Participatory
Testing of the Chinese
Hand Tractor
"The hand tractor is a small-scale
technology that's raised agricultural
production throughout Southeast and
East Asia," says Scott Justice, a
graduate student in anthropology
from the University of Kentucky who
is working with CIMMYT in Nepal.
Through the Rice-Wheat Consortium,
CIMMYT has imported Chinese hand
tractors and attachments into South
Asia, trained farmers in their use and

L 12

maintenance, and (more recently)
helped farmers and local researchers
test the technology at selected rice-
wheat sites in Nepal and Bangladesh.
More than 200 farm households test-
drove the tractors and accessories
under this program during 1996-98.
Farmer participation has been a crucial
element of the work from the outset, as
well as interdisciplinary cooperation
among researchers, extensionists, and
non-governmental organizations. "We
were there to help farmers plan and
implement the research, but trials in

both countries, along with the tractors
themselves, were farmer-driven and
managed," says Craig Meisner,
CIMMYT Natural Resources Group
agronomist in Bangladesh.

The Results
Results at one Nepali test site this
past year were dramatic, according to
Justice. "Because it rained in early
December, fields were too wet to
prepare the land for timely sowing of
wheat after rice harvest-even
experiment station staff had trouble. In
contrast, fields established using the
Chinese hand tractor or surface
seeding were sown as much as six
weeks earlier, had very good stands
and plant development, and wheat
appeared much less susceptible to heat
stress later in the season." According
to Larry Harrington, Director of
CIMMYT's Natural Resources Group,
which leads the Center's participation
in the Consortium, the new practices
raised productivity dramatically.
"Farmers have been astonished at the
excellent performance of the options,
especially during the current crop
season," he says. "At some test sites
the new practices made the difference
between a yield of three tons per
hectare versus no crop at all."
Harrington also cited the enthusiasm
of farmers in several villages about
being able to fit in a third crop (maize,
beans, vegetables) after the early
planted wheat as a result of the new

A Range of Options
and Opportunities
The key advantage to using the
tractor is its implements, which
include a special seed drill, a reaper, a
pump, and a trailer, among others. For
instance, what the seed drill can
crrnniTn cinfrbo ,,cc_
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Research Partnerships for Rice-Wheat
Systems: South Asia's rice-wheat cropping systems cover 12
million hectares and are the foundation of food security, employment,
and income generation for well over 350 million rural inhabitants. Faced
with increasing evidence of slowed or stagnating growth in system
productivity, despite use of improved
varieties and recommended inputs,
researchers and farmers are seeking new
ways for sustainably raising rice-wheat
Rice-Wheat Solutions: The
Rice-Wheat Consortium for the Indo-
Gangetic Plains is an ecoregional program of j ik
the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research (CGIAR), aimed at
enhancing the productivity and sustainability
of rice-wheat cropping systems in South .Lj
Asia. Partners include the national
agricultural research systems of
Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan;
international agricultural research centers _
(CIMMYT, the International Crops Research
Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, the International Rice Research Institute, and
the International Water Management Institute); and Cornell University. As of
November 1998, CIMMYT will become the convening CGIAR center for this
ecoregional program. Research in Nepal was initially funded by the US Agency
for International Development, with additional support from the Australian
Centre for International Agricultural Research. The UK, through the
Department for International Development, supports work in Bangladesh,
India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Various donors have helped fund regional
meetings of the Consortium. The World Bank contributes indirectly
through its support for projects in the region.
Support for Research with Farmers on
Reduced and Zero Tillage: In Nepal, farmer participatory
research on the Chinese hand tractor involved staff of CIMMYT, of
Nepal's National Wheat Research Program/Regional Agricultural
Research Station at Bhairahawa, and of the Agricultural
Engineering Division of the Nepal Agricultural Research Council
narcC), as well as the Agricultural District Office, Rupandehi;
Lumbini Ground Water Project, Bhairahawa; and NECOS, a
permaculture non-governmental organization based in
Rupandehi District. Work in Bangladesh involved staff of
CIMMYT and of the Wheat Research Centre of the
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute.

13. 1

rotovating the soil, sowing seed in
rows, and planking-is remarkable to
farmers and, in addition to reducing
turnaround time, lessens tillage costs.
Economic analyses in Nepal showed
that, compared with traditional
practices, the tractor decreased tillage
and wheat sowing costs from Rs 2,650
to Rs 900, saving Rs 1,750 per hectare.
"The tractor also diminishes the stoop
labor inherent in current practices,
something that pleases farmers
enormously," Justice says.

Farmer groups in Nepal have
found numerous and previously
unsuspected uses for this technology:
in wheat tillage and establishment;
puddling soils for the rice crop;
reaping rice; threshing wheat and rice;
winnowing; pumping water;
transporting farmyard manure to the
field; carrying crops and milk to
market; and preparing land for
planting kidney beans and other
higher value crops. "Nearly half the
farmers who participated in testing

would like to purchase a tractor,"
Justice says, "and three-quarters
expressed interest in a communal
purchase/use arrangement."

Potential for
Sustainable, Equitable
"Farmers' interest and the data
from this study could inform a larger
program aimed at jump-starting Nepal
into sustainable and socially equitable
agricultural mechanization," says Peter
Hobbs, wheat agronomist with
CIMMYT's Natural Resources Group.
Hobbs was first impressed with the
potential of the hand tractor years ago
during visits to China.

In Bangladesh, the hand tractor has
already been widely adopted by
farmers, but only as a rotovator.
Meisner estimates that 200,000 Chinese
tractors are now available to farmers in
Bangladesh and the numbers are
growing daily. "Growth in use has
been phenomenal," says Meisner. "In

1990, no wheat farmers were using
tractors. By 1994, over half were using
the Chinese hand tractor. Every
village has a mechanic and a
workshop that can repair them."
According to Meisner, growers like
the tractors because the technology of
the engine is simple, spare parts are
easy to manufacture locally, and the
tractor and attachments are cheap
enough for farmers with little capital.
"What is needed now in Bangladesh
is the introduction and local
manufacture of some of the hand
tractor implements currently used in
Nepal," Meisner says.

On the other hand, the rapid
adoption of the Chinese tractor in
Bangladesh needs to be replicated in
Nepal, according to Justice and his
counterparts in NARC's Agricultural
Engineering Division and the
National Wheat Research Program.
"The government is presently looking
into various ways to attain this,
ranging from direct imports from
China to local manufacture using
Chinese and locally made
components," he says. The Nepali
research program has also engaged
several local workshops and parts
providers to furnish service, support,
and tractor attachments. Import
houses are being encouraged to
import not only tractors but also
attachments. Lastly, the
project's small farmer
cooperative approach has
gained the interest of the
Ag ricultural Development
EB:!i I. of Nepal, which is
r considering this technology for
use by the small-farmer
cooperatives it supports.

L 14

Surface Seeding: A
Equally promising for Nepal's
rice-wheat farmers is the surface
seeding technique, in which pre-
soaked wheat seed is treated with
farmyard manure (making it less
appetizing to birds) and broadcast
into a standing rice crop after the
water has been drained but the soil is
still saturated. "This is done with
absolutely no tillage of any kind,"
Hobbs says. "When carried out
properly, it results in excellent wheat
stands. The wheat is planted on time
and yields significantly better than
wheat planted by traditional tillage
methods." Hobbs credits Nepali
agronomist, Ghana Shyam Giri, with
bringing the technology from
Bangladesh and perfecting it with
Nepali farmers over the last five
years. "The key is getting the right soil
moisture at seeding," Hobbs says. "It
is an excellent system for heavy,
poorly drained soils in Nepal, which
hinder farmers from preparing good
seedbeds through tillage."

In on-farm and on-station
experiments comparing wheat
establishment methods in Nepal in
1993-94, surface seeding generated
significantly higher yields and, by
eliminating land preparation costs,
higher profits. The system has the
added advantage of not needing any
tractor or accessory, and is thus suited
to the farmers of least means. Nepal's
Minister of Agriculture visited fields
where this technology was being used
or tested by farmers and praised
scientists for developing such
appropriate practices. Consortium
partners are promoting the practice
among farmers in Nepal, eastern
India, and Bangladesh.

Continued Studies on
Natural Resources and
"Future research in rice-wheat
systems of Nepal and elsewhere in
Asia will focus on the longer-term
implications of these new tillage
systems on sustainability and
productivity," Hobbs says. Among
other things, he and his colleagues will
examine effects on soil parameters
(chemical, physical, and biological) and
biotic factors (pests, weeds, and
diseases) over time, both in farmers'
fields and on experiment stations. "This
is a long-term effort that will involve
multidisciplinary teams working
closely with farmers," he says.

Regarding mechanization,
CIMMYT will work closely with
national programs in the Consortium
to scale up research on rice-wheat

systems of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
"Many machines and tools have been
successful elsewhere in the world but
have yet to be tested in the rice-
wheat system," Justice says.
"Previously, machine prototypes were
tested, but testing alone could not
ensure that farmers would use the
machinery or that it would provide
the solutions sought." Justice and his
associates have applied a farmer
participatory model for
mechanization research so that they
can avoid similar problems. "This
model sets up an integrated
partnership between small farmers,
national researchers, and local
workshops. We hope it will guide
future work elsewhere to bring about
mechanization in a way that is not
only sustainable, but socially just."
More Information: I.harrington@cgiar.org f.-0 .

GOentU pells against Witchweed

Struggling to grow a modest maize crop, Kenyan farmer Joseph Okelo

contends with natural constraints ranging from drought to flooding, invisible

viruses, and infertile soils. But the foe he dreads most is a small, ragged plant

with delicate, purple flowers. This parasitic plant annually robs African grain

producers of more than four million tons in yields. "Striga has been a problem

since time immemorial," Okelo says. "Nowadays, farmers don't even try to

control it, and infestation has worsened." Does research offer any solutions?

-.00 IF-

Also known as witchweed, Striga is amazingly
prolific-a single plant can produce tens of thousands of
pollen-like seeds that pepper the soil. Under the right
conditions, a weed seed may latch onto a maize seedling,
sapping nutrients and water, and otherwise arresting the
host's development (the exact mechanism by which this
occurs is not known). By the time the Striga plant breaks
the soil surface, the worst damage to the host has already
occurred, so farmers are understandably reluctant to
spend hours in the hot sun weeding.

The scourge of it, ;. extends far beyond Joseph
Okelo's plot in Kenya. It causes considerable yield losses
throughout the seven agroecological zones of sub-Saharan
Africa (excluding mountainous and forested areas) and
has raised serious concern in southern Africa. Attesting to
witchweed's deadly power, national research programs,
centers of the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research, universities in Europe and the
United States, and major donors, most notably the
Rockefeller Foundation, are waging a complex scientific
war to curb its effects. Although a definitive solution has
yet to appear in farmers' fields, researchers have
increased their understanding of the pest and made
notable strides towards overcoming the curse of
witchweed over the past year.

Fighting the "Poor Man's Pest"
"Striga is basically a poor man's pest," explains Joel
Ransom, CIMMYT agronomist in eastern Africa who, in
collaboration with staff of the Kenya Agricultural
Research Institute (KARI), has spearheaded regional work
to control the parasite. "It doesn't seem to like fertile, more
biologically active soils, but thrives in the poor soils
typical of small-scale maize systems in eastern Africa."
According to Ransom, as intensified cropping, spurred by
rising populations, has become more prevalent, so has
St, I

Ransom and his KARI counterparts have focused on
varied management options, such as adding manures to
fields, weeding Striga by hand before its seeds mature,
rotating maize with non-susceptible "trap" crops to reduce
sti r.; seed concentrations in soils, and generally ensuring
that farm implements and maize seed are free of Striga
seed or seed-bearing residues. Alone or in combination,
these practices have worked well in experiments. But they
are admittedly labor- and knowledge-intensive and so
have met with limited acceptance among small-scale

In 1996, the Rockefeller Foundation put out a call for
projects designed to combat Striga using molecular biology.
In response, CIMMYT, KARI, and the International Institute
of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria, are collaborating
under a newly funded and coordinated endeavor. Their
diverse tactics for solving the si, r.; problem have a
common focus on maize genetics. Each ultimately seeks to
endow maize with traits, such as direct resistance to the
parasite, that alone or in combination improve maize yields
in Striga-infested fields. "This approach simplifies life for
farmers who cannot use complex or costly management
practices," Ransom says, "and it will provide a valuable
complement where other control measures are practiced."

Resistance from Wild Relatives
Encouraging results in Striga research over the years
have come from IITA, particularly through the efforts of
scientists Jennifer Kling and Dana Berner. Now CIMMYT
and IITA are searching within the diverse gene pool of
maize-especially that portion associated with the crop's


wild relatives, the grasses teosinte and Tripsacum-to
identify Striga-resistance genes that can be transferred into
productive tropical maize lines. Resistance appears to be
present in both grasses. An IITA researcher, Admasu
Melake-Berhan, who completed two months of
biotechnology training at CIMMYT to gear up for this
work, says that he and his colleagues have already crossed
teosinte with maize and obtained near-maize types. "We'll
develop genetic maps from these materials to reveal the
number and location of the genes involved in Striga
resistance," he says. Meanwhile, CIMMYT geneticist
Daniel Grimanelli is following up with similar studies on
Tripsacum. "It's a great resistance source," says Grimanelli,
"although getting genes to maize from Tripsacum is much
harder than from teosinte."

Can "Jumping Genes" Create
As for maize itself, breeders have searched for
resistance to Striga in the crop for years without success.
So Grimanelli and his colleagues at CIMMYT hit upon the
idea of using biotechnology to modify maize, creating
resistance. "When you go into a field in Africa, you
encounter thousands of types of grasses, but no Striga," he
says. "Resistance to Striga seems to be the general rule
among the grasses. So there is something special about the
species maize and sorghum-they must simply have the
wrong alleles." Moreover, the biological trigger for i i,.;
appears to be a simple substance emitted by the
germinating maize seed. If the genetic mechanisms that
control production of this substance in maize are simple,
then they would presumably be easy to turn off, with no
harmful effect to maize seedling development.

To accomplish this or produce other resistance-
conferring mutations, the CIMMYT team is crossing
normal maize with special gen- tc t, -c c,. -n t;: n .;
"jumping genes"-genetic fragment tl' t ,n 1t
spontaneously from one location i :- i
chromosome to another, often nm, -.t i n !i
or deactivating genes. The rese;:,i cIl
will then screen progeny of the ci-, .
for resistance. "We are taking a cll !lc n
here, but the approach is fairly
inexpensive, and the benefits v i!! bi .L
enormous if we succeed," Grim;,n!ell -:;i-

A Faster Solution
For the strategies just described, at least several years
still separate today's laboratory and breeding research
from tomorrow's resistant maize-a short span as
science goes, but an eternity for Striga-plagued farmers.
Another Rockefeller-funded research approach,
however, could provide a faster solution. This technique
involves coating the seed of herbicide-resistant maize
with a small amount of herbicide. Once sown, the maize
germinates normally but the herbicide kills any Striga
seed in the vicinity. The method demonstrated
impressive results in trials conducted in Kenya during
the past year, and CIMMYT, KARI, and the Weizmann
Institute in Israel are working with private companies
that own the genes for herbicide-resistant maize to
adapt this technology to African conditions and make it
available to the continent's farmers. Collaborative
studies by Jonathan Gressel of the Weizmann Institute
and Fred Kanampiu of KARI have shown that, by
treating maize seeds prior to planting, herbicide use is
cut to a mere 30 grams per hectare. This rate puts the
technology within reach of many of Africa's smallholder
farmers, with minimal environmental impact.

"The Striga problem in Africa calls for an economical
solution, and this is precisely what biotechnology and
the judicious use of chemicals can offer," says
Weizmann's Gressel, an unabashed proponent of the
technology. "True," he concedes, "this technology may
only be a stop-gap solution-the weeds could evolve
resistance within several years-but it gives us a
breather to find alternative approaches."

The major constraints to deployment of the practice
appear to be legal and regulatory rather than scientific.
The herbicides must be registered for use on maize in
kINli\ :;.1in. tl 'I--L ,t -intellectual property rights must
b i- 'I' <-~ i tll the private-sector companies
i.. tht Ih, i.1 the rights to the herbicide-
IL'l~ -t!ctL gene.

I. l, _. Information: d.grimanelli@cgiarorg


The Saraguro i

Ethnic farmers in Saraguro, a remote region in the highlands

(2,700-3,500 meters above sea level) of southern Ecuador, can

scarcely produce enough grain for the local population. For

centuries, small grain cereals such as barley have provided

most of the calories on which the inhabitants of these isolated

mountain slopes subsist, but low-yielding varieties and diseases

have kept grain production low. A special barley production

project is helping to revitalize Saraguro agriculture.

Farmers who cultivate the
hardscrabble soils in this region
practice very rudimentary agriculture.
They till the soil, sow the seed, and
harvest their crops by hand or with
draft animals. Local barley varieties are
low yielding and highly susceptible to
diseases, and farmers can never be sure
how much grain they will harvest.
They have little or no access to credit,
improved seed, or agricultural
extension services because of their
geographical isolation. Consequently,
yields are extremely low, averaging a
mere 0.7 tons per hectare in the case of

"Many times these hard-working
farmers can't produce enough to feed
their families, especially when an
epidemic flattens their barley crop, as
stripe rust did in 1976," says Hugo
Vivar, barley breeder who coordinates
Program for Latin America from his
base in Mexico. "It's clear they need
outside help to better their yields and
their lot in life."

Focus on Highland
Since 1995 Saragurans have had an
exciting farming alternative that may
gradually reach all producers in the
region. That year, under Vivar's
leadership, the ICARDA/CIMMYT
Barley Program, with Ecuador's
National Agricultural Research
Institute (INIAP), initiated a barley
production project targeting these
small-scale farmers. Recalls Oswaldo
Chicaiza, leader of INIAP's Cereals
Program, "We began working in
Saraguro because it's so far away from
Quito, the capital city, where extension
efforts are based. We figured if we
could succeed here, we could succeed
in other cereal-growing areas of the
country where yields are low."

The researchers offer farmers in
Saraguro a technological package that
includes seed of two disease resistant
barley varieties and modest amounts of
inputs; the project also facilitates the
leasing of equipment for applying
inputs and harvesting the crop. Most

importantly for these remote mountain
dwellers, all these components are
provided to them at the farm gate.

"A key feature of the package is that
it provides credit in kind, which means
that inputs are given out without
money changing hands. This makes
inputs readily available to farmers who
have no cash," says Vivar. "Paying back
their loans is usually no trouble after
harvest." The recovered funds go
towards supporting farmer
collaboration the following year.

The two barley varieties provided
by the project are resistant to more than
six diseases (including stripe rust) that
periodically ravage barley in the area.
One of these diseases, fusarium head
scab, is caused by a fungus that
produces toxins harmful to human and
animal health. With the new resistant
varieties, farmers can count on
harvesting higher yields from year to
year with the confidence that the grain
they produce will not harm the people
and animals that consume it.


"Someone Has Come
to Help Us"
The first year only one farmer
agreed to participate in the project. He
was amply rewarded for his courage:
he produced two or three times more
grain than his neighbors. Buoyed by
his experience, 12 farmers signed up
for the experiment the second year
(1996). Many more wanted to join, but
the project could support no more than
12 because it lacked funds. However, in
1997 the project was able to collect
enough money to support participation
by 240 producers, partly because of the
farmers' high rate of loan repayment
(more than 98%). Their exceptional
yields-two to five times higher than
the national average-drew 500
growers in 1998.

But beyond these impressive
numbers, the project is making a big
difference in the lives of farmers. "I
used to get four sackfuls of grain per
hectare before I joined the project,"
relates Hilda Jaramillo, a farmer with
two years' involvement in the project.
"Now I harvest 18 sackfuls, which
provides enough food for me and my
family for a whole year." Says a
leading farmer from a village close to
Saraguro, "We're happy because my
son doesn't have to work in the gold
mines anymore to bring in more
money. Mining is very hard work, and
he used to get sick all the time."
Another farmer simply says, "This is
the first time someone has come to
help us."

New Barley Varieties
and New Markets
The barley commonly grown in this
region is hulled-that is, the grain is
covered by a seedcoat that must be
removed before cooking. Women feed
their families a variety of dishes made
from barley, but hulling the grain is a
tedious, time-consuming chore. "One

of the varieties being distributed
through the project is Atahualpa, a
hull-less barley. Women really like it
because they don't have to grind and
sieve the grain to get rid of the hull
before cooking," comments Chicaiza.

The surge in Saraguro's barley
harvests comes at a time when a
market for barley food products is
emerging in Ecuador's metropolitan
areas. "In the past, you'd never find
toasted barley flour or barley 'rice' in
an urban supermarket," explains Vivar.
"But people who have migrated to the
cities from rural areas have created a
demand for barley products. They're
cheaper and more familiar to them
than, say, wheat bread or oatmeal."
Though Saraguro is far from Quito, it is
within 200 km of two fairly large cities.
Farmers who produce more barley than
they can consume will be able to
market the surplus to bring in extra

Future Expansion
The benefits generated in Saraguro
have raised the spirits-and the
expectations-of farmers in nearby
villages. Many who have not yet
managed to join the project are eager to
do so next year, which puts pressure on
the project's limited resources. In the
future it is expected that farmers with
several years' involvement will be able
to buy seed and other inputs with their
own savings, freeing up funds to bring
new farmers into the project.

Training, both of farm, i !.1 't
INIAP staff, is essential to thli pi, lt -
success and continuation. F', in i-
must be taught new agrorn' .Un
practices to get the most out. t1 In t1

barley varieties, and INIAP staff need
training to manage and implement the
project effectively. Given the limited
number of INIAP workers in the region,
training the farmers themselves to do
extension work is seen as a way of
supplementing their efforts. Thus in
1996, three young farmers underwent
specialized training at INIAP's Santa
Catalina Experiment Station. After a
one-week course, they have continued
to "learn by doing" as they work as
paid technicians under the supervision
of INIAP staff.

An added bonus of the project is
that Saraguro farmers are now aware of
the benefits they can garner from
modern, disease resistant crop varieties
and the new agronomic practices that
go with them. They are starting to plant
improved seed of other crops such as
potatoes, peas, wheat, triticale, and
maize, which will diversify their
production systems and make them
more sustainable and profitable. Vivar
and Chicaiza are delighted with this
development, since it is in keeping with
the project's goal of improving not only
barley yields but also the general well-
being of people in the highlands.

More Information: h.vivar@cgiar.org



* N-



Research Training:

Empowering Agronomists in

Sub-Saharan Africa

Crop management researchers and extensionists

have a crucial role in generating improved

technologies for farmers in developing countries.

Yet the degree programs from which these

specialists emerge are often highly theoretical,

rarely imparting the interdisciplinary approaches

and practical skills needed to design, test, and

promote relevant crop management practices.

Zimbabwean agronomist Alexious
Makanganise attended the
regional crop management
training course in Kenya in 1995
and studies tillage and fertility
interactions in communal area
farms back home. He is extremely
positive about his experience in
Kenya. "This is a very fruitful
course," Makanganise says. "It is
so important to be able to identify
the problems farmers face,
propose solutions, and do the
research to develop and test

To help fill this gap for agronomists and extension workers in eastern, central, and
southern Africa-where farmers desperately need new, productivity-enhancing,
resource-conserving technology-in 1991, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
(KARI), Egerton University, and CIMMYT launched a regional crop management
research training (CMRT) course that would enable participants to acquire such
knowledge rapidly and apply it immediately upon returning home.*

Offered at the Egerton campus in Njoro, Kenya, the six-month, in-service course
combines equal measures of field and classroom time to develop skills ranging from
field plot techniques and scientific report writing to economic analysis, with a focus on
farming systems that involve maize, beans, wheat, or teff, the region's common food
crops. Since its inception, the course has evolved in response to suggestions from
participants, among other things adding a seed technology component, a gender focus,
more practice in data management and computing, and increased exposure to farmer-
researcher interactions. One important recent enhancement has been to familiarize
course members with the principles and practical issues of a farmer participatory
approach (participatory rural appraisal, or PRA), by applying it to identify production
problems. "The idea is to empower farmers-they talk, and we listen," says Robert
Obura, CMRT director. "Farmers have certain ways of doing things that, when we walk
away with only a survey, we never really understand."

* Training was made possible through initial funding from the Canadian International Development
Agency and subsequent support from the US Agency for International Development.


Evidence of Impact
Empowerment of a different kind was the idea behind a major
follow-up study by Obura and his team of instructors in 1997 to assess
the course's impacts on its more than 150 alumni. A regionally
representative selection of the graduates received a questionnaire
concerning the relevance of course topics, the quality of presentation,
and the level of detail covered. The instructors then went out personal:
to collect the questionnaires and interview the former participants and
their supervisors. "The common message was that the course graduate
were more effective, better able to interact with peers, and were
consulted on issues where their expertise had not previously been
sought," says Maurice Shiluli, a KARI economist and CMRT instructor
(pictured here).

Maintaining Momentum in Regional Crop
Management Training
In addition to its centerpiece CMRT course, the Njoro facility also
offers short courses on a range of topics and provides conference
services-successful sidelines that constitute key sources of operating
funds, according to Obura. "Funding is a major concern these days," h(
says. "It is increasingly difficult to obtain fellowships for researchers to
attend the CMRT course."

"The CIMMYT Maize Program was instrumental in establishing the
center in the early 1990s and has provided significant financial,
administrative, and technical support since then," says CIMMYT maize
agronomist in Kenya, Joel Ransom, citing the direct involvement for
several years of CIMMYT researcher A.EE. Palmer. "There is no other
course like this in Africa, and few elsewhere. What makes it different is
the regional focus, the quality and scope of the curriculum, and the
experience of the instructors, most of whom have been on board from
the beginning."

CIMMYT has also helped establish and support regional CMRT
courses for Asia (in Bangkok, Thailand) and for Latin America and
Portuguese-speaking Africa (operated by the Brazilian Agricultural
Research Enterprise, EMBRAPA, at Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, Brazil).

More Information: d.friesen@cgiar.org


a n a -I

Plant breeders looking to use gene banks in their pursuit of

valued agricultural traits face a formidable dilemma. Given

that crop accessions in a collection can number in the tens

of thousands, how much time, effort, and money applied to a

search can be justified by the cause? With little empirical

information at hand, scientists lackthe tools for making

strategic decisions that could shorten or extend their efforts

by years, with very real repercussions for smallholder

farmers facing a new pest or disease. Now, thanks to recent

analysis and modeling work by CIMMYT, researchers have

the methodological key for efficiently unlocking the

potential of gene banks for crop improvement.

Doors a Little Wider

A 1998 study, "Optimal Search in
Ex Situ Collections of Wheat Genetic
Resources," conducted by CIMMYT
economist Melinda Smale, affiliate
economist Douglas Gollin of Williams
College, and the head of wheat genetic
resources, Bent Skovmand, puts
forward an empirical search model for
analyzing gene bank management
decisions and in the process
underscores the value and usefulness
of these repositories for the world's
major cereal crops.

Several issues prompted Smale and
her colleagues to undertake the study.
In these days of tight budgets and cost
consciousness, it makes sense to tackle
tough economic questions bearing on
the value of genetic resource
collections and the costs/benefits of
searching them. A prototype of an
optimal search model, a major element
of the study, could lay the foundation
for the development of management
tools to increase the efficient use of
gene banks. Finally, the study sought
to address pertinent points raised by
critics of ex situ collections (seeds or
other propagative materials preserved
in collections separate from their
environment of origin).

"Some critics in the field of
evolutionary biology have referred to
gene banks as 'seed morgues,' charging
that they are wasteful-that they

'freeze' evolution at the moment of collection-
and may limit ability to adapt," says Smale. To
economists, meanwhile, seed stored unused in
banks resembles a factory with excess capacity.
This implies that additional accessions have no

"What we found," Smale adds, "is that a low
frequency of direct requests to the gene bank
does not imply that accessions have no value.
Even if the bank is used only on rare occasions,
large collections can have payoffs over the long

In Searches, the Big Question
Is, "How Much Is Enough?"
In investigating the economics of gene bank
utilization, the researchers focused on three
questions. First, when do large collections have
value? Second, what is the value of specialized
knowledge about the distribution of desirable
traits across types of germplasm? In this case,
they computed the value of knowing that
resistance to Russian wheat aphid is more
common among a set of bread wheat landraces
from Iran than among the general population of
bread wheats. Third, under what conditions
should more than one type of material be
searched? The cost of evaluating and transferring
resistance to septoria tritici leaf blotch from
conventional breeding lines and emmer wheats
was investigated for this last question.

To get at the heart of these matters, the
researchers developed a theoretical model for
analyzing the gene bank management decisions
that are made when searching for traits of
economic value in ex situ collections of wheat.
The model had to account for a range of variables
and factors affecting the benefits to be gained
from locating a desired trait (such as disease
resistance or tolerance) and the costs involved in
searches of different types of germplasm. Costs
and benefits are heavily influenced by the time
lags associated with transferring the trait,
breeding, and adoption by farmers. Of critical
importance is the probability distribution for the

trait-or, more simply, the likelihood of finding
what you are looking for in the type of
germplasm being searched.

This last factor is one on which proponents
and detractors of gene banks differ considerably
in their assumptions and, consequently, their
conclusions. Gollin illustrates this difference
with the following contrasting examples.
Suppose that a desirable trait is found with
some distribution within a particular
population and that it is equally advantageous
wherever it is found. For example, assume we
are seeking flowers that are yellow and that any
shade of the color is equally useful. In this case,
there is perfect substitutability among the
subpopulation of species that possesses the trait
(all yellow flowers), and zero substitutability
with the remainder of the population. Once a
single yellow flower is found, however, all
further search becomes redundant. This is one
of the underlying assumptions of those
challenging the need for large ex situ collections.

Alternatively, suppose that the desired
trait can be found in varying intensities or
forms, so that it can be conceptualized ia
a continuous variable. For example,
gold might be found in different
deposits of ore at varying degrees of
concentration, or a number of
different plants might have disease
resistance properties of varying
usefulness. In this case, there is
imperfect substitutability among
materials in the population.
Different materials are more or less
desirable-a distribution of
"desirability" is found across the
population. Additional searching will
always be expected to offer some
marginal benefit unless an extreme
value has been obtained. This scenario
supports the need for larger collections, as
do several actual cases in which searches
through large collections were required to loce tr
a rare trait simply not found anywhere else.
Resistance to Russian wheat aphid was one
such case.




The Bottom Line
An essential conclusion of this study, say the authors, is
that "the optimal scale of a search is very sensitive to the
size of the economic problem, the costs of search technology,
as well as the probability distribution of the trait." For some
traits, the payoffs are simply not large enough to justify
exhaustive searches. For other traits, the probability of
finding the right germplasm warrants a small search, and
there are occasional cases when a large search will be

"As intuition would tell us, large collections have value
when the trait is rare and the problem is of economic
consequence," Smale continues. "It is evident through the
application of the model that infrequent requests for
searches at the bank in no way imply that additional
accessions are valueless. Some accessions may sit 'unused'
for years, only to be called on when a need for that specific
trait emerges."

Because of the time lags associated with locating and
transferring desired traits from distant populations to host
varieties and getting them adopted in the field, Gollin
explains, it is rational to turn to unimproved materials only
after breeding lines have been searched extensively and the
problem is large. However, though collections of landraces
may be used only infrequently given current search and
transfer techniques, when they are used, high values are
associated with those occasions.

Once into the study, the nature of the work prompted
the scientists to reexamine what is meant by the ubiquitous
term "utilization." Noting that "utilization" often connotes
breeding activities alone, the authors contend that, in reality,
gene banks also respond to a number of requests
for materials used in biochemical,
molecular, and genetic research,
and also may contribute to
the overall accumulation
of scientific knowledge.

Putting Research Results to Work
As with much CIMMYT economics research, this study
paves the way for more in-depth work. The authors foresee
additional research aimed at valuing accessions and
determining the optimal size of an ex situ collection, and
they have good reason to be optimistic. A recent study
commissioned by the Systemwide Genetic Resources
Program of the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research, to which Skovmand and Suketoshi
Taba (head of maize genetic resources at CIMMYT) have
contributed, has developed estimates of the actual costs of
gene bank operations. This dovetails with the optimal
search study and will provide data for ultimately procuring
the valuations needed for informed management decisions.

Further inquiries into valuation will explore the value of
gene banks as a defense against doomsday scenarios, or as
Gollin and Smale put it, "how much it is worth spending on
gene banks as insurance against cataclysmic disasters."

An important output envisioned by the scientists is a set
of practical management guidelines for gene bank
managers in national programs. The research has already
been discussed with the International Plant Genetic
Resources Institute, and the search model has been used
informally as an instructive vehicle.

Many see bright prospects emerging for plant breeders
as scientists become more adept at using the tools offered
by biotechnology to expedite searches in ex situ collections,
thereby opening access to materials that were previously
too expensive to find and use. This study is a modest but
necessary step toward that goal.

"The model is an instrument that can be readily
modified to accommodate the increased use of advanced
technologies," declares Skovmand. "DNA fingerprinting
and marker-assisted selection, by helping us characterize
materials more rapidly, can make searches quicker and
reduce the overall time of transfer," he says. "If you can get
at what's in a landrace or wild relative quickly, then the
time factor and the costs associated with it collapse

S More Information: m.smale@cgiar.org

CI r 4!4j I 1

Makes a World of Difference

to National Programs

A fundamental goal of CIMMYT's Applied Biotechnology

Center (ABC) is to bridge the gap between advanced research

in the industrialized world and applied breeding in the

developing world. The ABC responds to the challenge by

training and empowering scientists from national research

programs to use biotechnology's tools to address agricultural

problems in their home countries and regions. The sessions

also promote bonds among researchers and with CIMMYTthat

later serve to backstop and advance crop improvement efforts


"There continues to be increased
interest in training in biotechnology by
national programs and I don't see that
decreasing," says ABC director David
Hoisington. "As CIMMYT expands its
activities in biotechnology, so do the
national programs, and the first thing
they need is guidance and training to
get off the ground. I think they'll be
looking to the CGIAR centers as one of
the best options for that."

Hoisington's words rang true for
16 participants from 11 developing
nations who attended ABC's 1998
workshop on Genetic Engineering of
Maize and Wheat.* A common thread
ran among the scientists: they all
wished to begin applying the
knowledge and experience they gained
at the workshop to either planned or
current programs in their home
countries. Their diverse foci, ranging
from micro- to mega-level projects,
converged on one point-the

Tale of Two Participants
Guoying Wang, associate professor
in the Department of Biotechnology
at China Agricultural
University, drew sti. -n
parallels between t1h
structure of ABC
within CIMMYT
and biotechnology
units within
China's research
establishment. He
intended to use
some of the many
lessons he took homn
to improve the woi kI, n
relationships in his

Maria Jose Vilaca de Vasconcelos,
coordinator for the Brazilian
Agricultural Research Enterprise's
(EMBRAPA's) maize transformation
program, had more specific hands-on
expectations for the course. Although
her lab has 500 strains of Bacillus
thuringiensis (Bt), a natural insecticide,
only 19 work against Spodoptera
frugiperda, commonly known as the fall
armyworm, the most important insect
pest threatening Brazilian maize. By
enhancing her knowledge and

* The Workshop on Genetic Engineering of Maize and Wheat was sponsored by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP), the Swiss Center for International Agriculture (ZIL/DEZA), the
Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH), and CIMMYT.

L 0

background in agrobacterium and
biolistic transformation techniques,
which are used to introduce new genes
into host materials (in this instance, Bt
into maize germplasm), she hopes to
accelerate production of maize lines
with effective resistance to S. frugiperda.

Natasha Bohorova, coordinator of
the Genetic Engineering workshop,
was heartened after coming upon a
poster produced by Vasconcelos and
her colleagues at a recent international
biotech conference. "They presented a
transient expression of reporter genes
introduced into maize via biolistic and
agrobacterium transformation. That
means that they are using the
techniques successfully, which stems
directly from the workshop here."

The Impetus to Innovate
While participants from some well-
established programs were looking for
that one technique or piece of
knowledge required to keep their
efforts moving forward, others hoped
to acquire a sound grounding in the
basic building blocks of transformation

to get their work underway. One such
participant, Sami Reda Saber Sabry,
Senior Wheat Researcher at Egypt's
Field Crops Research Institute, had
undertaken some transformation work
with tissue culture on his own
initiative but with little success. As he
was leaving for the workshop, some
new equipment was just arriving, and
he hoped that soon he would be
renovating not just his lab, but his

"The course provided exactly what
I was looking for," said Sabry, "as far
as working with my hands and seeing
with my eyes. There's a lot of art
involved with tissue culture aside
from the science. The basic science you
can find everywhere-in books, in
papers, on the Internet-but what I
was looking for was the techniques.
Based on what I learned here I'm
going to launch completely new

Sabry has maintained contact with
CIMMYT, says Bohorova, and the
latest word was that he had applied
the protocols provided by CIMMYT. It

is too soon to judge if significant
results will be obtained, she says, but
"this time as compared to unsuccessful
past efforts, he has embryonic calli
coming on, so that's certainly a good

"The workshops are useful for
participants in two respects,"
Bohorova points out. "First, quite
naturally, the scientists learn how to
manipulate and use the technologies
that biotech has to offer. Second, they
become well acquainted with
biosafety, intellectual property rights,
and other issues related to using
genetically engineered products and
incorporating them into national
programs." The impact of such
workshops often extends past the
course term as Bohorova keeps in
touch with many participants, and the
CIMMYT protocols used for the
workshops have been adopted in part
or in their entirety by a number of
countries, including China, India,
Egypt, and Morocco.

Conducting workshops for
scientists from developing nations is
an important function of the ABC, but
workshops are only one approach to
putting biotech to work in farmers'
fields. During the past year, the ABC
took a fresh look at its training strategy
and goals, and responded by
launching a dynamic new initiative,
the Asian Maize Biotechnology
Network (see "AMBIONET," p. 30)
and an innovative in-house biotech
course (see box, next page).

More Information:

I n H sou W prxtenR to the World

In December 1997, CIMMYT's Applied Biotechnology
Center (ABC) conducted a two-week workshop,
"Biotechnology Applications to Plant Breeding." Like past
workshops, it had a diverse assemblage of nationalities, levels
of expertise, and specialization, and CIMMYT's Director
General was on hand to welcome the participants. But
participants and presenters exhibited an unusual
camaraderie, usually seen on the closing, not the opening,
day of such courses. Perhaps it was because the attendees
were all CIMMYT staff.

Workshop Origins
"The ABC developed CIMMYT's first-ever 'internal'
workshop to respond to a general feeling among staff that
they would like to know more about the basic techniques of
biotechnology," says David Hoisington, ABC director. "In
fact, we had CIMMYT scientists applying to courses that we
offered to national programs," he confides, adding that such
indicators prompted his program to develop a workshop,
based on responses from a Center-wide questionnaire, that
was more appropriate to CIMMYT's needs and scientists.

The workshop had two objectives. The first was to
encourage CIMMYT staff to learn and acquire a better
appreciation of particular applications of biotechnology for
maize and wheat improvement. The second was to create an
opportunity for staff to interact and develop stronger
collaboration, especially in view of the Center's emphasis on
project-based teams.

Workshop Results:
Some Personal Perspectives
"The course was a watershed towards the integration of
maize breeding efforts and biotechnology," declares maize
physiologist Gregory Edmeades. "It was a major coup for
ABC to make this technology possible, do-able, and attractive
to maize breeders," he says, pointing out that though few
scientists would openly admit it, many may have felt a bit
"intimidated" by the procedures and processes. "As the
technology was explained and taught carefully as a series of
steps, I think we all became a bit more confident and open to
its use. Breeding is going this way whether we like it or not."

Edmeades has already observed some positive effects
from the workshop, noting that it stimulated an abundance of
good discussions among the breeders and led to a full
conference between the Maize Program and the ABC, which
focused on support and collaborations on breeding efforts.

Wheat pathologist Ravi Singh echoed Edmeades on
several points. Having worked with the ABC on diverse
projects over the years, he says many of the principles and
potentials of the technology were already familiar, but the
workshop gave him a new perspective on the complex lab
processes and the molecular-level mechanisms behind the
biotech acronyms.

"Equally important," Singh adds, "was the opportunity to
interact and exchange ideas with people at CIMMYT. I've
been here 14 years, and though I knew many people at the
sessions personally, there were many I didn't know.
Convening this group in this forum was an invaluable aspect
of the workshop."

For Hoisington the workshop provided benefits to ABC as
well as to workshop participants. "There is now much more
acceptance of biotechnology across CIMMYT," he observes,
"and it is a key component of CIMMYT's activities."
Although he is reluctant to attribute this sea change to the
workshop, he will credit the sessions for giving rise to some
exciting new synergies. "We're seeing strong interest in
getting people together to look at common problems of maize
and wheat and how, together, we can solve them. That's good
for CIMMYT and, more importantly, good for the national
programs and farmers who eventually reap the benefits of the

k ih,

AM B IO NEeT preach to

Technology Transfer

"AMBIONET is a different approach to technology transfer and traiinig than

any we've taken before," comments David Hoisington, director of CIMMYT's

Applied Biotechnology Center (ABC). AMBIONET-the Asian Maize

Biotechnology Network-got off the ground last April with a planning meeting

in Thailand. Co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), CIMMYT, and

the national research systems of partner countries, the network focuses on

the application of biotechnology to improve maize in Asia.

AMBIONET's stated goal is to
"increase maize productivity in the
partner countries through the
development via molecular genetics of
improved cultivars with high yield potential,
combined with durable resistance to pests and
diseases and tolerance for abiotic stresses." This
will be accomplished by enhancing partner
countries' capacity to adopt biotechnology tools
for maize improvement and through cooperative
efforts using molecular genetics to improve
specific traits in maize.

Strength in Numbers,
Strength in Research
By establishing a collaborative research and
training network, national maize and
biotechnology programs should greatly enhance
the effectiveness and impact of their efforts.
Farmers throughout the region will have access to
the results of network collaboration-as opposed
to lesser achievements that frequently extend no
farther than a country's borders.

"In numbers there is strength," goes the
maxim, which aptly applies to AMBIONET. The
network's five partner countries-India, China,
Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand-have

significant biotechnology efforts
underway. CIMMYT, the sixth partner,
will play an essential role in
AMBIONET's training component,
focusing on breeding, field evaluations, and
biotechnology processes and techniques. The
Center will also backstop national and regional
efforts by providing biotech products and

"In this case, we're not looking at establishing
technologies," Hoisington explains. "We're
looking at building on existing capabilities,
developed to a considerable extent by the Rice
Biotechnology Network, funded by the Asian
Development Bank. We can take that capacity
and work very effectively on the problems of
maize that are specific to the region."

Knowledge and materials will be shared
throughout the network. With each partner
country willing and able to contribute research
efforts and results to larger projects, progress can
be stimulated and quickened when tasks are
divided up among national programs. Member
countries can also take advantage of discoveries
and materials generated by labs in other
countries to advance their own work.

New Biotech Training
Complementing the network's
diffused system for disseminating
information and materials is its
decentralized, shared approach to
training. Most ABC biotech training
has taken place at CIMMYT
headquarters in Mexico to make use of
the Center's first-class laboratories.
But as network countries have
expanded their own biotech facilities
and capabilities, new options for
training have appeared.

"We want to take advantage of
what each country has to offer," says
Hoisington, adding that those
"offerings" go beyond labs and
facilities to highly qualified personnel.
CIMMYT will train national scientists
to work as trainers for the workshops,
he explains. Except for the initial
training in Mexico, workshops will be
held in the labs of AMBIONET
countries, significantly expanding
capabilities and options.

the partner nations, picking up new
technologies at headquarters and then
coordinating appropriate training
activities at the national, multinational,
or regional level, depending on need.
She will also actively convey the needs
and training opportunities in the
region back to headquarters,
troubleshoot problems, visit labs
regularly, and serve as a catalyst to
keep individual projects moving.

Artemio Salazar, professor and
maize breeder at the Philippines'
Institute for Plant Breeding, is looking
forward to working with the
coordinator and network
collaborators. "For maize, this is the
first truly regional effort among
breeders and geneticists," says Salazar.
"At the intra-country level, interaction
among this group has been somewhat
limited, and even more so among
maize researchers across countries.
This project offers the historic
opportunity to prove that we can work
together for our mutual benefit. Given
the strong organizational, financial,
and technical support, I fully expect
something concrete to come out of this

Other Benefits for
I Network Members
SThough immersed in the
exigencies of getting the project
underway, Hoisington took time for
some mild speculation on
AMBIONET's long-term possibilities
and the benefits it might offer its

"Looking long term at how
CIMMYT can meet its needs in
Maria Luz George, AMBIONET's biotech, particularly in the realm of
recently appointed project coordinator, molecular markers, I believe that good,
pictured above, will serve as the
principal link between CIMMYT and

strong biotech programs at the
national level could help ease the
burden on our biotech lab here in
Mexico," he says. "Establishing
dynamic and vigorous ties with such
programs and institutes, both in Asia
through AMBIONET, and in Africa
through CIMMYT's Kenya/Zimbabwe
program, builds our capacity to
advance technologies that then feed
back to clients around the world."

Citing the hard realities of project
funding, Hoisington believes that
partnerships such as AMBIONET can
help provide some much-needed
stability and sustainability for
activities in the national labs.

"A project pumps money into an
activity or an institute," says
Hoisington, "but when that project
terminates, there's a probability the
activities will cease for lack of funds. If
a collaboration is built so that
CIMMYT, if it wishes, can step in and
invest in national programs' marker
technologies for our own needs, it
should help create a more sustainable
system at the national program level.
The network implies that we now have
a vested interest in making sure that
the national labs put out quality work
and ensuring the quality of the labs

One fairly safe bet, however, is that
the ranks of AMBIONET will grow to
include more Asian maize-producing
countries-in the process extending
both the benefits and the capabilities of
the network.

More Information: m.george@cgiar.org


' Hiunch Results in

gher Wheat Yields

For well over a decade, doomsayers have predicted that

further increases in wheat yields will prove impossible to

attain. We report that all is well on the yield frontier.

Several years of testing have confirmed that on average

the CIMMYT Wheat Program's newest breeding lines

yield a generous 5-8% more than commercial varieties

currently available.

As one would expect, CIMMYT
breeders pursue several strategies as they
attempt to raise wheat's yield potential
and productivity. They have long
recognized that good science depends on
more than a formulaic approach to a
problem. A willingness to research some
of the more unusual ideas is also critical
to success.

One such idea has produced
exceptional results. For the past eight
years, CIMMYT wheat scientists have
tested a hypothesized link between higher
yield and a chromosome segment from
wheat grass (Agropyron elongatum) that
carries the leaf rust resistance gene Lrl9.
Geneticist Ravi Singh first started to think
that there might be a connection between
yield and the A. elongatum chromosome
segment when he observed a new rust-
resistant cultivar, Oasis, which had been
released in northwestern Mexico in 1986.

4 ..

Tested under disease-free conditions, Oasis
yielded more than its parent, Yecora, released in
1970.* As Singh points out, it is not uncommon
for yields of new lines to exceed those of old
lines-that is one objective of breeding-but the
curious circumstance here was that Oasis and
Yecora were closely related, so their difference in
yield potential was unexpected. Oasis was
derived from Yecora through a process called
backcrossing, which produces new lines of
wheat that are very similar to the original
variety. The new lines express most of the
original variety's traits but are enriched with one
new trait from the donor parent. In Oasis, the
donor parent was a Canadian line called Agatha.
Agatha carried Lrl9, a major leaf rust resistance
gene, on a small piece of chromosome from A.
elongatum that had been translocated into the
wheat chromosome-known as the 7DL.7Ag

Oasis' surprising yield first became apparent
in trials designed to study losses from heavy leaf
rust infection. Yecora and Oasis were considered
ideal for such a study, because the only
difference between the two cultivars was
assumed to be the translocated chromosome
segment that made Oasis resistant to leaf rust,
unlike Yecora. As part of the experiment,
researchers grew both cultivars in the absence of
rust to get a clear estimate of yield potential. It
was then that they noticed the yield superiority
of Oasis.

Hypothesis Confirmed
Singh, along with Sanjaya Rajaram (now
director of the Wheat Program, but then the
head of bread wheat breeding) and coworkers,
decided to investigate this unusual result. Two
research teams were formed; each would test the
effect of the 7DL.7Ag translocation in a number
of high yielding cultivars. Researchers decided
to conduct more than one study because they
wanted to obtain more reliable results.

The yield evaluations lasted for four years
and revealed that the yield increment shown by
Oasis was not a simple coincidence. Both

research teams developed lines that showed
marked progress in yield over the parent
cultivars. Lines with the 7DL.7Ag translocation
consistently yielded 5-8% more than the best
available lines. The greatest yield advances in
any one year ranged from 17% to 26% over the
commercial variety Bacanora, released in 1988,
with one line yielding more than 10 tons per
hectare. Given that an advance in yield of 0.5-
1.0% per year is the breeders' benchmark for a
"normal" rate of yield improvement, this
increment equals at least ten years' worth of
breeding. The new lines are available to
collaborators through CIMMYT's international
nursery system.

This yield breakthrough underscores the fact
that breeding is a long-term process that builds
on the efforts of many people, not just the
breeding teams mentioned here. "The A.
elongatum chromosome segment was
translocated into the wheat genome in Canada
in the mid-1960s by Sharma and Knott," says
Singh.** Ricardo Rodrfguez, a scientist who is
now retired from CIMMYT, developed Oasis by
backcrossing the A. elongatum segment into

Work on Oasis also shows how hunches
based on years of experience can lead to
research that is both novel and fruitful. "At
CIMMYT we have been fortunate to explore
new research approaches as they have presented
themselves," says Maarten van Ginkel, head of
the bread wheat program. "We hope to continue
to take full advantage of unusual ideas that may
produce large payoffs." The link between yield

* Singh, R.P., TS. Payne, P. Figueroa, and S. Valenzuela.
1991. Comparison of the effect of leaf rust on the grain
yield of resistant, partially resistant, and susceptible
spring wheat cultivars. American Journal of Alternative
Agriculture 6:115-121.
** Sharma, D., and D.R. Knott. 1966. The transfer of leaf-rust
resistance from Agropyronto Triticum by irradiation. Can.
J. Genet. Cytol. 8:137-143.

&. "-V

and the A. elongatum segment-fully
documented in Crop Science***-is only one such
idea. "Many additional treasures may still be
hidden in wild grasses like A :1*,, i...n "
comments van Ginkel.

No Limits on Innovation
CIMMYT breeders remain intent on
streamlining the breeding process and welcome
new applications, such as advances in genetics,
physiology, crop modeling, and biotechnology,
that make this possible. Van Ginkel points out
that one frustrating aspect of breeding research is
that it still requires large numbers of painstaking
crosses, of which only a few result in suitable
germplasm. "In the past, we benefited from the
flexibility to study large populations from many
crosses," he says. "Presently we need to become
more efficient with our resources."

For van Ginkel and his colleagues,
"becoming more efficient" means developing
a breeding methodology that is increasingly
gene-based rather than based largely on
probability, although probability will always
play a role. "Simulation and modeling of
genetic rules may allow us to target our
crosses better," says van Ginkel. "New
avenues such as doubled haploids and
marker-assisted selection will also help us
achieve greater efficiency."

"The tendency of people at each stage of
our history to believe we have reached the
limit has applied to wheat yields no less than
to other parameters of advance," observed
Lloyd Evans, chief research scientist with the
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organization, in 1986, the year Oasis
was released. The subsequent and unexpected
contribution of Oasis to researchers' efforts to
break the yield barrier shows that the limits of
innovation in wheat breeding have not been
reached-at least not at CIMMYT.

*** Singh, R.P., J. Huerta-Espino, S. Rajaram, and J, Crossa.
1998. Agronomic effects from chromosome
translocations 7DL.7Ag and 1BL.1RS in spring wheat.
Crop Science 38: 27-33.

More Information:


a j S* S

thejTesto^f DTime

i 'Scie

long been

to raise wheat proi

avoiding crop losses i

crucial as improving wheat's yielding

No matter what heights farmers' yield

reach, it is all for naught if a disease e

devastates their fields. In wheat, no o

disease poses such a threat as the th

of rust-stem, leaf, and yellow rust-

potential to cause calamitous crop los

Almost 30 years ago, CIMMYT adopted

unusual strategy to breed wheats tha

resistant to leaf rust. New evidence s

this strategy has translated into an up

farmers' harvests, incomes, and health

the Impact of CIMMYT's Rust

Resistance Research

"An improved wheat variety does farmers no good if it is
at the mercy of disease epidemics," points out pathologist
Jesse Dubin, associate director of CIMMYT's Wheat Program.
"They need to protect their wheat crops, especially from the
rusts, and genetic resistance is the best way to do that." Since
genetic disease resistance is integrated into the seed, it affords
the farmer protection at little expense. By doing away with the
need to apply fungicides, genetic resistance reduces
production costs and has no ill effects on the environment.
ntists have
Economist Melinda Smale and wheat pathologist Ravi
Singh recently conducted a CIMMYT study on the economic
awa re that benefits of incorporating leaf rust resistance into modern
spring bread wheats. The objective of the study, which used
du activity, data from the irrigated Yaqui Valley in northwestern Mexico,
was to estimate the economic benefits of CIMMYT's decision-
taken 28 years ago-to incorporate so-called "nonspecific" leaf
s as
rust resistance into its bread wheats.

g capacity. Using extremely conservative assumptions, Smale and
Singh estimated that the gross benefits generated between 1970
s might and 1990 through CIMMYT's strategy for incorporating nonspecific
disease resistance into wheat in the Yaqui Valley were US$17
million (in 1994 real terms). This translates into an internal rate
of return on capital of 13%, which satisfies even the most
stringent investment criteria. However, when the two
other researchers based their calculations on less conservative
assumptions, they estimated a 40% rate of return for the Yaqui
ree forms Valley. About 150,000 hectares of wheat are grown in the Yaqui
Valley. Throughout the developing world, where leaf rust
affects spring bread wheat on 45-50 million hectares, the rate
with their
of return to leaf rust resistance research is probably
considerably higher.
CIMMYT's Resistance Breeding
d an Strategy: The Risk that Paid Off
Breeding for rust resistance presents a special challenge,
given that rust pathogens have the troublesome tendency to
t were keep evolving in response to the resistance they encounter in
wheat plants. "It used to be that when a new wheat variety
hows how was released, no one knew how long its rust resistance would
hold up," comments Singh, who is charged with supporting
turn in rust resistance breeding at CIMMYT. "Today, thanks to the
durable resistance incorporated into modern wheats, farmers
can be fairly confident of harvesting a good crop for as long as
n.te ln tevrey


they plant the variety."

Thirty years ago, resistance
breeding centered on finding a major
gene that would, by itself, confer
effective resistance to a specific rust
pathogen. But varieties with "specific"
resistance soon succumbed to the
targeted pathogen as it evolved into
new forms. "It was as if the plant's
strong resistant reaction provoked the
pathogen into mutating faster," says
Singh. "This made breeding for
durable rust resistance extremely
difficult, like trying to hit a moving

In response to this challenge,
CIMMYT adopted the resistance
breeding strategy that produced the
big payoffs revealed by this study. It
entailed searching a broad diversity of
sources for minor resistance genes that
have small, additive effects and
incorporating them into CIMMYT's
high yielding varieties. Together these
accumulated minor genes give wheat
"nonspecific" resistance, which allows
rust pathogens to infect the crop but
slows disease development to the
point where yield losses at harvest
time are negligible.

When the decision to implement
the breeding strategy was taken, there
was no assurance that it would work.
"The theory underlying the strategy
appeared sound, but no one had
applied it extensively in a breeding
program," explains Sanjaya Rajaram,
director of the Wheat Program.
Rajaram was instrumental in adopting
the strategy and headed the research
efforts that culminated in the
development of nonspecific resistance.
"The decision seems obvious now, but
back then it was so risky that not many
breeding programs were willing to
take it," says Smale.

The strategy has paid off
handsomely. CIMMYT-derived
varieties possessing nonspecific
resistance have not succumbed to
major rust epidemics in more than two
decades. The prime beneficiaries of
these research dividends are developing
country producers, especially those
living in areas where the same wheat
varieties are grown over many years or
where disease pressure is heavy and
the costs of treating disease outbreaks
is high.

In the Yaqui Valley itself, wheats
with nonspecific resistance have
predominated over those with specific
resistance since the late 1970s (see
figure). The only resurgence of specific
resistance occurred in 1982-85, when
farmers adopted three exceptionally
high yielding wheats whose specific
resistance broke down within a few

A Major Contribution
to Productivity and
Many mistakenly believe that local
wheat varieties offer better protection
from diseases and pests than modern
wheats. Results of previous CIMMYT
studies suggest, however, that
improved wheats possess resistance to
the three rust diseases that is far
superior to that of the old varieties. In
fact, genetic resistance to the three rusts
may be the most important contribution of
breeding to wheat productivity and
sustainability over the past 40 years.

Recent analyses of trials conducted
by Singh and CIMMYT wheat
agronomist Ken Sayre in the Yaqui
Valley confirm that progress in
protecting yield potential through
genetic resistance to leaf rust is about
three times as great as advances in
yield potential itself. Other CIMMYT
studies have found that breeding for

disease resistance generated a large
portion of the global return on the
investment in international wheat
research over the past few decades.
Economics Program survey data
indicate that on a global scale the
disease resistant, semidwarf wheats
developed by CIMMYT and its
national research system partners in
1977-90 produced 15.5 million tons of
additional grain in 1990 alone, valued
at about US$3 billion.

Other Benefits
Researchers are working to create
effective, durable resistance to other
diseases through the same strategy of
accumulating resistance genes from
diverse sources. The benefits from this
strategy will continue to accrue into
the future as producers deploy these
genes through improved seed and
avoid crop losses caused by other

More Information: m.smale@cgiar.org

=- 100





'- .: 61
i "'


4 -


1973 1978 1983 1988 1993

D 'p.c .ic resistance, bread wheats

SNonspecific resistance, bread wheats

SDurum wheats

Percent wheat area by wheat type and type of leaf
rust resistance in the Yaqui Valley from 1968 to 1995.

Assessing "impact" has become increasingly important as

the development community comes under heightened

pressure to ensure that resources are used efficiently. But

simply appraising whether a technology or project is a

"winner" or a "loser" on a tote board basis can be

misleading. In their recent study of the Ghana Grains

Development Project (GGDP), CIMMYT economists and

their colleagues have gone beyond the ledger to explore

less obvious household-level impacts and shed light on the

factors that influence adoption of improved technology. The

result is a more detailed, informative picture of how

"A valid criticism of conventional
studies of research impacts is that they
focus too much on large-scale surveys
and traditional indicators of impact,
such as adoption of improved
technologies and returns to
investment," says CIMMYT economist
Michael Morris. "Most studies don't
go that one extra step to ask why farm
households adopt or reject
technologies, and when they do adopt
them, to learn how the welfare of farm
households and rural communities is

The impact study of the GGDP, co-
authored by Morris, Robert Tripp of
the Overseas Development Institute,
UK, and A.A. Dankyi of Ghana's
Crops Research Institute (CRI),
combines traditional quantitative
survey methods with qualitative case
study techniques (see box, "Drawings
Draw Out Farmers' Opinions," p. 40).
This approach provides an in-depth
evaluation of the GGDP while offering
invaluable data on farmers'
perspectives about their agricultural

Launched in 1979 with funding
from the government of Ghana and the
Canadian International Development
Agency, the GGDP was charged with
developing and diffusing improved
technology for maize and grain
legumes. CIMMYT and CRI served as
the project's primary executing bodies.
(See box, "GGDP Achievements at a
Glance," next page.)

innovations diffuse and people are affected.

The impact study had three broad
objectives. First, it sought to evaluate
the project's effectiveness in
developing technologies and
transferring them to farmers. Of
particular interest were the adoption
of modern varieties of maize, fertilizer
management recommendations, and
plant population management
recommendations (specifically, row
planting). A second objective was to
identify factors explaining adoption
and nonadoption at the household
level. A third objective was to draw
lessons for designing and
implementing future projects.

The study also contributed to an
effort by the Impact Assessment and
Evaluation Group of the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR) to systematize
impact studies across the CGIAR
centers, including studies that
emphasize nontraditional approaches
from rural sociology, anthropology,
and psychology.

"In one sense the impact study was
oriented towards the past, in that we
wanted to know what have been the
effects of the GGDP," comments
Morris. "Then we looked at all the
work required to produce a solid
national study and recognized this as
an opportunity to generate more
forward-looking information that
breeding programs and policymakers
could use."

The Figures
Judged purely on the basis of
adoption levels, the GGDP clearly has
been successful. The national figures
indicate that the GGDP helped Ghana
make considerable strides towards


GGDP Achievements at a Glance

The Ghana Grains Development Project (GGDP) had three
distinguishing features. First, it emphasized capacity building for
Ghanaian research and extension institutions. Second, it organized an
integrated national strategy for technology generation, testing, and diffusion.
Finally, it established strong interactions linking station-based research, adaptive
farm-level research, and extension. Many achievements contributed to its success.
For example:
Nine maize varieties (eight from CIMMYT lines) were developed and released.
Twelve improved cowpea and soybean varieties were released.
More than 12,000 research and demonstration activities were conducted.
More than 6,000 persons attended in-service training and crop
management research training. Approximately 160 participants took part in
eight one-month intensive crop management courses. Forty-three GGDP
staff pursued graduate degrees, including 18 PhDs, in Canada, the
US, and the UK.
Nearly 200 publications, including training manuals,
farmer handbooks, and socioeconomic studies, were
proving issued.

productivity of
the country's maize

During 1997, modern varieties (MVs) of
maize were grown on 54% of Ghana's
maize area. "This rate is high," state the
researchers in their report,* "compared
to countries in other parts of the world
in which maize is grown mostly by
subsistence farmers."

Farmers applied fertilizer on more
than 26% of Ghana's maize area in 1997.
Though considerably lower than MV
adoption rates, this level is respectable,
given the many constraints to fertilizer
use. Adopting fertilizer is a
considerably more complex matter
than planting seed of a modern
variety. Farmer knowledge plays an
essential role in unlocking the
potential benefits of chemical fertilizer.
For this reason, the GGDP expended
considerable effort in generating
fertilizer recommendations that were
readily accessible to farmers. For

inlbs dlle,
application rates
were stated in terms of
condensed milk tins per number of maize
plants. Although such efforts were
effective in the early years of the project,
they could not overcome perhaps the main
obstacle to fertilizer adoption in the 1990s:
cost. In relation to the maize, fertilizer rose
greatly in price since the initiation of the
project (see figure).



6 /

1978 1982 1986 1990 1994 1998
Nitrogen price-to-maize grain price ratio,
Ghana, 1978-98.
Source: Unpublished Ministry of Agriculture data.

* M.L. Morris, R. Tripp, and A.A. Dankyi, Adoption and Impacts of Improved Maize Technology: A Case
Study of the Ghana Grains Development Project (Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT, 1998).


The story with row planting, the
third GGDP-generated technology
(designed to improve planting
density), is quite different.
Implementing row planting requires
only a planting rope or sighting poles.
The additional cost to the farmer is
small and the advantages are large,
especially if the farmer is planting

MVs. Just over 55% of Ghana's maize area
was planted in rows during the 1997
major and minor cropping seasons.
The strong correlation between row
planting and MV adoption indicates
that farmers understand the
complementarity of the two

Drawings Draw Out Farmers' Opinions

W hen reseai.he .i t,....I .. i thut.,.i'k .'I *'.inj.:' -.1 n.- ti 'nm iJe surveyy to look at
adoption of imp. '. cd ri.L i.:e 'i ti c- thc Ih.td litt e J ei.c. it thie L.i rds actually held
store. As it turns .Lut t[ie i., tie Lil.,! I. de' cl-p'ci ..iln LIed in1 thie Irh.na Grains Develop
Project (GGDP) irip.,it '-tud.L C i.'ic.ent.ed .1 i. lnnin Ili.d I.'i tlie icearchers, paying o
useful data than i.i in.llI. .intii [ tcd

Did the GGDP Help
Rural Households?
What about the project's impact on
Ghana's subsistence households?
Although Morris and his colleagues
caution that assessing such "slippery
concepts as well-being" may readily
provoke controversy over methods
and findings, the importance of the
issue justified the endeavor. To
ascertain how rural households
benefited from GGDP's efforts, the
researchers focused on four indicators:
agricultural productivity at the
n farm level, farmer income,
)ment nutritional status, and
)ff in more gender equality.

The challenge in i h.in.i, .. to -b LII, c.. I. -c nluriL'bc 1,! rlc -i with varying levels of literacy, diverse
languages, and a i.n l-c .' .1- iiu ltur. I n. ledi~' nd- c'.c 'ocn It is critical to have a reliable, unambiguous
survey instrument

Based onprel ii riln. i.nc 'c. ne ic ith li r.,rier the rc-c. ilhc -I i cated a listof characteristics of maize varieties that
seemed important t!'Jiiccnt -'u...''l .ii -ile Thc'e I h. .ll.tc itie. were depicted on flashcards. Amaize plantbeing
blown down in., %. Ind'-t. ir riepic-'ente .,1d i eti i 'Li'-.cptiblt. t, lodging. Other cards represented an assortment of
agronomic and biological characteristics of maize plants, including drought tolerance, nutritional quality, grain quality, and

DLu IinI the -Iu' ci l r ni -., jnlcd i thie i!I., tj I the ch.i.n. tci iti .by placing stones on the cards. Three stones indicated
either c' ,- i!m.~ "i t.nt 'i.. u! L..ci' I Jd. dcncdind 'n the 1 lueest-.n 1. hIlnc I ne stone represented the least favorable response.

Thc ..Jd-' \. cic Li'cd in t. 1.. \..I -' U l .ilI..it i. n Ilh. farmers '-.. c the 'i .. iictic they were currently growing or those with
which tlhc. \Il.Jn- cL.t '. cnlcei I i cI. c nll iriu i. ti i -.. I'. uisedthe L. ii J- tI c i !. miners on how they valued various agronomic
and c.on-'Llrc--,,'i cnttcd ill.r.i.tci i.ti-., I! roi.i.:e IIt .in.n.in econor;i-t .A\ [D.inl.., .ind CIMMYT economist Michael Morris will
analy.:c the t .. '-t-i '! ic--~.nc-.--' .* J dctcir nlc I.,t the farmers \..int .- i.*p.atiLblc with what they are getting or, as Morris puts
it, "Aic thcli %c.,Il l. 'kin: l *'! 'n -ct, I ,!Il..ti I .itci it. nd getting -.. ''rictlin cl'c--in which case the breeders may have to revise
their 'ti .,tc- c--

T'. inteI; iC %v. t.... I ic'. c.ilcd, 'ne fl'I' 'el lin th.lt Ih.l'd .ltng'd ''. thle life of the project: grain hardness. Twenty years ago, many
Ghan.,.,n- Jidn t likile Il.,d !lint. r1..:e bc-.Iu-L theIl p',unded grain into flour by hand, and hard grain made pounding more
labori'u' N.I nI ,l11111 .I the Ir,.,1.:e in h.lin., i'- :iund by machine," remarks Dankyi, "and grain texture is no longer an
impo Lt. 'nt cI 1ntd..'n nl In l rI .t ,. p,,plu' ic p' c'!l thel h.It, der grain because it stores better, being less susceptible to insect damage.
This i- the knd I I i .! m-. 'n J t I.t I .I n help biccdci C--' b Lttcr target their efforts to meet farmers' needs."

Thc c-c.i' c Lh .c1 l- i c. d ii tl.t j! I1rv r-. I.r .1. Iphi ticated appreciation of crop characteristics. "Farmers rarely focused
direc -.. n i cId iL- .Ible ih.I.iL tci i'ti L- in1 .n1 d I itcli Morris comments. "Instead, through the cards they indicated that
they. 'Lu, ''n the c .lii.t -i tiC |--L II|LIii t Icd I .i 1hic cdt hl-i 1%I ld-c.,i Iv maturity, drought resistance, insect and lodging resistance,
and s. !.'i Th I- tell- u-LI tlh.t the .1i m! ici .nIc ci. sn. .\. ledgeable about what is required to get good performance in crop
variec.n-- T he, think! in tci !- 1,1I 1Luitc -'p.'hliticiatcd dJ .,--gregated components, instead of the bottom line. This reinforces
something 4Li tc itlp i t.,i t I LiCe .,c!uiil I1. t t*' Lindc c-'ti:i.i -te farmers' traditional knowledge."

Through further analysis of the d.it., thle ic-c. ilii hope to pinpoint constraints to increased production at the farm
level and provide guidance to p, 'liic. nl.kc I ;nd biccdc on how to address those problems.

One very positive sign was that
nearly 60% of the farmers surveyed
indicated that their maize yields had
increased during the past ten years.
Another was that over half of the
farmers surveyed asserted that their
incomes had risen over the same period.
They provided evidence for their
statements by specifying how the
additional income was spent; the most
common use was for school fees,
followed by the purchase of building
materials for the farmer's house.

Nutritional impact was of
particular interest because Ghana has
promoted quality protein maize
(QPM), which possesses unusually
high levels of amino acids thought to
enhance growth and nutrition. Because
maize is a common weaning food in
Ghana, it was thought that QPM could
especially improve the health of
infants and toddlers. The QPM variety
Obatanpa ("good weaning mother")
was released in 1992 amid
considerable efforts to promote its use.
Only 29% of the farmers said they knew
about a maize variety that was particularly
good for children and infants; among that
group, only slightly more than one-
third used QPM varieties to prepare
weaning foods. Of all the indicators of
rural welfare, this was perhaps the
least encouraging. The increases in
maize productivity and income,
however, imply that households have
improved overall access to foodstuffs.

Gender effects were examined "not
only because women often represent a
relatively disadvantaged group ... but
because women tend to make
household-level resource allocation
decisions that directly influence the
welfare of children," report the
researchers. Adoption of both MVs and
row planting was found to be higher

among men Ihan "
women i1i44 t!!i14
that women farmers
may face special barriers
when it comes to adopting new
varieties and technologies. As for
fertilizer, cost may have made it
equally inaccessible or unprofitable for
all farmers, regardless of sex.

While the researchers accept that
these results are less conclusive than
desirable, they believe the overall
trends show that subsistence farm
households are doing better than in the
past, partly owing to the GGDP.

Factors behind
the Figures
Determining farmers' reasons for
adopting a technology is rarely a
straightforward process, acknowledges
Morris. "If you really want to know
why 43% of the area in a region is
planted to MVs, and not 63% or 23%,

you have to take a case study
approach to bring out that richness of
detail." The approach paid off in the
GGDP study as researchers identified
three groups of factors-related to the
farmer, the technology, and the
farming environment-that
significantly bear upon adoption.

One factor strongly influencing
adoption was the number of contacts a
farmer had with extension agents.
"Extension officers are the major
source of information about new
technologies, and in many instances
they distribute seed or fertilizer as
well," Morris explains, a point borne
out in the strong correlations between
extension contact and adoption of MVs
and row planting. The researchers note


that in some respects the effects of
extension may have been limited:
resources for extension work remain
scarce in Ghana, and not all farmers
have been reached equally.

The effect of a farmer's level of
education on adoption is less direct
than the effect of extension contact, but
education can certainly play a role in
the adoption of more complex
technologies, such as fertilizer. Not
surprisingly the study found that
farmers who adopted one or more of the
GGDP technologies had "significantly
more formal schooling" than
nonadopters, perhaps because better
educated farmers acquire and
assimilate new information more

An unexpected finding was that
adoption of GGDP technologies was
higher on larger farms, despite the
emphasis given to promoting "scale-
neutral" technologies that can be
adopted just as easily on small farms.
One possible explanation for the
difference, the researchers say, could
be that even scale-neutral technologies
have certain fixed start-up costs,
including the time and effort needed

to learn about the technology. Such
costs are generally less significant for
large-scale farmers, who can spread
the costs over a more sizeable
production enterprise.

An interesting confluence of the
latter three factors-extension contact,
level of education, and farm size-
came to researchers' attention during
their analysis of gender differences.
"We were careful to ask," says Dankyi,
"whether there was something about
the technology itself that made it
easier for men to adopt, and we
concluded that in this case the answer
was no. Rather, factors not directly
related to the technology seem to affect
the uneven rate of adoption by men
and women." For example, women
had lower levels of education (on
average two years less) and farmed
smaller plots of land than men.
Cultural factors dictating land
inheritance and women's access to
land almost certainly influenced
adoption as well. Perhaps most
significant is that men had twice as
many contacts with extension agents
as women. Although those figures
differ by region (women in the Muslim
north have far less contact with

extension), the implication is that
extension needs to be gender neutral
or, preferably, that an extra effort
should be made to reach women

Overall Findings
The impact study has produced
considerable data for project
contributors, maize breeders, and
extension agents. It also has something
to say to those interested in technology
adoption generally.

"Our overall findings reinforce
something we've seen in other studies
and that we should communicate
better," observes Morris. "Although
we are in the business of producing
improved technologies and extending
them to farmers, we must be realistic
and recognize that many factors
exceed the control of researchers when
it comes to adoption. We must do our
best up-front to develop technologies
possessing characteristics attractive to
our target groups and to focus
extension efforts on disadvantaged
groups. Even so, we cannot ignore the
tremendous influence of cultural
factors, which can determine who has
access to land, or of political factors,
such as subsidies or policy biases
towards certain commodities."

More information: m.morris@cgiar.org

The financial crisis in Asia abruptly informed the

world's leaders and common citizens of the

powerful and wide-ranging influence this region

exerts on world trade and domestic economies-

an influence that extends as well to the wheat and

maize fields of developed and developing nations.

Can Asia, home to over two billion people, meet

future long-term demand for wheat and maize? And

if so, how? This critical question, with its global

implications, is regularly reviewed by CIMMYT

In the wake of the economic turbulence of
1998, Asian grain demand has slumped, grain
stocks in exporting countries are exceedingly
high, and prices have dived to disconcerting
lows. "It would be a grave error, however, if
these short-term trends lead the world to a sense
of complacency towards the long-term prospects
for supplying food to Asia," says Prabhu Pingali,
director of CIMMYT's Economics Program.

To ascertain whether and how the vast
continent will feed its people, future long-term
demand for food and specific cereals must be
credibly calculated. "Traditionally, with Asia,
economists associated increased demand for
cereal crops, in this case wheat and maize, with
population growth," says Pingali. "In the 1960s
the equation was fairly straightforward for this
region: as the population grows, the population-
induced need for more food continues to go up."



ke.ft %F

More recently, stresses Pingali, a Two important trends, spurred by Pingali and Mark Rosegrant of the
new factor entered the equation- consumers' increased buying power, International Food Policy Research
increasing incomes. "With increasing are emerging. The first is an increase in Institute (IFPRI), working with IFPRI's
incomes, even given the economic wheat consumption, tied to the 2020 Global Food Demand/Supply
crisis of 1998, we see diet "westernization of the Asian diet." The Projections, have sketched out the
diversification taking place. There are second is a dramatic rise in maize basic challenges facing the nations of
major shifts in the composition of people's demand, primarily for animal feed, Asia in meeting their growing demand
diets in the region, which will continue in which is fueled in turn by increased for wheat.
China and parts of India and resume in demand for meat and dairy products.
force when Southeast Asia gets back on (Maize supply and demand are Can Wheat Supply
its economic feet." critically important; for details, see Meet Rapidly
box, this page.) Growing Demand?
By 2020, the demand for wheat in
Asia, according to IFPRI projections,
will swell to 322 million tons (from 205
tons in 1993), making Asia responsible
Growing Demand for Feed Maize Could Harm for 42% of global wheat demand.
Poorest of the Poor-Adequate Supply Is the Behind this tremendous growth lies
Answer the aforementioned changes in diet.
"The level of per capital wheat
Although demand for maize, like wheat, has been growing rapidly in Asia, Prahbu
consumption is the clearest gauge of
Pingali, director of CIMMYT's Economics Program, points out that there are important
the 'westernization' of Asia diets,"
differences in the trends and demographics pushing the increase, and in future supply
options. Pingali explains. "Diet
diversification trends are
In Asia the dramatic rise in demand for meat and other livestock products has fueled generally observed across Asia,
higher demand for feed maize, although the turmoil in 1998 slowed that demand. Mark although the extent of
Rosegrant of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) projects that China will substitution out of rice varies
account for 42% of total world growth in demand for livestock products between 1993 and by country and region.
2020. Understanding the trajectory of
change in food consumption
"If to meet that demand, China becomes a major importer," says Pingali, "and we wind up
patterns is an essential
looking at maize imports going from 20 million tons to 80 million tons per year because domestic patterns is an essential
supply is not forthcoming, then you will definitely see an effect on the world market." component of long-term demand
Another side of the maize equation has a much more obvious human dimension.
"Traditionally," Pingali explains, "in Asia it's the very poor that consume maize for food. If there's The trajectory of wheat
an increased demand for maize for animal feed, you'll see some relative price changes for food consumption is up in all
maize that could be injurious to the poorest of the poor, whose numbers have grown with the nations of the continent,
recent economic downturn. Policies promoting improved productivity, particularly aimed at r
though the rates of increase
benefiting those living at the subsistence level, could ease the plight of thousands of people,
differ. Rosegrant cites figures
particularly in parts of the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India." soi ean s g ig
showing that demand is growing
Maize differs from wheat on the supply side as well. Maize, unlike wheat, can be fastest in the nations of Southeast
productively grown in Southeast Asia. Even more important is the wide yield gap in Asia, having risen three-fold from 1961
productive maize areas between technological potential and farmers' actual yields. Greater to 1993. Even with the region's
use of improved technologies and knowledge-intensive management strategies could economic woes, wheat demand is
go a long way towards dramatically increasing supply. expected to double there from the
1993 baseline figure to 2020.
Nevertheless, given the projected needs of Asian nations, Pingali concludes,
substantial resources must be dedicated to agronomic and transportation
infrastructure and to agricultural research to maximize farmers' yields without
depleting the natural resource base.

Wheat demand patterns in South
Asia differ from those of East and
Southeast Asia, Pingali observes.
Wheat is the traditional cereal in
northern India, Pakistan, Nepal, and
northern parts of Bangladesh, and per
capital consumption in those areas
tends to be relatively stable with
respect to income; increased demand
there will continue to be driven
primarily by population growth.
However, he notes, income-induced
dietary changes concurrent with the
substitution out of rice are now being
seen in southern and eastern India, parts
of Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, where per
capital growth in wheat consumption is
projected to be a hefty 3.4% annually
through 2020.

In China, Pingali sees a modest
increase in wheat demand that is
primarily population driven. Dietary
changes are occurring in China, the
economist remarks, but "in northern
China we are seeing a drop in per
capital wheat consumption, while in
southern China we are seeing an
increase, so these opposing trends will
essentially balance each other out."

How China and India (which
together account for 77% of projected
Asian wheat demand by 2020) employ
their significant production
capabilities will undoubtedly influence
Asian and global wheat markets.

What Can Be Done to
Meet Wheat Demand?
Increased wheat demand in Asia
will have to be met through a
combination of increased imports and
enhanced domestic production where
possible, according to Pingali.
Southeast Asia will rely almost

on imports to meet
its wheat requirements. But for
China and India and other South Asian
countries, a rapid expansion in domestic
output growth is absolutely crucial for
meeting growing wheat demand. This will
not be easily accomplished.

"The reality," Pingali emphasizes,
"is that virtually all future growth in
wheat production must come from
increased yield per unit of land,
because the opportunities for further
area expansion are exhausted in Asia."

Aside from limited land area,
economic, policy, and environmental
factors that constrain production must
be addressed. Many farmers on high-
potential land, using advanced
technologies, have neared a point
where additional costs in time or
inputs yield only incremental gains,
making such investments unattractive.
Meanwhile, declining government
investments in, for instance, irrigation
systems have slowed expansion into
potentially productive but unirrigated
areas, while leading to a deterioration

of existing systems. And, in critical
high production regions, such as the
Indian Punjab, the Pakistani Punjab,
and China's Yangtze River delta,
sustainability problems have emerged:
the build-up of salinity in the soils has
had a deleterious effect on production,
which promises to worsen if left

Opportunities for
Growth in the
Wheat Sector
Wheat productivity growth over
the next two decades must match
growth over the past three decades if
the demands of a wheat-hungry world
are to be met. Nowhere is the
challenge more daunting and a sense
of complacency about future wheat
supplies more misplaced than in Asia.
But it is a challenge that can be met.

Pingali and Sanjaya Rajaram,
director of CIMMYT's Wheat Program,
have taken an in-depth look at the
Asian situation and prepared a


detailed assessment on the
technological and policy opportunities
for increasing wheat productivity

Investments in research and
technology development will have to be
made to "shift the yield frontier," in other
words, to develop wheat varieties that
can produce significantly higher yields
in productive environments. New
plant architecture, hybrids, and novel
genetic material incorporated through
wide crossing and possibly
biotechnology hold great promise on
this front (see 1996-97 CIMMYT
Annual Report, "Wheat Researchers
and Farmers Devise New Tactics in the
War against Hunger").

Fundamental changes in the use of
fertilizers, pesticides, and labor will be
required to achieve production
increases without proportionate
increases in costs to farmers, making
adoption of these technologies
profitable at the ground level.
Integrated pest management and
planting on furrow-irrigated raised
beds, for instance, can significantly
reduce pesticide and herbicide
applications and costs.

Resources must be dedicated to
improving wheat production in
marginal areas already under
cultivation, says Pingali, both in terms
of yield and sustainability, and
especially in China and India.
"Investments in marginal environments
are absolutely essential for ensuring
urban food supplies, even if countries are
integrated into the global economy. For
smaller wheat-producing countries,

the prudent strategy would be to
invest modestly in such

Whether its eking out additional
productivity in a marginal
environment or shifting the yield
frontier in high productivity areas,
Pingali and Rajaram concur that for
production growth to increase
sufficiently, investments in both
agricultural research and farmer
education must be forthcoming.

"From the research perspective,"
says CIMMYT affiliate economist Greg
Traxler of Auburn University, "a major
consideration is that knowledge-intensive
technologies that lead to greater
efficiency are fairly location specific, and
so the cost of developing such
technologies relative to likely impacts
may be high."

Pingali adds that policymakers and
researchers must also realize that such
knowledge-intensive technologies
come at a significant cost in the time
required of farmers to learn, manage,
and make decisions related to the

More Information: p.pingali@cgiar.org

asaaBc Upat/Otl

C l M MXiTtef ses9osYfl m inum

Toxicity in Soils

Acid soils rob vegetative growth and yield potential from cereal grains by

reducing the plant's capacity to absorb nutrients and water from the soil and, in

many instances, promoting problems with aluminum toxicity. The impact of this

production factor is global, with 1.7 billion hectares of arable land classified as

acidic. Aluminum toxicity negatively influences production on 67% of these

soils. The problem is particularly acute in South America, where 80% of the

agricultural land is acidic.

CIMMYT is engaged in two projects* directed
towards maize and wheat that address this problem at
the genetic and molecular levels and provide the
foundation for future advances. The overall strategy,
which encompasses both projects, says molecular
geneticist Jean-Marcel Ribaut, is directed at
understanding the genetics of aluminum tolerance (the
number and location of genes, and the physiological basis
of tolerance) with the aim of developing molecular
markers linked to these genes. The markers could then be
used to transfer aluminum-tolerance genes to other maize
and wheat germplasm.

Work on Maize
The maize project, developed by CIMMYT's Maize
Program and Applied Biotechnology Center, and
supported by the Colombian Corporation of Agricultural
Research (CORPOICA), will develop maize cultivars and
hybrids, and accompanying technologies and cropping
systems, for the acid savannas of Colombia. To date a
linkage map has been produced based on F2 genetic data.
The next breeding cycle, conducted by CIMMYT breeders
in Colombia, will provide phenotypic data that doctoral
candidate Alejandro A. Navas and the CIMMYT team

S Molecular Studies for Linkage Analysis and Determination of
Quantitative Trait Loci for Acid Soil Tolerance in Maize;
Aluminum Tolerance in Rye (Secale cereale L.): Dissecting the
Genetic Control.

will use to locate genomic : i-
affecting acid tolerance iil in;: z.
benefits from this project -II. LIl.
eventually extend to the ;t-t .fl
America and the world.

Work on Wheat
On the wheat front, researchers seek first to
identify the genes for aluminum tolerance in rye-a
related species with a simpler genetic system-and
then to transfer those genes to wheat. The project has
already collected the phenotypic and genetic data that
graduate student Arne Hede is using to identify the
genomic regions of interest. At least one major gene
was identified in July 1998. Markers closely linked to
the gene will be used to follow the transfer of the
aluminum tolerance allele into the wheat genome. The
same marker (already mapped on the wheat genome
to chromosome 4) may well be used to screen wheat
accessions in the future. Hede's research has been
supported by the Danish International Development
Agency and CIMMYT (through the wheat germplasm
bank and the Applied Biotechnology Center).

More Information: j.ribaut@cgiar.org

I i L

Have modern breeders increased or decreased genetic

making heats more genetically uniform, and hence more

vulnerable to disease, insect threats, and adverse

environmental conditions, or if their work is maintaining or
CIMMYT molecular geneticist Mireille Khairallah and Isabel Almanza, a

Colombian graduate student studying at the Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo,
Mexico, are examining 15 "historic" CIMMYT wheat varieties (widely grown varieties
released in northwestern Mexico between the late t1960s and the late 1980s). Using
new molecular markers (AFLPs and microsatellites), they are looking at a range of
variables to determine the molecular distance between the varieties, which is an

indicatoreven increasing genetic diversity in wheat.genetic diversity

Previous CIMMYT studies have addressed the diversity issue by looking at traits
CIMMYT molecrust resistance, as well as coefficients of parentage, and havel Almanza, a
Colombian grthat the student studying at the Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo,iversity.
Mexico, ar have examining 15 "historic" CIMMYT wheat varieties studies(widely grown varieties
released in northwestern Mexico between the late 1960s and the late 1980s). Using
new molecular markers (AFLPs and microsatellites), they are looking at a range of

variablesning to determine the molecular level," distance between the varieties, which is an
indicator of getant offshoot of this work will be increased knowty

about the Previous CIMMYT studies have addressed the diversity issue by looking at traits
use of biotechnology and stat resistance, as well ascalculated coefficients of parentage, and have

concluded that the Center is doingstudy will be helpfulwell in future resemaintaining genetic diversity.
"We have taken the varieties used in the earlier studies and are

During the upcoming year Khairallah and Almanza plan to it
An important offshoot of this work will be increased knowk>.flt .

about the relationship between genetic distance determined thcular tma
use of biotechnology and statistically calculated coefficients of
parentage. In addition, the development of the biometric tools l--'J Si iS ^

needed for precisely determining genetic distance, thus reducing the work and time
required to compare varieties with accuracy. This would represent a modest but
necessary step towards the achievement of a grander goal: the fingerprinting and
characterization of thousands of accessions of wheat now held in CIMMYT's gene
bank. Such work, in turn, could greatly expedite the future use of gene bank
materials by wheat breeders and other scientists (see "Opening Gene Bank Doors a
Little Wider," p. 24). 49

More Information: m.khairallah@cgiar.org

of Mexican Maize Landraces: Capitalizing

on Farmer-Breeders' Knowledge

As part of a joint effort begun in 1997 to help smallholders in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca,

Mexico, preserve selected maize landraces, CIMMYT and the Mexican National Institute

for Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock Research (INIFAP) will soon return improved

versions of landrace seed to farmers who participated in the selection and improvement

process. The work is funded by the governments of Mexico and Japan and the

International Development Research Centre, Canada.

Suketoshi Taba, head of maize genetic
resources at CIMMYT, and INIFAP breeder
Flavio Arag6n Cuevas collected more than 150
samples of the local landrace Bolita from
farmers throughout the region. Assisted by
INIFAP agronomist Humberto Castro Garcia,
they sowed trials including all samples, plus
selected Bolita collections
from CIMMYT and
INIFAP's germplasm banks,
in farmers' fields at 15 villages.
At harvest, they organized
field days at six sites
where more than 500
local farmers and
others from the region
scored trial entries
for grain quality,
forage production,
jn,.d other key traits.
Those data were
c. oi nbined with yield
data taken by the
researchers to place trial
entries into five groups, representing the
diversity of plant and ear types.

Outstanding samples were then selected and
improved for yield, grain and ear quality, and
early maturity (a characteristic highly valued by
local farmers). Seed of the best is being increased
for distribution to participating farmers, and all


samples, original and improved, will be
conserved in the CIMMYT and INIFAP banks. A
socioeconomic follow-up study will assess
farmers' use of the improved landrace seed.
"Farmers receive an improved product, but the
grain and plant type and maturity traits they
prefer are still there," Taba says.

Selection resulted in a subset of Bolita (20%
of the seed collections) that fairly represents its
racial diversity and can be further improved by
INIFAP breeders. "Because of breeders' demand
for higher yielding landraces, such as Tuxpefo,
landraces grown by poor farmers under
marginal conditions for specialty uses have
been under-sampled in efforts to collect and
conserve maize genetic resources," Taba
explains. "Our approach integrates in situ and ex
situ conservation of extant landrace diversity."
Farmers participate in documenting seed
samples at the time of collection, in evaluating
them, and choosing desired populations. They
help breeders select and recombine progeny as
part of the improvement process. Researchers in
turn obtain knowledge about farmers' use of
landraces and, using farmer criteria and
participation, arrive at breeding strategies that
are more attuned to farmers' needs.

More Information: s.taba@cgiar.org

Study to Clarify the Genetic Diversity

in Production Systems

Take survey information at the household and aggregate level from the

world's largest wheat producer, combine it with data and expertise from a

global leader in researching genetic diversity in wheat, and you have the

basic ingredients for a heavyweight study on the relationship between

genetic diversity and wheat productivity-a critical issue for wheat

breeders and policymakers.

With funding from Australia and
support from Australian and Chinese
institutions,* CIMMYT in late 1997
began a two-year study that will have
far-reaching applications. Using various
measurement techniques, the study will
assess levels of genetic diversity in
China and Australia and examine the
complex interaction of diversity with
crop productivity, stability, household
preferences for growing different kinds
of wheat varieties, and policy.

Work in

China and Australia were chosen for
comparison because their wheat
production systems are quite different in
terms of commercialization, policies
affecting crop breeding and research,
and the incentives leading households to
grow different types of wheat varieties.

Investigating farm-level selection of
wheat varieties and resulting diversity
outcomes is an important element of the
China research. Erika Meng, a
Rockefeller Fellow assigned to CIMMYT,
worked with the Chinese Academy of
Agricultural Sciences/Center for
Chinese Agricultural Policy (CAAS/
CCAP) to conduct a household survey in
June 1998. The survey will increase our

understanding of the wheat production
and consumption characteristics that
influence the household's decision
about which variety to grow. Data will
also be used to measure wheat
diversity at the farm level.
Furthermore, results of the household
study will help identify incentives for
farmers to continue growing certain
kinds of varieties rather than others
and will also guide future wheat
breeding efforts. Very few, if any,
traditional varieties are grown in the
survey areas, so the study will focus
mostly on farmers' choice of improved
wheat varieties.

Another aim of the China research
is to examine aggregate changes in
genetic diversity over time and
compare the effects of different policies
in the major wheat-producing
provinces on genetic diversity. This
component of the study will break new
ground, as the data required to
examine wheat genetic diversity have
been unavailable in China until now.
CIMMYT is collaborating closely with
CAAS/CCAP to amass this extensive
database. Once completed, this
resource, containing information on
wheat pedigrees, area planted to
cultivars over time, yield performance,

and a range of other plant and
agronomic characteristics, will provide
important baseline data in a number of

The Australian component of the
study focuses on how changes in
research policies, research priorities, and
wheat marketing have affected genetic
diversity and the supply of varieties.
Most data have already been collected
and are being updated.

To make full use of the data from the
diverse settings provided by China and
Australia, researchers are developing a
theoretical and methodological
framework to address the many
questions about the relationships
between genetic diversity, policy, and
farmers' choice of varieties. A major
product of the study will be a
sophisticated research construct that
incorporates genetic diversity issues into
the economic analysis of production
systems, an endeavor complicated by the
multitude of definitions of "genetic
diversity" and of methods used to
measure it. The development of the
framework will be a milestone in efforts
to understand the role that genetic
diversity plays and will greatly
contribute to CIMMYT's
broader project on Global
Genetic Resource
Conservation and

* The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research provided funds; support is provided
by the University of Sydney, the New South Wales Department of Agriculture, and the Chinese
Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy.

Enhancin LResearcL Mana pment in

Latin America

March 1998 saw a new project launched by CIMMYT's Economics Program, targeted at identifying the major

variables that affect the productivity of maize and wheat research systems in Latin America. With that

information in hand, the project can examine and recommend ways to improve the efficiency of the national

institutions responsible for research on these critical commodities. Funded by the Inter-American

Development Bank (IDB), the three-year project will draw on expertise and data from collaborating

institutions throughout Latin America.* During the upcoming year, project members will develop and verify

methodologies and gather data on maize and wheat research institutions throughout the region.

and Methodology
The project has five components,
which should produce a clear picture of
where opportunities for increasing
efficiency lie: 1) institutional analysis;
2) analysis of flows of "pre-
technologies" (for instance, improved
lines used by national research systems
but not yet publicly released);
3) analysis of flows of released genetic
technologies; 4) analysis of flows of crop
management technologies; and
5) analysis of the variables that influence
production of genetic technologies (for
instance, new varieties).

Although CIMMYT has studied
flows of varieties and pre-technology in
some Latin American countries, work on
institutional analysis, crop management
technologies, and the cost of producing
the technologies is new, according to
CIMMYT economist and project
coordinator Javier Ekboir.

At the institutional level, the
research team will look at incentives and
disincentives within institutes, staffing
levels, the stability of budgets, and other
factors that bear on research efficiency.
This will be the first effort conducted in
Latin America on such a broad scale.

II:. L .. .

Meanwhile, to look at the flows of
crop management technologies, project
members will develop and test two new
methodologies, says Ekboir. One, to be
used in Central America, will identify
several technologies that farmers use
and attempt to trace them to their
origins. The second, to be used in South
America, will monitor a technology that
scientists believe has the potential to
spread widely, observing factors that
constrain or enhance its diffusion.

Novel Insights into the
Course of
Research Management
Getting at the factors that influence
the generation of new varieties, the
project's fifth component, should offer
some novel insights, Ekboir believes.
Using the data collected at the
institutional level, the research team will
identify economies and diseconomies of
size and scope. They will also
investigate how germplasm spillovers
(use of varieties or breeding material
outside the areas for which they were
developed) and institutional factors
affect research productivity. The goal is
to answer a critical question for research
management: does the cost of
producing a variety rise or fall with the
number of researchers and/or number
of programs at an institution?

All of this must be viewed in an
international context, Ekboir adds. For
instance, in the past, technology flowed
from the larger national agricultural
research systems (NARSs) to the
smaller ones. The reasons for this
pattern are still not clear, raising a key
point of inquiry for the study team.
Would expanding the capacity of
smaller NARSs lead to a bi-directional
flow of knowledge and germplasm and
increase opportunities for the larger
NARSs? A host of related issues emerge
from this question. Should a smaller
NARS invest in a larger NARS'
research efforts, rather than its own? Is
a larger system more efficient? Are
collaborative networks, formed by
smaller programs, more productive
than a single large program? How will
intellectual property rights and
technical change affect research
opportunities for larger and smaller
NARSs? In responding to these
questions, the study could have a direct
bearing on the future course of
agricultural research management in
Latin America.

More Information: j.ekboir@cgiar.org

* Including Argentina's INTA, Bolivia's CIAT,
Brazil's EMBRAPA, Central America's
Regional Maize Program, Mexico's INIFAP,
Paraguay's DIA/MAG, and IDB.

NARSs 21"

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CIMMYT Research Agenda Financing Summary
For the period hrom January 1 to December 31. 1997
LI .I: s 01:10 I

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Tolal 15,956 12,869 28,825

Principal Staff
(as of September 1998)

Principal Staff

Office of the Director General
Timothy G. Reeves, Australia, Director
Claudio Cafati, Chile, Deputy Director
General of Administration and Finance
Lucy Gilchrist S., Chile, Senior Scientist,
Head, Seed Health Unit
Zhong-Hu He, China, China Liaison
Scientist (based in Beijing)'
Patricia L6pez-M., Mexico, Executive
Assistantto the Director General
Gregorio Martinez V., Mexico,
Government and Public Affairs Officer
Peter J. Ninnes, Australia, Senior
Executive Officer, Research

Consultant/Research Affiliate
Norman E. Borlaug, USA

External Relations Program
Tiffin D. Harris, USA, Director
Anne Starks Acosta, USA, Donor
Relations Officer II
Leslie Rose, USA, Public Awareness
Officer 112

Publications and Communications
Kelly A. Cassaday, USA, Senior
Publications Manager
G. Michael Listman, USA, Writer/Editor II
Alma L. McNab, Honduras, Senior Writer/
Editor and Translations Coordinator
Miguel Mellado E., Mexico, Publications
David A. Poland, USA, Writer/Editor 113

Information Technology Unit
Edith Hesse, Austria, Information
Technology Manager
Jesis Vargas G., Mexico, Systems and
Guillermo Ibarra B., Mexico, PC Support
and Integration4
Rafael Herrera M., Mexico, Software
Carlos L6pez, Mexico, Project Leader,
Software Development
Hector Sanchez V., Mexico, Project
Leader, Software Development

Corinne de Gracia, Mexico, Head
Fernando Garcia P., Mexico, Electronic
Information Specialist
John Woolston, Canada, Visiting Scientist

Consultant/Research Affiliate
Jonathan Woolley, UK4

Maize Program
Shivaji Pandey, India, Director3'6
Richard Wedderburn, Barbados,
Associate Director6
Danilo Baldos, Philippines, Scientist,
Agronomist/Coordinator, Crop
Management Training (based in
Marianne Binziger, Switzerland,
Scientist, Physiologist (based in
David Beck, USA, Senior Scientist,
Leader, Highland Maize
David Bergvinson, Canada, Scientist,
Javier Betrin, Spain, Scientist, Breeder2

Jorge Bolaiios, Nicaragua, Senior
Scientist, Agronomist (based in
Hugo C6rdova, El Salvador, Principal
Scientist, Breeder/Leader of Tropical
Carlos de Le6n G., Mexico, Principal
Scientist, Pathologist/Breeder (based
in Colombia)
Alpha 0. Diallo, Guinea, Senior
Scientist, Breeder (based in Kenya)
Gregory Edmeades, New Zealand,
Principal Scientist, Crop Physiologist
Dennis Friesen, Canada, Senior
Scientist, Agronomist (based in
Daniel Jeffers, USA, Senior Scientist,
David Jewell, Australia, Senior
Scientist, Breeder (based in
James Lothrop, USA, Senior Scientist,
Breeder (based in Thailand)2
Luis Narro, Peru, Scientist, Breeder
(based in Colombia)
Kevin V. Pixley, USA, Senior Scientist,
Breeder (based in Zimbabwe)
Joel K. Ransom, USA, Senior Scientist,
Agronomist(based in Kenya)
Ganesan Srinivasan, India, Senior
Scientist Leader, Subtropical Maize,
and Head, International Testing Unit
Suketoshi Taba, Japan, Senior
Scientist, Head, Maize Germplasm
S. Twumasi-Afriyie, Ghana, Scientist,
Breeder (based in Ethiopia)2
Surinder K. Vasal, India, Distinguished
Scientist, Breeder/Liaison Officer
(based in Thailand)6
Stephen Waddington, UK, Senior
Scientist, Agronomist/NRG Associate
(based in Zimbabwe)
Martha Willcox, USA, Scientist,
Breeder/Applications of
Batson Zambezi, Malawi, Scientist,
Breeder (based in Zimbabwe)

Associate Scientists
Miguel Barandiaran, Peru, Breeder
Benoit Clerget, Switzerland (based in
Salvador Castellanos, Guatemala,
Anne Elings, the Netherlands,
Fred Kanampiu, Kenya, Breeder (based
in Kenya)'
Harish Kumar, India, Entomologist2
Byung-Ryeol Sung, South Korea,
Benti Tolessa, Ethiopia, Breeder3

Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellows
Anthony Esilaba, Kenya (based in
Jerome Fournier, Switzerland (based in
Jan Hirabayashi, USA, Entomologist2
Julien de Meyer, Switzerland3
Stephen Mugo, Kenya, Physiologist3
Sai Kumar Ramanujam, India, Breeder2
Bindiganavile Vivek, India, Breeder'

1 Appointed in 1997.
2 Left in 1997.
3 Appointed in 1998.
4 Left in 1998.
5 Visited for a minimum of 2-3 months.
6 Project Coordinator.

Consultants/Research Affiliates
Gonzalo Granados R., Mexico, Training
Felix San Vicente, Venezuela2

Wheat Program
Sanjaya Rajaram, India, Director
H. Jesse Dubin, USA, Associate Director
Osman S. Abdalla, Sudan, Senior Scientist,
Bread Wheat Breeder (based in Syria)
Arnoldo Amaya, Mexico, Administrative
Hans-Joachim Braun, Germany, Senior
Scientist, Breeder (based in Turkey)6
Etienne Duveiller, Belgium, Senior Scientist,
Pathologist(based in Nepal)
Paul Fox, Australia, Senior Scientist,
Manager, International Nurseries
Guillermo Fuentes D., Mexico, Scientist,
Pathologist (Bunts/Smuts)
Lucy Gilchrist S., Chile, Senior Scientist,
Pathologist (Fusarium/Septoria)
Maarten van Ginkel, the Netherlands, Senior
Scientist, Head, Bread Wheat Breeding6
Monique Henry, France, Scientist, Virologist
Muratbek Karabayev, Kazakstan,
International Liaison Scientist (based in
Gunther Manske, Germany, Scientist,
Mohamed Mergoum, Morocco, Senior
Scientist, Head, Triticale Breeding
A. Mujeeb-Kazi, USA, Principal Scientist,
Head, Wide Crosses
Man Mohan Kohli, India, Principal Scientist,
Breeder (based in Uruguay)
Guillermo Ortiz Ferrara, Mexico, Principal
Scientist, Breeder (based in Nepal)
Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Mexico, Scientist,
Alexei Morgounov, Russia, Scientist, Breeder
(based in Turkey)
M. Miloudi Nachit, Germany, Senior
Scientist, Durum Wheat Breeder (based in
Thomas S. Payne, USA, Scientist, Breeder
(based in Ethiopia)
Roberto J. Peiia, Mexico, Senior Scientist,
Head, Industrial Quality
Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer, Germany, Senior
Scientist, Head, Durum Wheat Breeding6
Matthew P. Reynolds, UK, Scientist, Head,
Eugene E. Saari, USA, Principal Scientist,
Pathologist/Breeder (based in Nepal)2
Kenneth D. Sayre, USA, Principal Scientist,
Head, Crop Management
Ravi P. Singh, India, Principal Scientist,
Geneticist/Pathologist (Rust)6
Bent Skovmand, Denmark, Senior Scientist,
Head, Wheat Germ plasm Bank, and Genetic
Douglas G. Tanner, Canada, Senior Scientist,
Agronomist (based in Ethiopia)
Richard Trethowan, Australia, Scientist,
Bread Wheat Breeder'
George Varughese, India, Principal Scientist,
Leader, Maize/Wheat Network (based in
Reynaldo L. Villareal, Philippines, Senior
Scientist, Head, Germplasm Improvement
Patrick C. Wall, Ireland, Principal Scientist,
Agronomist/NRG Associate (based in

Associate Scientists
Janny van Beem, Colombia, Physiologist
Belgin Cukadar, Turkey, Breeder
Arne Hede, Denmark, Geneticist

Adjunct Scientists
Hugo Vivar, Ecuador, Senior Scientist, Head,
ICARDA/CIMMYT Barley Program

Masanori Inagaki, Japan, Associate
Scientist, Cytogeneticist4

Postdoctoral Fellow
Julie Nicol, Australia, Nematologist3

Graduate Students
Ligia Ayala, Ecuador
Subhash Ch. Tripathi, India

Consultants/Research Affiliates
Maximino Alcala, Mexico'
Julio Huerta, Mexico
Ernesto Samayoa, Mexico

Economics Program
Prabhu Pingali, India, Director
Mauricio Bellon, Mexico, Scientist, Human
Javier Ekboir, Argentina, Scientist,
Paul W. Heisey, USA, Senior Scientist,
Mulugetta Mekuria, Ethiopia, Scientist,
Economist(based in Zimbabwe)
Erika Meng, USA, Economist and
Rockefeller Foundation Visiting Research
Michael Morris, USA, Senior Scientist,
Wilfred M. Mwangi, Kenya, Principal
Scientist, Economist (based in Ethiopia)
Ma. Luisa Rodriguez, Mexico, Program
Gustavo E. Sain, Argentina, Senior
Scientist, Economist (based in Costa
Melinda Smale, USA, Senior Scientist,

Adjunct Associate Scientists
Damien Jourdain, France, Economist'
Hugo Verkuijl, the Netherlands, Economist
(based in Ethiopia)

Postdoctoral Fellow
Monika Zurek, Germany, Economist (based
in Costa Rica)'

Research Associates
Alfonso Aguirre, Mexico, Human Ecologist'
Dagoberto Flores, Mexico, Field
Roberta Gerpacio, Philippines, Economist
(based in the Philippines)3
Miguel Ignacio G6mez, Colombia,
Maximina Lantican, Philippines, Economist
Naresh Pradhan, Nepal, Economist2
Jean Risopoulos, Belgium, Economist
Manisha Shah, USA, Economist

Consultants/Research Affiliates
John Brennan, Australia, Economist
David Cleveland, USA, Economist
Cheryl Doss, USA, Economist
David Godden, Australia, Economist
Douglas Gollin, USA, Economist
Jikun Huang, China, Economist
Janet Lauderdale, USA, Nutritionist
Miguel Angel L6pez, Honduras, Economist
Dominique Louette, France, Economist
James MacMillan, Canada, Economist2
Timothy McBride, USA, Writer/Editor
Harold Mickelson, USA, Maize Breeder2
Mitch Renkow, USA, Economist
Scott Rozelle, USA, Economist
Daniela Soleri, USA, Economist
Gregory Traxler, USA, Economist
Robert Tripp, USA, Anthropologist

Natural Resources Group
Larry Harrington, USA, Director6
Hector J. Barreto, Colombia, Senior
Scientist, Agronomist (joint CIMMYT/
CIAT staff, based in Honduras)
Peter Grace, Australia, Senior Scientist,
Soils Scientist'
Peter R. Hobbs, UK, Principal Scientist,
Agronomist (based in Nepal)6
Craig A. Meisner, USA, Scientist,
Agronomist (based in Bangladesh)
Adriana Rodriguez, Mexico, GIS
Ma. Luisa Rodriguez, Mexico, Program
Jeff White, USA, Senior Scientist, Head,
GIS/Modeling Laboratory

Adjunct Scientists
Olaf Erenstein, the Netherlands, Associate
Scientist, Economist2
A. Dewi Hartkamp, the Netherlands,
Associate Scientist, GIS/Modeling
Eric Scopel, France, Senior Scientist,
Bernard Triomphe, France, Scientist,
Christopher Vaughan, UK, Predoctoral
Fellow (based in Zimbabwe)3

Consultants/Research Affiliates
David Hodson, UK, GIS Specialist/
Bruce Hungate, USA, Agronomist
Scott Justice, USA, Research Affiliate
(based in Nepal)4
Bernard Kamanga, Malawi, Research
Affiliate (based in Malawi)3
Joost Lieshout, the Netherlands, Database
Monica Mezzalama, Italy, Plant
Zondai Shamudzarira, Zimbabwe,
Research Affiliate (based in Zimbabwe)3
Julio C6sar Velasquez, Mexico, Research
Jonathan Woolley, UK, Consultant4

Graduate Students
Bruno Basso, Italy, Michigan State
Marcus Bergman, the Netherlands,
Wageningen Agricultural University/the
Kirsten de Beurs, the Netherlands,
Wageningen Agricultural University/the
Marjatta Eilitta, Finland, University of
Antoine Findeling, France
Serena Stornainolo, Italy, Michigan State

Applied Biotechnology Center
David Hoisington, USA, Director
Ognian Bohorov, Bulgaria, Scientific
Services Officer II
Natasha Bohorova, Bulgaria, Senior
Scientist, Cell Biologist6
Luz Maria George, Philippines, Scientist,
Coordinator, Asian Maize Biotechnology
Network (based in the Philippines)3
Diego Gonzalez-de-Le6n, Mexico, Senior
Scientist, Molecular Geneticist2
Daniel Grimanelli, France, Scientist,
Molecular Geneticist
Mireille Khairallah, Lebanon, Senior
Scientist, Molecular Geneticist
Scott McLean, USA, Scientist, Geneticist/
Enrico Perotti, Italy, Scientist, Molecular

d. *

Jean Marcel Ribaut, Switzerland, Scientist,
Molecular Geneticist
Marilyn Warburton, USA, Scientist,
Molecular Geneticist3
Wanggen Zhang, China, Scientist, Molecular

Associate Scientists
Sarah Fennell, UK, Molecular Geneticist
Fred Kanampiu, Kenya, Breeder (based in
Alessandro Pellegrineschi, Italy, Cell
Manilal William, Sri Lanka, Molecular

Adjunct Scientists
Godfree Chigeza, Zimbabwe, SIRDC/
Zimbabwe, Breeder'
Baldwin Chipangura, Zimbabwe, SIRDC/
Zimbabwe, Molecular Geneticist'
Olivier Leblanc, France, ORSTOM/France,
Scientist, Geneticist'
Jang-Yong Lee, Korea, RDA/Korea, Senior
Zachary Muthamia, Kenya, KARI/Kenya,
Kahiu Ngugi, Kenya, KARI/Kenya, Molecular
Yves Savidan, France, ORSTOM/France,
Senior Scientist, Cytogeneticist6
Antonio Serratos, Mexico, INIFAP/Mexico,
Molecular Biologist
Kazuhiro Suenaga, Japan, JIRCAS/Japan,
Senior Scientist, Geneticist3

Graduate Students
Isabel Almanza, Colombia, Colegio de
Elsa Espinosa, Mexico, Colegio de
Susanne Groh, Germany, University of
Hohenheim, Germany2
H6ctor Guill6n, Mexico, Colegio de
Ramiro Hernandez, Mexico, Colegio de
John Larsen, Canada, University of Ottawa/
Daisy P6rez, Cuba, Colegio de
Alix Pernet, France, CIRAD/France2
Celine Pointe, France, ORSTOM/France3
Gael Pressoir, France, ORSTOM/France3

Jos6 Crossa, Uruguay, Principal Scientist,
Chiangjian Jiang, China, Scientist,

Consultants/Research Affiliates
Artemio Cadena, Mexico'
Jorge Franco, Uruguay2
Mateo Vargas, Mexico

Experiment Stations
Francisco Magallanes, Mexico, Field
Superintendent, El Batan
Jos6 A. Miranda, Mexico, Field
Superintendent, Toluca
Rodrigo Rasc6n, Mexico, Field
Superintendent, Cd. Obreg6n
Abelardo Salazar, Mexico, Field
Superintendent, Poza Rica
Alejandro L6pez, Mexico, Field
Superintendent, Tlaltizapan

General Laboratories
Jaime L6pez C., Mexico, Supervisor, Soils and
Plant Nutrition Laboratory

General Administration
Linda Ainsworth, USA, Manager, Visitors
and Conference Services
Hugo Alvarez V., Mexico, Administrative
Krista Baldini, USA, Senior Human
Resources Manager
Luis Baiios, Mexico, Supervisor, Drivers
Zoila C6rdova, Mexico, Manager, Projects
and Budgets'
Enrique Cosilion, Mexico, Supervisor,
Marisa de la 0, Mexico, Head, International
Martha Duarte, Mexico, Finance Manager
Carmen Espinosa, Mexico, Head, Legal
Salvador Fragoso, Mexico, Payroll and
Taxes Supervisor
Maria Garay A., Mexico, Head, Food and
Gilberto Hernandez V., Mexico, Training
Gerardo Hurtado, Mexico, Head, National
H6ctor Maciel, Mexico, Manager,
Accounting Operations
Eduardo Mejia, Mexico, Head, Security
Domingo Moreno L., Mexico, Head,
Guillermo Quesada 0., Mexico, Treasury
Javier Robledo, Mexico, Computer User
Support Supervisor'
Roberto Rodriguez, Mexico, Head,
Eduardo de la Rosa, Mexico, Head, Building
Rorika Rueda, Mexico, Accounts Payable
German Tapia, Mexico, Warehouse
Manuel Terrazas M., Mexico, Treasury
Cristino Torres, Mexico, Accounts Payable
Miguel Zetina, Mexico, Computer User
Support Supervisor2

Visiting Scientists and
Research Fellows5
Hanneke Aalbers, the Netherlands, Institute
of Plant Protection, Wheat Program
Carlos G. Aguirre Azturrizaga, Peru, INIA/
Peru, Maize Program
Javed Iqbal Mirza Ahmad, Pakistan, Ayub
Agricultural Research Institute, Wheat
Mohannad Barzegari, Iran, Seed and Plant
Improvement Research Institute/Iran,
Maize Program
Richard Brettel, Australia, CSIRO/Australia,
Wheat Program and Applied
Biotechnology Center4
James Brewbaker, USA, University of
Hawaii/USA, Maize Program
Daniel Calderini, Argentina, Wheat Program
William Bias Cerdan, Peru, Universidad
Nacional de Trujillo/Per6, Applied
Biotechnology Center4
Nick Chambers, UK, Agricultural Botany and
Crop Genetics, Wheat Program
Aldo Crossa, Argentina, Wittenberg
University/USA, Applied Biotechnology
Olivia Damasco, Philippines, University of
Philippines at Los Bafios/Philippines,
Applied Biotechnology Center4
Karim Sayed Fazlul Dewan, Bangladesh,
Dept. of Agricultural Extension/
Bangladesh, Maize Program

Susanne Dreisigacker, Germany, University of
Hohenheim/Germany, Wheat Program
Ismahane Elouafi, Morocco, ICARDA/Syria,
Applied Biotechnology Center
Marcelo Edmundo Ferrer, Argentina, INTA/
Argentina, Maize Program
J. Santos Ledesma Gonzalez, Mexico,
UAAAN/Mexico, Maize Program
Nelson N. Gororo, Zimbabwe, University of
Melbourne/Australia, Wheat Program
He Kanglai, China, Guangxi Maize Research
Institute/China, Maize Program
Roger Peter Kinywee, Kenya, KARI/Kenya,
Applied Biotechnology Center
Keshab Babu Koirala, Nepal, National Maize
Research Program/Nepal, Maize Program
Xiaowu Lu, China, University of Hawaii/USA,
Maize Program
Admasu Melake-Berhan, Kenya, IITA/Nigeria,
Applied Biotechnology Center
Abu Alam Mondal, Bangladesh, Bangladesh
Agricultural Research Institute, Maize
Onias Moyo, Zimbabwe, SIRDC/Zimbabwe,
Applied Biotechnology Center
Stephen Mugo, Kenya, KARI/Kenya, Maize
Alejandro Navas, Colombia, Iowa State
University/USA, Applied Biotechnology
August Neumuller, Austria, Institute for
Hydraulics and Rural Water Management,
Wheat Program
Sarah M. Nourse, USA, University of Hawaii/
USA, Maize Program
Kwandwo Obeng-Antwi, Ghana, IITA/Nigeria,
Maize Program
Francis Ogbonnaya, Australia, Victoria Institute
for Dryland Agriculture, Applied
Biotechnology Center
Ram6n Ibarra Rios, Mexico, INIFAP/Mexico,
Maize Program
Mohammed Abdus Salam, Bangladesh, Dept. of
Agricultural Extension, Maize Program
Rail Bias Sevillano, Peru, Universidad
Nacional Agraria La Molina/Peru, Applied
Biotechnology Center
Peter Sharp, Australia, University of Sydney/
Australia, Applied Biotechnology Center4
Wolfgang Spielmeyer, Australia, CSIRO/
Australia, Applied Biotechnology Center
Nigatu Tadesse, USA, Wheat Program
Ma. Jos6 Vasconcelos, Brazil, EMBRAPA/
Brazil, Applied Biotechnology Center
Ann Laura Vilhelmsen, Denmark, Royal
Veterinary and Agricultural Institute, Wheat
Emiliano Villordo, Mexico, UNAM/Mexico,
Applied Biotechnology Center
William Wamala Wagoire, Uganda, Uganda
National Agricultural Research Orgnization,
Wheat Program
Fahong Wang, China, Shandong Academy of
Agricultural Sciences/China, Wheat Program
Shihe Xiao, China, CAAS, Wheat Program
Xu Xiang Yang, China, Henan Academy of
Agricultural Sciences/China, Applied
Biotechnology Center
Habtamu Zelleke, Ethiopia, College of
Agriculture/Ethiopia, Maize Program

1 Appointed in 1997.
2 Left in 1997.
3 Appointed in 1998.
4 Left in 1998.
5 Visited for a minimum of 2-3 months.
6 Project Coordinator.


Gene Saari

S Tlil \1'ai CIMMYT suffered the loss of an esteemed
and It.aln--tanding friend: Eugene Saari. Gene retired from
CI N IN P1 T in early 1997 after 28 years of valuable service in
i\ iL ca pa cities in the Wheat Program. He passed away
o n s, pt'Ln ber 21, 1998, after a brief battle against cancer.

Bo w in' Minnesota, Gene got his PhD in plant
ipatlh Ih '\ n om the University of Minnesota in 1966. After
a bN dI -ttint as research fellow at Michigan State
L !Ii\ cl i-t\ lie initiated his international career in 1967 as a
Ih~ d -l bi'ndation Post Doctoral Fellow working in India,
\. lL IL hIl lt st came into contact with CIMMYT. CIMMYT
hi llJd himl in! 1969, which marked the beginning of a long
a'd ii h LirtiLil association. Gene served in Asia (India, 1969-
7 Thail:land 1980-84; Nepal, 1994-97) and the Middle East
I Lbaa.:ll 11'73-76; Egypt, 1976-80; Turkey, 1987-90) at
d ie Ic rt tines in his professional life. Between those
a-i.a!IniLt-r he came back to CIMMYT headquarters in
N l \icL i-.hlre from 1990 to 1993 he headed the Wheat
I'l al a in L op protection subprogram.

Although a pathologist by training, he also worked as a breeder during certain
periods of his professional career. But perhaps his most important contributions
came when he was serving as CIMMYT representative in the regions where he
worked. His professional expertise, wide experience, and exceptional people skills
made him particularly well suited to working in outreach. He was well-respected
by his colleagues for his tireless support, genuine concern, and deep commitment to
bettering conditions in the developing world. His indefatigable optimism and good
humor stood him in good stead when dealing with the complexities of life in

Gene was a member of a long list of professional associations- among them,
the American Phytopathological Society, the Indian Phytopathological Society, the
American Society of Agronomy, and the British Society of Plant Pathology. In 1994
he was made a Fellow of the Canadian Phytopathological Society.

For Gene working at CIMMYT was never just a job: it was a calling, a vocation,
and CIMMYT feels privileged to have been the organization to which he chose to
render his dedicated service.

Contact Information

Mexico (Headquarters) CIMMYT Lisboa 27 Apdo. Postal 6-641 06600 Mexico, D.F, Mexico
* Fax (international): (52 5) 726 7558/9 Fax (in Mexico): (91 595) 5 4424/5 Email: cimmyt@cgiar.org
* Primary contacts: Timothy Reeves, Director General Tiffin D. Harris, Director, External Relations

Bangladesh CIMMYT PO Box 6057 Gulshan Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh Fax: (880 2) 883 516
* Email: cm@cimmyt.bdmail.net Primary contact: Craig Meisner

Bolivia CIMMYT c/oANAPO Casilla 2035 Santa Cruz, Bolivia Fax: (591 3)427 194
* Email: cimmyt@bibosi.scz.entelnet.bo Primary contact: Patrick Wall

China CIMMYT c/o Institute of Crop Breeding and Cultivation Chinese Academy of Agricultural
Sciences Beijing 100081, China Fax: (86 10) 6891 8547 Email: zhhe@public3.bta.net.cn
* Contact: Zhonghu He

Colombia CIMMYT c/o CIAT Apdo. A6reo 67-13 Cali, Colombia Fax: (57 1) 445 0025
* Email: c.deleon@cgiar.org Primary contact: Carlos De Leon

Costa Rica CIMMYT Apartado 55 2200 Coronado San Jose, Costa Rica Fax: (506) 229 2457
* Email: gsain@iica.ac.cr Primary contact: Gustavo Sain

Ethiopia CIMMYT PO Box 5689 ILRI Sholla Campus Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
* Fax: (251 1)611 892/614 645 Email: cimmyt-ethiopia@cgiar.org Primary contact: Wilfred Mwangi

Guatemala CIMMYT 12 Calle 1-25 Zona 10 Edificio Geminis Torre Norte, 16 Nivel, Of. 1606
* Apdo. Postal 231-A Guatemala, Guatemala Fax: (502 2) 335 3407 Email: jbolanos@ns.guate.net
* Primary contact: Jorge Bolaiios

Kazakstan CIMMYT PO Box 374 Almaty 480000 Kazakstan Fax: (7 3272)398379
* Email: karabayev@imbb.almaty.kaz Primary contact: Alexei Morgounov

Kenya CIMMYT PO Box 25171 Nairobi, Kenya Fax: (254 2) 631 499/630 164
* Email: a.diallo@cgiar.org Primary contact: Alpha Diallo

Nepal CIMMYT PO Box 5186 Lazimpat Kathmandu, Nepal Fax: (977 1)419 352
* Email: cimkat@mos.com.np Primary contact: Peter Hobbs

Philippines CIMMYT c/o IRRI PO Box 933 Manila, the Philippines Email: m.george@cgiar.org
* Primary contact: Maria Luz George

Syria CIMMYT Cereal Improvement Program ICARDA PO Box 5466 Aleppo, Syria
* Fax: (963 21) 213 490 Email: m.nachit@cgiar.org Primary contact: Miloudi Nachit

Thailand CIMMYT PO Box 9-188 Bangkok 10900, Thailand Fax: (66 2) 561 4057
* Email: svasal@loxinfo.co.th Primary contact: SurinderVasal

Turkey CIMMYT PK 39 Emek Ankara, Turkey Fax: (90 312) 287 8955 Email: cimmyt-
turkey@cgiar.org Primary contact: Hans-Joachim Braun

Uruguay CIMMYT CC 1217 Montevideo, Uruguay Tel/fax: (598 2) 902 8522 INIA fax: (598 2) 902
3630 Email: cimmyt@inia.org.uy Primary contact: Man Mohan Kohli

Zimbabwe CIMMYT PO Box MP 163 Mount Pleasant Harare, Zimbabwe Fax: (263 4) 301 327
* Email: cimmyt-zimbabwe@cgiar.org Primary contact: David Jewell

Writing and editing: Mike Listman, David A.
Poland, Alma McNab, and Kelly Cassaday,
with CIMMYT staff
Production and design: Miguel Mellado E.,
with Juan Jose Joven C., Eliot Sanchez P,
Wenceslao Almazan R., G. Antonio Luna A.,
and Marcelo Ortiz S.
Photos: Kathryn Elsesser, Gene Hettel, Mike
Listman, Alma McNab, Michael Morris, Ana
Maria Sanchez, and Hugo Vivar

Correct citation: CIMMYT 1998. CIMMYTin
1997-98: Change for the Better Mexico, D.F:
ISSN: 0188-9214
AGROVOC descriptors: Zea mays; wheats;
varieties; genetic resources; plant breeding;
sustainability; plant biotechnology;
economic analysis; innovation adoption;
organization of research; research projects;
research policies
AGRIS category codes: A50, A01
Dewey decimal classification: 630

Bibliographic Information
International Maize and Wheat Improvement
Center(CIMMYT) 1998. Responsibility for
this publication rests solely with CIMMYT
Printed in Mexico. The designations
employed in the presentation of material in
this publication do not imply the expressions
of any opinion whatsoever on the part of
CIMMYT or contributory organizations
concerning the legal status of any country,
territory, city, or area, or of its authorities, or
concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or



CIMMYT supports Future Harvest, a public awareness campaign that builds
understanding about the importance of agricultural issues and international
agricultural research. Future Harvest links respected research institutions,
influential public figures, and leading agricultural scientists to underscore the
wider social benefits of improved agriculture-peace, prosperity, environ-
mental renewal, health, and the alleviation of human suffering.

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