Front Cover
 A message from the director...
 Table of Contents
 Diversity ot support rural...
 Diversity to sustain future...
 Diversity to foster scientific...
 CIMMYT funding overview 2001-2...
 CIMMYT worldwide
 Trustees and principal staff
 CIMMYT contact information
 A map of the world for wheat...
 Habits of highly successful wheat...

Group Title: CIMMYT annual report ...
Title: CIMMYT annual report, 2001-2002
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077461/00009
 Material Information
Title: CIMMYT annual report, 2001-2002
Series Title: CIMMYT annual report ...
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Publication Date: 2002
Subject: Farming   ( lcsh )
Agriculture   ( lcsh )
Farm life   ( lcsh )
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: VID00009
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: issn - 0188-9214


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    A message from the director general
        Page i
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Diversity ot support rural communities
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        As income grows in China, what happens to maize production
            Page 7
            Page 8
        Conservation agriculture : Feeding the world without consuming natural resources
            Page 9
            Page 10
        CIMMYT's work in conservation griculture
            Page 11
            Page 12
        Drought relief, seed relief in sight
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
        Central Asia nations : Different paths to development
            Page 16
            Page 17
        Triticale helps farmers diversify
            Page 18
            Page 19
        Safe haven for insects helps protect farmers crops
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
    Diversity to sustain future generations
        Page 23
        Mayan farmer breeds popular maize variety
            Page 24
            Page 25
        Ensuring the survival of sacramental wheats
            Page 26
        Transgenic maize in Mexico : Facts, fears, and research needs
            Page 27
            Page 28
        Are Mexico's indigenous maize varieties ar risk?
            Page 29
            Page 30
        QU - CIM : Breeding real wheat from virtual wheat
            Page 31
            Page 32
        In situ maize conservation in Oaxaca, Mexico : What have we learned?
            Page 33
            Page 34
        Managing agriculture to manage climate change
            Page 35
        Treasures in the attic : Finding the diversity stored in the maize genebank
            Page 36
            Page 37
        Tortilleria preserves local traditions
            Page 38
    Diversity to foster scientific innovation
        Page 39
        Striga : Search for a long-term solution
            Page 40
        A bridge to biofortified wheat
            Page 41
        Apomixis : Why is it taking so long?
            Page 42
            Page 43
        Private commitment leads to public good
            Page 44
            Page 45
        Fingerprinting yields surprising findings on wheat diversity
            Page 46
        What is genetic fingerprinting?
            Page 47
        Impact studies : Room for improvement?
            Page 48
            Page 49
        Achieving uncommon things : Biotechnology network in Asia
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
    CIMMYT funding overview 2001-2002
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    CIMMYT worldwide
        Page 57
    Trustees and principal staff
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    CIMMYT contact information
        Page 61
    A map of the world for wheat breeding
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Habits of highly successful wheat varieties
        Page 65
Full Text

to Heal the Earth and Feed its
0eo0 e


Arrinni I- c l 001 200 -2.-.02 Ann n1 P i

6 N

D, A Message from the



In my new role as CIMMYT's
Director General, I am pleased to
present this report on our latest
research. We have called our report
Diversity to Heal the Earth and Feed its
People to emphasize the immense
value of diversity in sustaining
people and the environment. The
pages that follow describe the many
forms of diversity that are essential
to our work: genetic diversity in
plants, agricultural system diversity,
a varied range of research
partnerships, a global research
program addressing the needs of
more than 100 nations, and a
multinational, multicultural team of
researchers based throughout the
developing world.
As plant breeders, we have an
abiding respect for genetic diversity,
because it is the medium with which
we work. Many of the stories in this
report emphasize why is it vital to
use new sources of diversity, such as
sources of resistance to diseases and
pests, tolerance to drought, and
other characteristics that enable
plants to withstand difficult
agricultural conditions. The stories
also highlight the many ways in
which we are seeking diversity: by
looking within the genomes of plant
species, searching among the myriad
collections of seed in our genebank,
evaluating many thousands of
experimental strains of maize and
wheat, and working with farmers to
preserve traditional maize and
wheat varieties.

As specialists in the management
of agricultural systems and natural
resources, we know that
agriculture cannot be sustained
without diversity in cropping
systems. Our research on
conservation agriculture, climate
change, and soil fertility reflects a
holistic approach that extends
beyond particular maize and wheat
cropping practices to address the
resource constraints and
conservation needs of entire
agricultural systems.
As social scientists, our effort to set
research priorities is based on an
analysis of the myriad factors that
influence the potential for
agricultural research to improve
livelihoods, from the global to the
local level. Nations and individuals
alike pursue different paths to
development, as shown in this
report. These very different
perspectives must be understood if
CIMMYT is to make enlightened
choices about its own contribution
to development.
Finally, given the magnitude of the
problems facing agriculture in
developing countries, it is no
surprise that research to solve those
problems must rely on a broad
spectrum of partners. To be
effective rather than a mere
formality, a research coalition must
be able to benefit from the diverse
perspectives of its partners.

It must foster the kind of
participation that yields new
opportunities to innovate and
creates an intense human
commitment to taking new paths
toward a shared goal. This report
provides examples of many such
alliances and shows how they are
having an impact in rural
Another point that is implicit
throughout this report is that
diversity of any kind-whether we
are speaking of genetic diversity or
the diversity of our research
community-is most useful in the
service of a unifying vision. As we
go to press with this report, we are
initiating the development of a new
vision and strategy for our research
center. Today, when the world is
sharply divided over how to
sustain its people and its natural
resources, it is more important than
ever for CIMMYT to develop a
clear vision of its mission over the
next 10 to 20 years and to articulate
a flexible, proactive strategy for
making that vision a reality. Our
new strategy, developed through
extensive consultation within and
outside our research center, will lay
the foundation for the institutional
changes that will enable us to serve
the poor constructively and
responsibly in the years to come.
Let me describe some of the
challenges that will have a decisive
effect on CIMMYT's future role in

L ~\ i + if 7.

CY t; a'r

r< t i
A^ ^ :

* The primary challenge is that food
security will remain a serious concern
in many parts of the world for the
foreseeable future. Poverty, hunger,
and malnutrition continue to affect
more than one billion people. For
many of these people, especially in
Africa, poverty and hunger have
worsened despite global
overproduction of staple grains. As
long as a major part of humankind
cannot satisfy the most basic food
needs, there can be no social peace.

* Maize and wheat will remain
extremely important sources of food
and income for poor people, and the
productivity of maize and wheat
cropping systems must be sustained.

* The increasing interdependence of
nations has important economic,
technological, and cultural
implications that must be reflected in
CIMMYT's strategies and activities.

* New research tools-particularly in
genetics and bioinformatics-are
revolutionizing approaches to
agricultural research and

* It is widely acknowledged that
farmers are the arbiters of what will
and will not work in their agricultural
systems, and research must be
planned and conducted with their

* The implementation of new
international agreements regarding
the ownership and control of global
plant genetic resources, and the
strengthening of intellectual property
rights (IPRs) relating to the products
of public and private plant breeding
programs, are already altering the
ways in which the public sector
conducts agricultural research.

* Climate change is affecting farming
environments severely, especially in
developing countries. In the absence
of agricultural alternatives, rural
poverty and rural-urban migration
will only intensify.

* A final consideration is that
the mechanisms for funding
public international research
are changing. The extent to
which governments are
willing to support
development assistance over
the coming years, the issues
that governments will wish to
champion, and the
willingness of non-traditional
donors to turn greater
attention to issues of global
importance are all open
questions. In the very near
future, the CGIAR's recently
instituted Challenge
Programs will have
significant implications for
the way that all CGIAR
Centers, including CIMMYT,
fund and conduct research.

This list could be longer and
more detailed, but I merely
wish to give an indication of the
kinds of issues that we must
examine to ensure that our
research remains relevant well
into the future.

Perhaps the most fundamental
assumption we need to make in
planning for the future is that
volatility and change are the
only certainties that await us.
How we choose to respond to
the great changes and great
needs in developing countries
will affect the lives of millions
of people, and we take our
responsibility to future
generations extremely
seriously. Although we know
that CIMMYT cannot be all
things to all people and to
the environment, we know
that our research can be one
very important thing:
sustenance for people, for their
communities and economies,
and for the natural resources
that support us all.



-4 >a j'''~j,


A~ S 7

'-----'. C ) C

Dr. Masa Iwanaga
Director General

Writing/editing/creative direction: Kelly Cassaday, Satwant Kaur,
G. Michael Listman, Alma McNab, David A. Poland, and Elizabeth
Fox, with CIMMYT staff, visiting researchers, and research partners
* Production/design/creative direction: Miguel Mellado E.,
Wenceslao Almazan R., Antonio Luna A., Marcelo Ortiz S., and
Eliot Sanchez P. Photography: Eiselen Foundation, Kathryn
Elsesser, Gene Hettel, Satwant Kaur, G. Michael Listman, Erika
Meng, David A. Poland, and Ana Maria Sanchez

Bibliographic Information
Correct citation: CIMMYT. 2002: CIMMYT in 2001-2002. Diversity
to Heal the Earth and Feed its People. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT.
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
l(CIMMYT.. International Maize and Wheat Improvement
Center (CIMMYT) 2002. All rights reserved. Printed in Mexico.
Responsibility for this publication rests solely with CIMMYT. 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
boundaries. Learn more about CIMMYT at www.cimmyt.org.
F U T U R E" CIMMYT is a Future Harvest Center of the
HARV/E ST Consultative Group on Agricultural Research
(CGIAR; www.cgiar.org). Future Harvest@ is a not-for-profit
organization that catalyzes action for a world with less poverty, a
healthier global population, well-nourished children, and a better
environment. (see www.futureharvest.org).

Acronyms and

ABC Applied Biotechnology Center, CIMMYT
ADB Asian Development Bank
AMBIONET Asian Maize Biotechnology Network
Bt .
CIAT International Tropical Agriculture Center
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
CIP International Potato Center
CIRAD Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche
Agronomique pour le Developpement, France
CONABIO Comisi6n Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la
Biodiversidad, Mexico
Danida Danish International Development Assistance
GIS Geographic information systems
GTZ Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit, Germany
IDRC International Development Research Centre, Canada
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
INIFAP Insituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales y
Agropecuarias, Mexico
INRA Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
IRD Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement, France
IRMA Insect Resistant Maize for Africa
IRRI International Rice Research Institute
KARI Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
NARO National Agricultural Research Organization, Uganda
NARS National agricultural research system
NGO Non-governmental organization
NRG Natural Resources Group
OPV Open-pollinated variety
QPM Quality protein maize
QTL Quantitative trait loci
SADC Southern Africa Development Community
SADLF Southern Africa Drought and Low Soil Fertility Project
SPIA Standing Panel on Impact Assessment, CGIAR
SSR Single sequence repeat
TATRO Technology Adoption through Research Organizations
USAID United States Agency for International Development


A............from theDirector Gener

Diversity to-sup-pot-rural commut

4 Cmui Seed Production Ca FarmersSupplyThems
andI Make a-......?
7 As.Incomes.Growin.C....... hati- Happens toMaize

9Conservaion.......lure:......ng. the Worldwithout Consuming

1 P tPs ta Future -IMMll -Wok in Conservation
A griclture

20 Saf Hae fo Inecs Helps ......ct.Far.ers ......
Diversity tosutain fut5uregenerations
24^^^BK^C~~^T .0 Maa Farmr* B lariety
26 Ensu~j^ r in gteSrivfN^^^^^B^Hal of Sacramentl WheBats ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
27 ^^^^^^dTraseic Maize in Mexico: Facts, Fears, and Research Needs^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
29 Are Mexico's IndigenolJ^JJus Maize Varieties at Risk?^^^^^^^^^^^
31 QU-CI^^BfMiT Breeding Real Wheat from Virtual Wheat^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
33 ^^InSitBu Ma~ize ConservationM min Oaxaca, Mexico: What Have We ^^^^^^
^^^jiT^Learned? T^g^?
35 Manag^KUi~i~jingAgicu~ilture toliManage Climate Change ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
36 ^^E^BlflTreaure int!3he tticFiTndM~ingtheDjiversitySoe n h az

41 A '^-BridgetoyT Biofofrfifie Wheat ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
42 Apo^*^mixis: Why Is ^^^^^^ It Taking So Long?^^^^^^^
43 What Makes Apomxi a Vluble Trait?^^^^^

44PiaeCmimn Last ulcGo






With support from

the Rockefeller


CIMMYT works with

community action

groups and national

research programs in

Uganda and Kenya,

helping farmers

produce and market

quality seed of

improved maize

varieties they select.

"I see children in the classroom who
are malnourished, and here we are
trying to pump something into their
heads! You don't teach a child who is
starving." Paul Okongo, schoolteacher
and farmer in Ochur Village, wanted
to assist children and widows in his
community. In 1993 he, his wife Joyce,
and several village women founded
Technology Adoption through
Research Organizations (TATRO), a
local group whose chief aim is to
improve women's conditions by
involving them in agricultural
development and small agribusinesses.
The association has logged so many
accomplishments that Ochur is
commonly referred to as "TATRO."

Their participation in the CIMMYT-
Rockefeller seed production project* is
one element in a plan that includes
crop diversification, seed production
and marketing, and information
dissemination. TATRO farmers, who
are beginning to produce seed of
improved maize varieties, hope to
supply seed for their own needs and
profit by selling the rest to other
farmers. An innovation that could help
is a communal seed storage bank,
which allows participants to deposit
and withdraw seed as needed.

Maize in East
Africa: A Litany
of Limitations
Maize is the major staple in Kenya and
increasingly important in Uganda.
Expanding populations are pushing
up the demand for maize by 3% or
more each year. "Average per capital
consumption is 100 kilograms of maize
a year, but one person can eat as much
as 200 kilograms," says Moses Siambi,
a researcher seconded to the seed
project from the Kenya Agricultural
Research Institute (KARI). "In a bad
year farmers may harvest as little as
180 kilograms of grain per hectare. The
average farm family has eight or more
members and less than two hectares."

* "Strengthening Maize Seed Supply Systems for Small-Scale Farmers in
Western Kenya and Uganda."

Diversity to Support Rural Communities 5

What keeps yields down? Agriculture
is rainfed and conducted within
complex, labor-intensive cropping
systems beset by frequent droughts,
diseases, field and storage pests,
weeds, the parasitic flowering plant
Striga, and poor soil fertility. As if this
were not enough, 65% of Kenya's
populace lives in the Lake Victoria
Basin, one of the regions most severely
affected by HIV/AIDS worldwide.
The disease breaks up households and
leaves little labor for fieldwork.

The lack of effective seed production
and distribution systems limits the
spread of improved maize and
farming practices in eastern Africa,
according to Stephen Mugo, CIMMYT
maize breeder and coordinator of the
seed project. "Improved varieties
raised yields in the past and could do
so again," he says, "but only about
one-fifth of the region's farmers grow
improved varieties." Even when
farmers have cash to spare, they have
trouble finding quality seed of
varieties that fit their needs, despite
the many suppliers.

The project sought to familiarize
farmers with the range of improved
varieties available. Researchers grew
two "mother" trials, each comprising
20-30 varieties or hybrids, in each
participating village; 7-12 farmers per
village grew "baby" trials, with each
farmer sowing four of the same
varieties grown in the mother trial.
"The baby trials were laid out in a
four-square design, with one variety in
each square," says Siambi. "Farmers
could stand in the center of the field
and judge performance at a glance."
The mother trials were sown with and
without fertilizer. "The dramatic
differences in performance showed
farmers the importance of fertilizer,"
says Siambi. "This is a major
accomplishment, because conventional
wisdom in the region is that inorganic
fertilizers hurt the soil."

In 2001, two varieties from
CIMMYT's stress tolerance breeding
work for southern Africa-
the trials in Kenya, beating out even
leading hybrids included in the
trials for comparison. Farmers in
some villages have already begun
producing seed of the varieties. The
project is increasing foundation seed
so others can do the same.

Uganda: Women
Propel Community
"In Uganda improved seed or
inputs are not readily available in
villages," says George Bigirwa, head
of maize research for the National
Agricultural Research Organization
(NARO) and seed project
coordinator in Uganda. "But in the
last five years farmers have had
greater access to credit, inputs can
be imported duty-free, and the
government has encouraged the
establishment of farmer
associations." Governments in both
Kenya and Uganda are promoting
gender equity to foster development
and improve the quality of rural life.
Community groups play a key role.

One such group, the Bakusekamajja
Women's Development Farmers
Association in Iganga District in
eastern Uganda, participates
enthusiastically in the seed project.
The association marshals the efforts
of more than 450 local farmers.
Founder Grace Bakaira first
mobilized a handful of women in
1986, organizing training in
handicrafts and growing vegetables,
but now she catalyzes a range of
community and agricultural
development activities involving
entire families. "People wanted to
organize," she says. "It's easier to
solicit support collectively from
NGOs and government agencies."

In an approach like that of TATRO,
Bakusekamajja helps women
undertake activities that bring
money to the family and provide
women with some control over
resources they generate.

Bakusekamajja began seed
production in the mid-1990s. The
group has committees for planting,
harvesting, and marketing seed. It
sells seed of Longe 1 (a cross of
Kawanda Composite and CIMMYT
population 49) to members at the
equivalent of US$ 0.50 per
kilogram-about 20-40% cheaper
than commercial hybrids.

According to CIMMYT maize
breeder and seed production expert
David Beck, the project gives
Bakusekamajja technical support but
also learns from the group's success.
"Elements I see include dynamic
leadership by Grace Bakaira and her
associates, excellent organization,
good communication, close
partnering with technical
organizations such as NARO, good
choice of a variety, and careful
attention to the details required to
produce quality seed," Beck says.
"Last but not least, there is a special
bond among members that I can
only describe as 'divine.' "

Seeking Markets
A common concern voiced by
farmers is that of securing markets
for grain and, eventually, seed. In its
next phase, the project will address
the seed market issue. Bakaira
recognizes collective organization as
a key strategy: "Rather than
attempting to sell seed individually,
farmers need to pool their seed and
seek an external market." Quality is
crucial: producers of seed must

Community seed
helps women
earn income
and gain some
control over the
resources they

guarantee its genetic purity and
ability to germinate. Ensuring
purity means separating seed
production plots either in distance
or time from the pollen of other
maize plants. Germination depends
in part on proper storage and
treatment. "If farmers grow seed
properly and harvest and treat it
correctly, maybe farmers elsewhere
will want to purchase it," says

Not all farmers have the means or
the inclination to produce and
market quality seed, but those who
do could improve their livelihoods.
"We hope the seed reaches farmers
who desire quality seed but cannot
afford to buy it from companies that
operate at high cost," says Mugo.

Partners in Kenya have included
KARI; NGOs such as Catholic Relief
Services (CRS) through the Catholic
Diocese of Homabay, the
Sustainable Community-Oriented
Development Programme (SCODP),
and CARE-Kenya; many seed
companies (Faida Seeds, Lagrotech,
Western Seed Company, Kenya Seed
Company, Pioneer, and Monsanto);
and village schools. In Uganda, the
project has worked through NARO,
NGOs (IDEA, UNFA), Pannar Seed
Co., FICA, Faida Seed, and Western
Seed, among others.

For more information:
Stephen Mugo

6 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

As Incomes Grow in

What Happens to Maize

economist Erika
Meng traversed
China in 2002 to
examine the effects of
increased incomes and
changing diets on maize
production. While
surveying farmers men
and women, rich and
poor-in six provinces, she
and her colleagues at the
Center for Chinese
Agricultural Policy,
Chinese Academy of
Sciencies, encountered a
spectrum of economic,
environmental, cultural,
and political variables
affecting maize production.

Through her photographs,
Meng narrates some general
impressions of farmers'
practices and concerns.

0 Interview group: "I was
always a bit surprised that
villagers participated so openly
in interviews. This was partly
because of an innate sense of
hospitality, and partly because of
responsibility to village or
county officials who asked them
to help us. And with the
increased general openness,
there are fewer reasons not to be
frank. Informal discussions like
this would have been much
more difficult several years ago.
"We tried to make them as
comfortable as possible and
tried to go beyond agriculture:
We asked about all kinds of
constraints or problems they
were having. They would bring
up different topics, such as
education costs, rural/urban
gaps, and lack of promised
compensation for replacing
staple food crops with trees to
prevent erosion.
0 Buying versus saving seed:
"This is a large regional grain
exchange in Shandong Province
for farmers and traders from the
surrounding area. Because of
changes in the Chinese seed
industry and overall seed

system, organizations are
increasingly required to come
up with their own funding for
research and salaries. Many
are now selling seed to
raise funds. The focus is
overwhelmingly on hybrid
varieties due to the need to
replace seed annually.
"There has not been a lot of
emphasis in the Chinese research
system on open-pollinated
varieties [OPVs], but in Guangxi,
a relatively poor province in
southwestern China, people in
many villages still eat maize as
the primary staple and use it for
livestock feed. A considerable
percentage of the maize area is
still planted with OPVs. Many
farmers there felt the hybrids
were not suitable for their often
marginal growing conditions."

Diversity to Support Rural Communities 7


OMaize for livestock feed: "Most
of the livestock in China continues
to be raised on household farms
like this one. Large-scale farms for
cattle and pig production are still
not common. In most of the
country, farmers produce maize
primarily to feed their animals and
will often store it outside or in
containers such as these
homemade bins."

Challenges to maize production,
northeastern China: "In the
northeast, where maize and
soybeans are the main crops, the
livestock industry hasn't
developed as much as in warmer
parts of the country. Heat for the
animals has just been too
expensive. Maize is more
important as an income source.
The northeast faces some unique
challenges: the local market is
fairly saturated, with part of the
problem caused by transportation
infrastructure. But moving maize
from the northeast to other parts of
China has often been more
expensive than importing it from
outside. With China's entry into
the World Trade Organization,
domestic subsidies and other
means of protection will be phased
out, and the domestic market will
open up to foreign production.
There is no question that there will
be a maize influx.

"There are currently limited
possibilities for utilization in the
northeast and limited crop
diversification possibilities because
of climatic constraints. A big
question is what is going to
happen to farmers and production
in that region."

0 Farmers have very different
opportunities: "Normally, they
would already have planted maize
between the rows of wheat shown
here, but this was an exceptionally
dry season and farmers were still
waiting to plant. In many regions,
farmers lay sheet plastic over the
seedlings to trap moisture. and
increase the temperature The price
of the plastic varied greatly from
region to region, and not all farmers
were able to use this technique.

"Also, maize usually lost out in the
competition for flat land to rice and
higher value crops. Farmers use
terracing to get as high up on the
hillsides as they can-sometimes
terraces are as narrow as 4-5 rows
of maize.

"It's important to remember that
even within one village farmers
are going to have different
opportunities and different
transactions costs."

0 Using every inch of land:
"This is a field in Sichuan, in the
southwest. It's incredibly diverse
there and very fertile. Farmers use
every inch of the land. Because
Sichuan is one of the most

populated provinces, the per
capital arable land is one of the
lowest in the country, but they get
everything possible from it. Wheat
is intercropped with vegetables
and then maize with the wheat.
What you see here are mulberry
trees for silkworms. They can
harvest five or more crops a year
from one field!

"We would drive along and even
see maize squeezed between rocks
on the hillside next to the road."

0 Planting maize for food: "In
many parts of China, people refuse
to eat maize. One of my colleagues
in these surveys grew up in the
fifties. Almost all his family had to
eat was steamed maize buns.
That's all. To this day he won't eat
anything having to do with maize.

"Some villages we visited in
Guangxi had recently switched
from consuming predominantly
maize to consuming more rice.
Part of it has to do with increasing
economic status: rice is considered
to be a higher-class food than
maize. However, in cities,
people have begun to eat sweet
maize almost as a kind of
gourmet snack."

Note: CIMMYI appreciates the contributions of
Elizabeth Fox, US Congressional Hunger Fellow, in
preparing this photo essay.

For more information:
Erika Meng

8 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002



Feeding the World
without Consuming
Natural Resources

Bucking Tradition
"We're not talking about small
changes. Conservation agriculture
represents a total departure from
conventional farming," says Patrick
Wall, agronomist and coordinator of
CIMMYT's global program on
conservation agriculture.

Conservation agriculture can be
described as the retention of crop
residues and use of rotations and,
sometimes, green manure cover crops.
The learning curve for conservation
agriculture can be steep, especially
for farmers with limited access to
information outside their own
communities. Subsistence farmers
will not risk using a new practice
unless they are sure it addresses
their problems. CIMMYT agronomist
Peter Hobbs, who has worked with
resource-conserving technologies in
South Asia, understands farmers'
skepticism. "At a site in Haryana State,
India," he recalls, "a neighbor who
saw his friend using zero-tillage
brought a bag of wheat to his house,
saying, 'You have destroyed your land.

agriculture would
seem like a natural
choice for subsistence
farmers in developing
countries, but few
practice it. What's
holding them back?

Diversity to Support Rural Communities 9

Here is some food you will be
needing to feed your family.' But
once the neighbor saw the harvest,
he also wanted to experiment with

This story illustrates that farmers
who buy into a conservation
practice also become its most
convincing advocates. In Bolivia,
where Wall and his colleagues
promoted conservation agriculture,
farmer-to-farmer interactions were
crucial. "We didn't convince
farmers to go into zero-tillage-
other farmers did that. We brought
in farmers from around the region
to tell local farmers about their
experiences and success," he says.
"Later, once the local farmers had
acquired experience, we worked
with them to develop a manual
called By Farmers for Farmers."

Routes to Success
For conservation agriculture to
work, a diverse group-
researchers, farmers, input supply
companies, extensionists, and farm
implement manufacturers-must
share ideas and products. "Many
public research and extension
institutions were not set up to
participate in such innovation
networks," says CIMMYT
economist Javier Ekboir. "They
want to follow the traditional
process of testing all aspects of a
technology before passing it to
extension and farmers."

"Rather than being the prime
movers of change, researchers must
come in behind it and solve the
problems that emerge, supporting
continuous adaptation and follow-
up," says Wall.

Successful promotion of
conservation agriculture has also
depended on individuals or
organizations who ensure that
farmers receive the information
and support to assess
conservation agriculture and
adopt it, if they desire. "These
catalytic agents sometimes are
local scientists or extension
workers who move forward
without support from their own
organizations. They bring
participatory research methods,
promote the exchange of
information, provide access to
products from advanced research
institutes, and mobilize funding,"
says Ekboir.

Finally, Hobbs observes that
access to affordable, suitable,
locally manufactured equipment
for seeding directly into residues
is crucial for conservation
agriculture to spread. "Without it,
farmers can't even begin to
experiment," he says.

For more information on adapting zero-tillage to the needs
of smallholders in developing countries, see CIMMYT's
2000-2001 World Wheat Overview and Outlook.

For more information:
SPatrick Wall (p.wall@cgiar.org)
Peter Hobbs (p.hobbs@cgiar.org)
Javier Ekboir (j.ekboir@cgiar.org)

Conservation agriculture means
many things to many people, but a
key tenet is sustainability. In almost
all cases, this means managing
mulches to conserve soil organic
matter. Other cropping systems
that conserve other vital
resources-water, fuel-or reduce
greenhouse gas emissions represent
a move toward sustainability.
CIMMYT has supported the spread
of conservation agriculture in
various ways. This brief selection
of examples gives an idea:

* In the late 1970s and early 1980s,
CIMMYT agronomists taught
developing country researchers
about zero-tillage systems in a
course at CIMMYT headquarters.

* Since the early 1980s, CIMMYT
and local researchers have
fostered participatory
approaches and expanded
partnerships that led zero-tillage
to be used in wheat production
on some 207,000 hectares in
South Asia by 2002. The practice
saves 75% or more fuel, obtains
better yields, uses about half the
herbicide, and requires at least
10% less water-equivalent
to 1 million liters less on a
hectare of land.

* During 1994-2001, CIMMYT
helped promote zero-tillage and
crop rotations in Bolivia by
working with local partners to
organize a network of research
institutions, farmer associations,
and progressive farmers. By
2000, farmers were using the new
practices on 300,000 hectares in
the eastern lowlands.

10 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

in Conservation Agriculture

*In 1994, CIMMYT formed a
network to help Malawian and
Zimbabwean maize farmers make
their poor soils more productive.
The network recently expanded
its efforts to Mozambique and
Zambia and will now cover policy
issues relating to soil fertility.

Hopes and
Hard Work
As coordinator of research on
conservation agriculture at
CIMMYT, Wall will work with
partners worldwide, including
CIMMYT wheat agronomist
Kenneth Sayre, an expert in the
cultivation of cereals on raised soil
beds and agricultural machinery
for conservation agriculture.

In Mexico, a project initiated in 2001
by agronomist Bernard Triomphe
will foster wide adoption of
conservation agriculture in the Bajio
region, where intensive, irrigated
maize-sorghum cropping faces a
serious water shortage. The work is
supported by the French research
agency CIRAD (Centre de
cooperation international en
recherche agronomique pour le
d6veloppement) and involves
Mexican institutions and farmers.

"In South Asia," says Wall, "we
have to find ways to increase the
amount of crop residue left on the
soil surface. In the rice-wheat
system, we have to manage rice
using resource-conserving
principles like those being adopted
for wheat, and expand into other
cropping systems."

As for sub-Saharan Africa, Wall
considers the very dry areas
particularly worrisome. "Drought
is a major problem, but water-use
efficiency-the ratio of rainfall
converted into crop production-is
also important. Well over 50% of
the rainfall runs off fields. Finally,
unless farmers begin to leave
residues to restore soil organic
matter, agriculture there will not
be sustainable."

Wall concludes that zero-tillage is
functioning well in a broad range
of conditions, but says researchers
still don't know how to make it
work in a few spots. "One is under
dry conditions where you can't

produce enough crop residues,"
he explains. "Another is where
there are drainage problems, and
zero-tillage can make them worse.
Finally, it's tough to get the
system going in very degraded
areas with a long history of
conventional tillage."

For more information:
Patrick Wall

How can we stop scorched-
earth policies in agriculture?




Drought Relief,

Seed Relief in Sight

Farmers See Results
Erratic rainfall and drought are recurring
problems in southern Africa, which is
why the Swiss Agency for Development
and Cooperation and the Rockefeller
Foundation funded the Southern African
Drought and Low Soil Fertility Project
(SADLF), involving CIMMYT and
national agricultural research programs
of the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) region.
"The SADLF project was initiated in
1996, and now we're seeing the first
benefits," says Masa Iwanaga,
CIMMYT's director general. Stress-
tolerant, open-pollinated varieties
(ZM421, ZM521, and ZM621) from the
project have been released in Malawi,
South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe,
and they are also being used in Angola
and Mozambique. In trials grown from
Ethiopia to South Africa in 1999, ZM521
produced an average 34% more grain
than other improved varieties farmers
currently grow.
Since 2000, CIMMYT and partners from
national programs and NGOs have
channeled more than 70 tons of seed of
these varieties into community-based
seed production in Angola, Malawi,
Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania,
Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The varieties
are spreading (see "Project Partners
Affirm Impact," p. 15). More than 500
tons of commercial seed of these varieties
has been produced so far-enough to
plant 25,000-30,000 hectares.

The project is testing a newer generation
of daught-tolerant, open-pollinated
varieties whose productivity exceeds that
of ZM421, ZM521, and ZM621 by 15%.

Hybrids on the Horizon
More than 2.5 million hectares are planted
each year to hybrid maize in eastern and
southern Africa (excluding South Africa).
Most hybrid seed is produced by private
companies and grown by smallholders.
SADLF developed several hybrids that
produce over 50% more grain at the 1 ton
per hectare yield level-the typical yield
in many farmers' fields-and continue to
exceed the best check hybrids from private
companies by an average of 1 ton per
hectare, up to the 10 ton per hectare level
(measured from 35 trials conducted across
eastern and southern Africa in 2001).

Maize affected by drought.

o r

A devastating
combination of
events, orchestrated
by nature and by
human beings, is
forcing an estimated
14 million people
into starvation in
southern Africa.

without Choice

Every year, each of the nearly
150 million people in the SADC
region consumes on average
91 kilograms of maize and
earns only US$ 230 (excluding
South Africa).

Throughout eastern and southern
Africa, annual maize production
averaged 16.2 million tons over
the past 20 years, barely resulting
in food self-sufficiency. During the
same period, production levels
fluctuated between 7.3 and 22.4
million tons-indicating just how
variable ci: unIcer i.:in maize
production cII be. Nevertheless,
arnimers choice to grow maize is
e ronomi:ilCll,' rational, and
subsiilluilinc another crop for
ma.:ize is ino likely to increase

i ood iios r hectare, but in
Over I: iI.l: m.llioted years or onh
SADC reqo, infertile rl areas,
rn lIre lIousel' s Io ,: l torm
M 5-3 ] lI-ecl,:,res The ,:,.-er,:1,.:|e
,.,el,:l \o m.n:,ze region-wide ,s
I 2 lo,,s per hectare, but in
,:lrou.h:|l'l.,:,ttected years or on
widespread, infertile areas,
farmers obtain less. Farmers are
trapped in low-input, low-risk, but
low-productivity cropping s,-lemsn
bec.:-use they are trying to deal
.....-i :ii unstable climn :le
declining soil fertile, rising
population pressure high input
cosis :ind.:l poor cred.:lil islems

At ll-ie hirnm level poor
pro.duchvfl l/,- limis inconmesi
nulrilhion lhe:illh ,nd e,:huc:l 'on
Al lhe nl ioni. jl level ll'he
impov'erishmeni. oF .:igric:ulhure is
reflecled in a poorly' de.velopF'e:
aj riculhurcl inpul sector qr.ini
imports Food l id urnsil:t ble ni.:ize
prices and recurring huinqer

Better Choices
for Seed Relief
The SADLF project's goal-to
provide smallholder farmers with
more appropriate stress-tolerant
maize varieties-relies on a
system in which any breeding
program in the SADC region
(CIMMYT, national programs,
private companies) can test its
maize for qualities important to
resource-poor farmers. These
include tolerance to drought and
poor soils (low nitrogen, acidic,
low phosphorus) and resistance
to diseases and insect pests. Maize
is tested in researcher-managed
regional trials as well as farmer-
participatory on-farm trials (called
"Mother-Baby" trials), which are
a collaborative dbrt between
national agricultural research
and extension pagrams, NGOs,
and farmers.

Ministries of agriculture, NGOs,
and private seed companies use
the trial results to provide farmers
with better varieties. Because of
the drought, thousands of tons of
maize seed are currently being
made available to farmers by
agencies such as World Vision,
Catholic Relief Services, Africare,
and CARE International.
Marianne Banziger, a maize
physiologist based in Zimbabwe
who leads the SADLF effort,
points out that the trial results
can help relief agencies make
better decisions about which
varieties to supply"The right
choice can result in a yield
increase of 20-35% for recipient
farmers," she says.

"For drought relief in the
Southern Province of Zambia,
GTZ will support the purchase
of only those varieties that have
been previously tried and
selected by farmers," sports
Ortwin Neuendorf of the GTZ/
Small Scale Seeds Project,

Environmental Impact
"Maize varieties that yield better
under stress will not be sustainable if
they take a toll on the environment,"
says Banziger. As stress conditions
increase, maize plants increasingly fail
to produce a cob, but they still use
nutrients and water. Stress-tolerant
maize varieties are efficient: they put
those resources into grain production,
but the overall uptake of water and
nitrogen remains virtually the same.

The environment may also benefit
indirectly when farmers experience
better harvests. With less fear of crop
failure, farmers may be more inclined
to invest in their maize crop and
purchase fertilizer, or take other steps
to improve soil fertility and conserve
water. Because of the high risk of
drought, many farmers plant more
maize area than needed to be sure
their families will not suffer hunger if
rainfall is poor. Drought-tolerant
maize varieties ensure improved food
security on a smaller area. Farmers
can allocate more land and labor to
legumes and cash crops, thereby
improving incomes and soil quality.

14 i IMMi YI ArinuojI I RepirT lZii .1111'

Forestalling Famine
The project brings together more than
30 cof participants, 50 institutions, and
1,000 farmers in approximately 100
farming communities. Today the national
maize breeding programs in Angola,
Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South
Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and
Zimbabwe, as well as the CIMMYT-
Zimbabwe program, annually screen
thousands of maize cultivars for drought
tolerance. Through regional
collaboration, the other SADC countries
gain access to the best of these cultivars.
As awareness of this successful breeding
strategy has spread, several private seed
companies recently initiated similar

"Our job is to give farmers an option
where rainfall is erratic and
socioeconomic factors restrict access to
fertilizers," says Iwanaga. "This project
will not give up until farming families can
access seed of varieties that will make
them less vulnerable in the future."

For more information:
Marianne Banziger
S* (cimmyt-zimbabwe@cgiar.org)


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Central Asian


Different Paths to Development

Since the Soviet Union
collapsed in 1991, the
former Soviet republics
have chosen different
strategies to meet their
new national objectives,
including their priorities
for wheat production.

CIMMYT, which works with
all of the Central Asian republics,
realized that detailed information
was needed on the wheat economy
to chart an appropriate course for
collaborative research. In late 2001,
CIMMYT economist Erika Meng
spent two months in Kazakhstan,
Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and
Kyrgyzstan, collecting information
on curtnt and future wheat
productivity, wheat competitiveness,
and potential regional research links.
"In each country, I tried to obtain
information on policy directions and
priorities for agriculture and then to
get a better understanding of the role
of wheat in the agricultural sector,"
Meng explains. "We needed
information on the priorities for
wheat research, the level of
interaction between scientists and
farmers, and the inputs and
information available to farmers.
We also lacked a lot of basic
statistical data. In addition, I tried to
collect information on marketing and
transportation infrastructure, the
overall institutional environment,
and irrigation facilities."

Some of her findings are briefly
outlined here.

Relatively low government
involvement and financial support
exist for the agricultural sector in
Kazakhstan, the largest Central
Asian wheat producer. Kazakhstan's
economy declined sharply after
independence, and its economic
woes were later compounded by
drought and recession in Russia,
an important export market.
"The use of agricultural inputs
has risen somewhat in the last
two years bumunains low in
wheat production. And the
basic infrastructure for technical
information and markets lags
behind,"explains Meng. High
debt levels and recent land tenure
changes that limit the size of
landholdings and the duration of
land rights contracts could also
influence farmers' behavior.
"Another interesting development is
the consolidation of market power by
a group of large, vertically integrated
grain companies," says Meng.

16 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

Tajikistan is still recovering
from civil war in the mid-
1990s. Only 6% of the land in
this mountainous country
is arable, and source
constraints are felt quickly.
Agriculture is the largest
economic sector.

The civil war took a great toll:
its effects are evident in the
economy and infrastructure.
"While political stability seems
to be improving, recent
drought in parts of the country
has undermined people's
ability to recover," says Meng.

Wheat, the most important
food crop for households, is
grown largely to satisfy
subsistence needs. Given the
pressing need for suitable
varieties and seed, the main
focus of national research
institutions, international
organizations, and NGOs has
been to identify varieties and to
multiply and distribute seed.

Despite the importance
given to wheat pFduction
in national priorities, at the
local level it often loses in the
competition for land and
other sources (particularly
water) to cotton, the country's
main crop before independence
and one of its few export

Food security, interpreted largely as
food self-sufficiency, is one of the most
important government policies in
Uzbekistan, where consumption needs
are approximately 3 million tons of
grain for food and 1.5 million tons for
feed. The Uzbek government is heavily
involved in all aspects of wheat
production, from recommending
varieties to producing and ensuring
supplies of seed and fertilizer

"In Uzbekistan irrigated land was
largely allocated to cotton before
independence, and wheat was grown
almost exclusively on rainfed land,"
comments Meng. Given the priority
placed on food security since
independence, a concerted effort
was made to inorase irrigated wheat
area. Wheat area is now mostly
irrigated and has held steady at
approximately 1.4 million hectares.
Yields are about 2.6 tons per hectare.

In the last five years, wheat area in
Kyrgyzstan increased from slightly
over 193,000 hectares to 480,000
hectares, with yields of around 2.4
tons per hectam. Kyrgyzstan differs
from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in
that national wheat search was better
established before independence.
Kyrgyzstan is also the only Central
Asian country that is a member of
the Wrld Trade Organization and
the International Union for the
Protection of New Varieties of Plants.

"It was the only country I visited
where plant breeders' rights, patents
for crop varieties, and royalties
featured prominently in discussions
with scientists," Meng says. "Thea is
great interest in the development and
commercialization of an international
seed industry, but they still have a
ways to go."

Evolving Roles for
Research Economists
Meng also found that the roles of
economists in some Central Asian
research institutes are still evolving.
"Past economics research was not
particularly independent and was
largely carried out to be in line with
government policies. The tend is
shifting towards more objective
research, but political pressure is still
quite strong in some places. There is
also some rluctance to make data
available to outsiders and not much o
a tradition of collaboration and
sharing research results," Meng says.

These aspects of economics research
are likely to change as a program of
regional collaboration develops.
"It will be a long-term pFcess,"
says Meng, "since changes can be
accomplished only through more
interaction and communication within
and outside the region, and through
an increased familiarity with new
economic and political principles."

For more information:
Erika Meng (e.meng@cgiar.org)

C~ ;~'ARM

Diversity to Support Rural Communities 17


18 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

Is This Unusual Crop
Coming into its Own?
Triticale is excellent in baked goods
and flat breads, but its present
appeal is that it gives farmers
numerous options for feeding
dairy and beef cattle, sheep, pigs,
and poultry. Since triticale is
tolerant to drought, frost, and
problem soils, it can be grown in
seasons and places where other
crops will not grow so well,
sometimes making it the only
source of animal feed. In such
adverse conditions, triticale yields
more biomass (stems and leaves)
and also more grain than
competing crops.

A good source of protein and
energy, triticale is sown on more
than 3 million hectares worldwide.
As scientists and farmers discover
its versatility, it is gaining ground
in several countries, including
Mexico, Poland, China, Belarus,
Germany, and Australia. Despite
these advances, the crop could be
better known in other countries
where farmers would benefit
greatly from it.

Diversifying the
Menu-and the
Farming System
CIMMYT has developed different
types of triticale for different uses.
Grazing varieties produce a lot of
biomass and can sprout several
times after being grazed by
livestock.* Other varieties can be
cut for forage, left to grow again,
and go on to produce grain. Still
others produce highly nutritious
grain for animal feed. Dual-
purpose triticales can be grazed
and/or grown for feed and forage,

particularly in environments with
relatively long periods during
which few other sources of animal
feed are available.

These special-purpose varieties are
gaining acceptance. For example, a
group of farmers in Mexico's Yaqui
Valley is enthusiastic about
growing triticale instead of durum
wheat for feeding pigs. They will
sow more land to triticale next
season. This strategy will also
diversify their farming system,
which is 80% wheat. This
preponderance of wheat places the
wheat crop at high risk for diseases
such as the rusts. More rust
resistant than wheat, triticale also
competes better with weeds.
Farmers do not have to spend
money controlling weeds and rust.

Dairy farmers in Cuatro Cidnegas,
Coahuila, Mexico, have
implemented a novel system for
grazing young milk cows. In a
large, round triticale field, a
structure is set up that divides the
field into segments like a pie and
keeps the cows grazing in one
section at a time. The structure is
advanced as the crop is grazed.
The system lies on a triticale
variety bred especially for grazing.
The cows graze the entire field,
section by section, four or five
times over a six-month period, and
the crop persistently comes back up
after being grazed.

In the northern Mexican state of
Chihuahua, farmers grow oats for
winter forage, but the crop is
sometimes damaged by frost. In
view of its cold tolerance, triticale
is being tested as an alternative to
oats by the CIRENA research group
(a training, research, and extension
organization of Mexico's Ministry
of Education), with CIMMYT's

help. CIRENA is also active in
another part of the state, where
Mennonite farmers grow oats
for forage in the summer.
Researchers are trying triticale
to see how it fares in such
drought conditions. Results so
far have been excellent: triticale
produces 100% more biomass
than oats and-an unexpected
advantage-on less water.
Farmers can feed their livestock
and cope with the dwindling
water supply.

Meeting Local
CIMMYT has bred triticales
useful to national research
programs in low-income
countries seeking to adapt
triticale to local conditions. In
Bangladesh, for example, dairy
farmers sow triticale for grain to
feed their milk cows: it produces
more grain than wheat in places
where water is scarce. In the
Ecuadorian highlands, where
the climate is particularly harsh
and barley is the leading food
cereal, triticale is sown mostly
by small-scale farmers looking
to broaden the options for
feeding their families.

For more information:
Karim Ammar
Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio

* Triticale sprouts again because livestock are put to graze on it when the plant's
growing point is still below the soil surface.

Diversity to Support Rural Communities 19

Safe Haven for

H insects

Helps Protect Farmers

There is something different about Althou
Margaret Mulaa's trial plots at the pesticic
National Agricultural Research produce
Center in Kitale, Kenya. The trial requirii
seems more like a botanical vulnera
collection or an ornamental garden, measure
featuring Guinea grass, napier resistar
grass, Giant Panicum, and Sudan happen
grass, not to mention local and country
exotic sorghum varieties. Mulaa is proport
happy when she discovers insects, varieties
particularly stem borers, devouring pests. T
her plants. What's going on? where i
The res
Seeking Refugia insects
The Insect Resistant Maize for insects
Africa (IRMA) Project, a develop}
collaboration between CIMMYT and resistar
KARI, funded by the Syngenta form of
Foundation for Sustainable single g
Agriculture, uses biotechnology and compoi
conventional breeding to develop manag
maize resistant to stem borers, one integral
of the most devastating pests in combine
Africa. Mulaa, a KARI entomologist, resistar
and her CIMMYT counterpart,
entomologist David Bergvinson,
seek plants that might serve as Diffe
refugia in a system for limiting
insect resistance to Bt maize, a Diffe
genetically engineered plant that Mulaa
represents one of the best hopes for econorr
controlling stem borers. strategic
maize g


gh Bt maize differs from other
Ie technologies because it
es its own pesticide rather than
ig spray applications, it shares a
ability common to plant protection
es: the target pest can build up
Ice. To prevent this from
ing, farmers in developed
es must plant a significant
ion of their fields (e.g., 20%) to
s that are susceptible to the target
thesee refugia provide a safe haven
nsects that would otherwise
ib to the Bt toxin can reproduce.
ulting populations of susceptible
mate with the few resistant
that evolve and greatly slow the
)ment of pest populations
t to the Bt toxin (or any other
insect resistance controlled by a
;ene). Refugia are a central
nent of a broader insect resistance
ement strategy, which includes
ted pest management and the
ation of multiple sources of insect
Ice in the maize plant.

rent Cropping Systems,
rent Refugia
and Bergvinson must develop
lically viable management
es suited to small- and large-scale
ig systems in Kenya's five major
;rowing regions.

20 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

The most demanding clients of refugia
are not farmers but insects. Each borer
species has its own characteristics and
life cycle. The borers must find the
refugia plants attractive for
oviposition (egg laying); the
plants must then support larval
development and provide a favorable
environment for the borers to
complete their life cycle. Further
complicating matters, the stem borers
must develop at about the same rate
on the refugia plants as in the maize
crop, to synchronize their mating.

Given all this complexity, why not ask
farmers to plant susceptible maize, as
in developed countries? Although this
approach might work for large-scale
growers, the economics work against
resource-poor smallholders, the
majority of Kenya's farmers. For
large-scale farmers, identifying and
planting alternative refugia could
significantly reduce the area needed
for susceptible maize, thereby
increasing overall yields.

Plants with
Insect Appeal
Mulaa multiplied prospective refugia
plants at Kitale in 2000. The next year,
30 alternative hosts for stem borers
were evaluated in experiment station
trials in four of the five maize
growing regions. Sorghum,

particularly local varieties, had
the highest borer damage rating
and number of exit holes (which
indicate larval survival).
Columbus grass and Sudan grass
appeared effective as refugia but
were not economic. Napier
grasses supported oviposition
and provided good economic
returns but did not excel for
larval development.

Laboratory bioassays were also
undertaken in 2001, using the
most common stem borer species,
to determine larval survival and
development, as well as
fecundity, on a range of hosts.
Specific sorghum varieties, maize
hybrids, and forage grasses
supported stem borer survival
and development well.
The results are being verified
and integrated with experiment
station data.

Devising the right refugia for
each category of farmers is a
challenge. Farmer surveys are
being completed in the highland
area of Kitale, the lowland tropics
(Mtwapa), and the midaltitude
dry zone (Katumani). The
midaltitude transitional zone
(Kakemega) and the midaltitude
moist zone (Embu) will be
surveyed in 2003. These surveys
will provide estimates of rfugia
species and area in these zones.

This sorghum variety
being examined by
researchers Margaret
Mulaa and Stephen
Mugo could prolong
the resistance of new
maize varieties to
insect pests in Kenya.

Diversity to Support Rural Communities 21

.-;;,=.' 9;

Tale of Two Farmers
Two Kitale-area farmers reflect
the extremes that refugia
strategies must cover

Collins Omunga (top photo) has
more than 600 hectams in the
highlands in Trans-Nzoia District.
His primary income is derived
from maize and livestock. He has
a Certificate of Agriculture and
has been building his farm
operation for more than 30 years.
He already grows napier for
livestock feed and erosion control
on about 18 hectares and has no
doubt about its economic value.

In a bad year, Omunga reckons
20% of his maize crop is lost, and
he is ready to try something
effective against borers. He does
not believe that managing a
refugia presents a significant
obstacle. "Farmers are eager to
adopt new technologies," he says.
"Knowledge is spreading, as you
can see by the wide adoption of
hybrid maize and fertilizer. But
there are some 'lazy' farmers out
there," he concedes, "and they
might be more plblematic."

Mulaa takes issue with the
characterization of "lazy"
farmers. "There are some very
small landholders," she says,
"farming half an acre or even less,

that are not diversified and only
plant maize. For this group, we as
considering establishing some kind
of rotating communal refugia."

Not far away, Samson Nyabero
(bottom photo) works his six
hectares. The diversity found on
his farm heartens Mulaa. Aside
from some small fruit plots, he
grows maize and, most positively,
sorghum, finger millet, and napier,
all potentially effective refugia. He
says in a bad year he loses 30-40%
of his maize to stem borers.
Nyabero does not like to buy
pesticide because it is often
"bogus" or sold after its "effective
date." The timing and number of
applications also pose contraints.
He too saw little problem adjusting
his crop practices if it would allow
his crop to repel stem borers.

Mulaa is encouraged by what
she has seen on the Kitale farms,
but she cognizes that more
research is needed before firm
recommendations can be made.
Even so, the development of a
well-tailored strategy for
managing insect resistance
should just be a matter of time.

For more information:
David Bergvinson

22 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

....: ii.: ......


An Inspired Experiment
It is a story Rufino Chi has told often
and probably will tell for some time to
come, judging from the animated
responses from farmers every time
Nalxoy is mentioned. Nalxoy is the
product of a cross between PR7822, a
CIMMYT maize population, and Nal-
tel, a traditional maize grown by
indigenous farmers in YucatAn, Mexico.

Nalxoy is the brainchild of Chi, a
Mayan farmer from the village of
Xoy, YucatAn. Chi did not know that
the seed he acquired in 1983 from
long-time friend and agronomist,
Luis Dzib, was from CIMMYT. He
knew only what Dzib told him, that
it was good and gave high yields,
and decided to try it on his field.


Mayan farmer and
breeder Rufino Chi:
"I want to help my
brothers so people
can have food for
their families and
stay on their farms."

24 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002




"I took the seed and planted it. It
had very good yields, gave good-
sized cobs and grain, but was very
susceptible to pests. The stems were
also not strong," said Chi. "I
thought, why not cross this maize
with Nal-tel? Nal-tel gave more
maize per plant, the husk was hard
and strong, and the grain was
resistant to pests. The advantages of
one balance out the disadvantages
of the other. I crossed them and
came up with this variety."

Chi continued growing the maize
and after two years convinced Dzib
to try it on his experimental field in
Becanch6n, Yucatan.

"Rufino came to me in 1985 and
told me about Nalxoy and its
yield-1,500 kilograms per hectare
compared to 750 with other
varieties he used," recalls Dzib. "He
wanted me to plant this maize. At
first I was skeptical but began to
grow the maize and record its yield
and attributes. At the same time,
Rufino's father, brothers, and
community members continued
experimenting with the maize in
their fields."

The Word, and the
Seed, Spread
The variety Chi developed in 1983
had yellow grain. In 1998, he
began experimenting again and
obtained white-grained Nalxoy.
Both yellow and white Nalxoy
were tried in farmers' fields in Xoy
and other municipalities. Word of
the maize spread.

"Farmers learned about Nalxoy
from other farmers and came to buy
seed. Some farmers from Chiapas
came one year. They returned a
year later and asked for more seed.
I met a farmer in Campeche who
bought 10 kilos. When I went to
Quintana Roo, they asked me about
Nalxoy and took 16 kilos," says Chi.

Nalxoy, by now known for its
adaptability and high yields, also
became part of non-governmental
and research programs in the area.

"It was diffused to several
communities in south and central
Yucatan and in Quintana Roo," says
Dzib. Soon more farmers were
asking for seed.

"When We Don't
Have Maize, We
Have Nothing"
Yucatan has a large indigenous
population and some of the poorest
and most marginalized communities
in the country. High migration rates,
poor education, lack of basic social
security, and very low incomes are
common. Most farmers depend on
maize for food. Conditions under
which farmers grow the crop are

"The soils are poor in many areas,
and we either have too much rain or
it is very dry," says Dzib. "Nalxoy's
leaves curl in when it doesn't rain.
As soon as it starts raining, Nalxoy
starts growing. The plant may be
shorter and yield less, but it will give
a harvest. With Nalxoy, farmers
have greater food security."

"When we don't have maize, we
have nothing. We have to go out to
work to feed the family," says Daniel
Castillo, a farmer from Tahdzid, one
of the poorest communities in the
area. "We need maize for the whole
year. This maize"-he points to
Nalxoy-"is good. It is more
tolerant, we can grow it with other
crops, and it yields more. Now we
don't grow any other maize." Abel
Escoffie, Director of the Instituto
Nacional Indigenista (INI, the
National Institute of Indigenous
Peoples) in Jos6 Maria Morelos,
Quintana Roo, shares the sentiment.
"It's a good maize and we have
great hopes for it. Most of the maize

we have here is very susceptible to
pests and doesn't tolerate drought.
If we can improve it further, it will
be marvelous," he says.

"Maize Is Important
for Indigenous
For Chi, Nalxoy has not only
brought greater food security for
his village, but also greater
cohesion among indigenous
communities. "Through this work,
farmers are getting closer. We can
learn from each other and become
better organized," he says. "Maize
is very important for indigenous
communities. They are poor and

The experience of Rufino Chi
shows that poor, small-scale
farmers often have their own
pathways for adopting improved
maize, believes CIMMYT social
scientist Mauricio Bellon. Bellon
was excited when he heard about
Nalxoy because it supported
CIMMYT research on
"creolization"-the process
through which farmers change
improved maize to suit their needs.

"Small-scale farmers benefit from
improved maize through different
pathways, not necessarily from
directly adopting an improved
variety," says Bellon. "Even though
CIMMYT did not intentionally
provide the maize for farmers to
transform, Nalxoy came about
because the improved maize
clearly had some valuable
characteristics. We need to evaluate
experiences such as this and assess
whether we can build on them and
serve people better."

For more information:
Mauricio Bellon

Diversity to Sustain Future Generations 25

Ensuring the Survival of



Some of the first wheats to reach Mexico, so-

called sacramental wheats offer a glimpse into

the past-and possibly the future -of wheat.

A "Snapshot" of a
16th Century Wheat
Brought to Mexico in the 16th century by
Spanish monks, sacramental wheats
provided grain for making the host, an
unleavened wafer consecrated during the
Roman Catholic Mass (hence the name
sacramental). Mexico's indigenous
people had a grain of their own-
maize-but for religious reasons the host
must be made of wheat. The monks gave
the Indians wheat to sow after their
maize harvest. Consequently, "wheat
spread as fast in Mexico as the Catholic
religion did," says Bent Skovmand, head
of the CIMMYT wheat genebank.

Conditions in some regions where
those wheats were sown, such as the
Altos de Mixteca in the state of
Oaxaca, which is very dry, are
far from ideal for growing
wheat. Nonetheless,
sacramental wheats have been
grown there through the
centuries and can be found in
farmers' fields to this day. They
are thought to be directly
descended from the wheats
introduced by the monks in 1540.
Because wheat is not normally
sown in places such as the Altos de
Mixteca, the sacramental wheats
probably were never crossed with other
wheat varieties, leaving their genetic
heritage essentially intact.

The potential value of these wheats lies
in the fact that so few of their type are
known, especially in the Americas. If
present-day sacramental wheats are
representative of the ones introduced by
the Spaniards, they might tell us much
about Iberian wheats in the 16th century.
They may reveal, for example, whether
the taste and other baking qualities of
wheat have actually improved in the
centuries that have passed since they
arrived in Oaxaca. Comments
Skovmand, "The farmers who grow
sacramental wheats claim they taste
much better than modern varieties."

When Traditions
Die, Biodiversity Can
Die, Too
One of the important functions of a
genebank is to conserve samples of as
many different types of a plant species
as possible. Of special concern are
plants at risk of disappearing, such as
those that will be flooded out of
existence when a dam reservoir is
filled, or lost when the farmers who
plant them die or migrate to the cities.
Sacramental wheats, grown by very
few farmers in Oaxaca, are considered
to be among the latter.

A few years ago, Skovmand heard of
these and other rare wheats and
decided it was important to collect
samples for conservation. He obtained
funding from CONABIO, Mexico's
Organization for the Study of
Biodiversity, to conduct wheat-
gathering expeditions in 23 Mexican
states. As a result, 10,000 new samples
collected in 249 sites in 19 states were
added to our collection. Duplicate
samples were deposited in the
germplasm bank of Mexico's Instituto
Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales,
Agrfcolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP, the
national agricultural research program)
in Chapingo, Mexico.

Sacramental wheats are not the only
wheats among the new collections that
have long been sown for special
purposes in Mexico. Two farmer
varieties from the state of Michoacan,
for example, are grown exclusively for
their straw, which is woven into

The obvious risk to these and other
rare varieties is that their survival
depends on the small groups of people
who grow them and who might one
day abandon their traditional way of
life. If such varieties are stored in a
genebank, they and their genetic
endowment should be available
indefinitely. Perhaps one day breeders
seeking to raise grain production in
marginal environments will find what
they seek in 16th century wheats.

For more information:
Bent Skovmand

26 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

a. .. .. .

Transgenic Mai0 i

Mexico's maize landraces (strains
developed over millennia by farmers)
are considered a world treasure. The
diversity they represent, like their
cultural value, is priceless. The Nature
report that Mexico's landraces were
transgenic elicited a visceral response
from people who feared that an
important resource was lost forever.
The report also elicited a strong
response from scientists, some of
whom felt that the research described
in Nature did not support the
conclusions that were drawn.

As an international research institution
based in Mexico and charged with
holding maize genetic resources in
trust for humanity, CIMMYT was
drawn into the controversy amid
contentions that landraces in its
genebank were transgenic.

The Situation in
CIMMYT's Genebank
In fact, there is no evidence that any of
the Mexican landraces in the
Wellhausen-Anderson Genetic
Resources Center (CIMMYT's
genebank) carry the most common
promoter associated with transgenic
plants-cauliflower mosaic virus 35S
(CaMV 35S). CIMMYT has screened
more than 150 Mexican landraces and

has failed to find the presence of
CaMV 35S. CIMMYT continues to
screen landrace accessions collected
after 1996, when commercial
transgenic maize was first released
for commercial use.

Several precautions are taken with
the landraces held and distributed
by CIMMYT. No new maize seed is
added to the collection of landraces
held in trust for humanity without
being tested for transgenic material.
To the extent possible, only
accessions collected before 1996 are
provided to our partners, unless the
accessions have been screened for
the general presence of transgenes
(e.g., CaMV 35S) or unless the
recipient guarantees that such
screening will be done.

Seed cannot be held in cold storage
in genebanks forever; periodically it
must be taken out, tested to ensure
that it still germinates, and planted
to renew the stock of seed needed to
meet research needs. When maize
seed from the bank is regenerated in
the field, researchers use controlled
hand-pollination to ensure that the
plants do not cross with plants of
any other variety. To further ensure
that all extraneous pollen is kept
out, buffer zones protect the
regeneration plots.

Diversity to Sustain Future Generations 27

"Agriculture can have objectives

other than producing high-

yielding crops for export.

Preserving landraces can be one

such objective."

Once the regenerated seeds are
safely in the genebank, CIMMYT
follows strict identification
procedures to prevent them from
getting mixed with other seed. They
are held under secure conditions
and managed through unique
computerized identifiers. The seed
samples must conform to so-called
"passport data" on seed type and
color. Requests for seed are
processed according to the seed
passport information.

The Situation in
Farmers' Fields
It is easier to determine what is
occurring in a genebank, where seed
is kept under rigorously controlled
conditions, than to determine what
is happening in farmers' fields. If
transgenes are present in Mexican
landraces, what are the probable
effects in farmers' fields, on genetic
diversity, and on the wild relatives
of maize? CIMMYT researchers
have some idea of the effects (see
"Are Mexico's Indigenous Maize
Varieties at Risk?", opposite), but
their hypotheses must be confirmed.
It is urgent to pursue several
scientific inquiries.

First, to determine which factors
influence the diffusion of genes
(including transgenes) into maize
landraces and what the potential
impacts might be, researchers need
more knowledge of smallholders'
management and seed selection
practices. Related questions should
also be addressed: How does this
diffusion process affect the
livelihoods of small-scale maize

farmers? Can this process and its
impacts be managed? If so, how?

Second, a centralized database on
maize landraces of Mexico and the
rest of the world must be created. It
would contain information on
agronomic and grain quality traits
and, when feasible, genetic
information. It would provide
baseline information on diversity, be
useful for breeding programs, and
have other practical applications.
For example, in the dispute on
patenting high oil-content maize, no
data were readily available to show
that Mexican landraces with high
oil content were cultivated prior to
the patent applications. If we lack
this kind of information, the value
of biodiversity is reduced.

Third, if genes from new crops and
crop products-transgenic or
otherwise-should not be freely
distributed but nevertheless make
their way into the environment,
what are the options for controlling
or reversing their diffusion in
farmers' fields? It is critical to have
more information on factors
affecting gene flow in maize and
how they might be harnessed to
reverse, contain, or ameliorate the
impact of the diffusion of a
deleterious or unwanted gene.
Research in this area should be given
high priority.

Finally, over the long term, how
might modern varieties and farmer
management practices affect the
genetic diversity of teosinte, the
closest wild relative of maize? More
in-depth studies are needed to
answer this question.

A Wake-Up Call for
More Research
"As pressure increases to participate
in the global economy, it is easy to
forget that agriculture can play
many roles," says Masa Iwanaga,
CIMMYT's director general.
"Agriculture can have objectives
other than producing high-yielding
crops for export. Preserving
traditional landraces in their centers
of origin may be one such objective.
The present concern in Mexico has
reminded the world that we need to
understand and assist the farmers
who are the guardians of maize

"Mexican smallholders have
fostered maize genetic diversity very
efficiently for thousands of years,"
comments Mauricio Bellon, a
CIMMYT social scientist who has
intensively studied farmers'
management of maize diversity.
"The questions about transgenic
maize have shown the many
challenges these farmers face. Can
they support their families just by
growing landraces? Many farmers
who grow these landraces are old,
and their knowledge is dying with
them. Will their children have
incentives to continue the

"The issues surrounding the
maintenance of genetic diversity in
the center of origin of maize are not
simple, so it is not surprising that
there are so many questions to
answer," says Iwanaga. "The
important point is that if no one
funds research to answer these
questions, the consequences will be
serious for Mexico and the rest of
the world."

For more information:
SMauricio Bellon
Julien Berthaud (j.berthaud@cgiar.org)
David Hoisington (d.hoisington@cgiar.org)
Masa Iwanaga (m.iwanaga@cgiar.org)
Suketoshi Taba (s.taba@cgiar.org)

CIMMYT statements on transgenic maize in Mexico,
including details of genebank screening: http://

28 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002


Mexican farmers safeguard some of the world's
most important maize biodiversity. What do we
know about how they maintain landraces?
What might happen if transgenic maize finds its
way into their fields?

Maize Landraces:
Always Evolving
A widely held misconception
about maize landraces is that
they do not change. In fact, the
landraces found even in remote
areas of Mexico today are not the
same as the maize found in the
same location hundreds of years
ago. Maize is an open-pollinating
species. Individual maize plants
readily exchange genes with
other maize plants growing
nearby, a characteristic that
farmers recognized long ago as a
way to adapt varieties to their
own needs. Today's farmers in
Oaxaca, Mexico, for example,
readily notice when their maize
has been inbred over too many
generations and lost vigor. Some
will say the maize "gets tired"
("se cansa" ) and will seek other
varieties to mix with it.
SIn short, diversity in farmers'
fields is not a static condition, but
a dynamic process maintained by
an influx of new genes, together
with farmer selection. Likewise,
landraces themselves are
constantly evolving, while
farmers maintain the traits that
they desire.

Diversity to Sustain Future Generations 29

Do Single-Gene
Traits Displace
Genetic Diversity?
What happens when a characteristic
controlled by a single gene, such as
transgenic, Bt-based insect
resistance, is introduced into the
genetic background of an
established variety?

Current knowledge and theory in
maize genetics suggest that there
should be little impact on genetic
diversity. Most genes in maize are
independent, meaning that they will
diffuse independently through a
maize population rather than
remain linked to other genes in that
population. Suppose a modern
yellow-grained variety carrying a
transgene, such as Bt, is planted in a
field in Mexico with a traditional
white-grained landrace. After a few
generations, there would be plants
with yellow grain and the transgene,
white grain and the transgene,
yellow grain and no transgene, and
white grain and no transgene.

Although the gene would have
introgressed into some plants,
diversity would not decrease. In
fact, one could argue that overall
genetic diversity would increase.
Whether this increased diversity is
desirable is a very different issue.

What Could
Happen in Real
Maize Fields?
What actually happens in maize
fields in Oaxaca and other Mexican
states? It is critical to remember that
maize varieties are subject both to
environmental selection and human
management practices, which
greatly influence whether a gene
(and trait) is lost or fixed and at
what frequency it occurs.

Tracking the effects of
environmental selection is relatively
straightforward compared to
assessing the impact of farmers'
management practices. If a
transgene confers a trait that works

against a plant's survival, plants
carrying that gene will be
eliminated from the gene pool
through natural selection. If no
environmental selection pressure
acts on the gene, population
genetics models indicate that the
gene will be fixed at the frequency
at which it was introduced, or it will
be lost over time. Finally, if the gene
confers a selective advantage, it will
increase and spread through the
population. Again, since the
transgenic maize varieties now
being commercially grown use
single-gene traits, in none of these
cases should overall genetic
diversity be decreased. There are
implications, however, for the rate
of diffusion (or conversely,
containment) of transgenes.

Perhaps the most influential and
least understood influence on
genetic diversity and the
"maintenance" of landraces is
farmers' management practices,
particularly the practices farmers
use to choose seed for planting. The
ancestors of today's Oaxacan
farmers, who developed maize from
a weedy grass to a robust food crop,
probably used these practices,
which encourage the flow of genes
among different varieties of maize.
If today's smallholders had access to
transgenic varieties, and if they
perceived those varieties to be
valuable, they might foster their
diffusion into their local maize
populations. Clearly this is a
complex process that merits
much research.

What Could
Happen to Wild
Relatives of Maize?
Finally, there is the question of
potential impacts on the wild
relatives of maize, Tripsacum and
teosinte. It is very difficult to
produce maize x Tripsacum hybrids,
although CIMMYT has produced
some using sophisticated laboratory
techniques. The only known
naturally occurring maize x
Tripsacum hybrid is "Guatemala

grass," a vigorous but sterile
forage that can be propagated
only vegetatively.

Mexican annual teosintes are the
closest relatives of maize. Maize
genes can flow easily into teosinte,
but the long history of maize and
teosinte sharing the same fields in
Mesoamerica has not produced a
"swamping" of the teosinte by
maize, suggesting that some
genetic mechanisms may be at
work to maintain the genetic
integrity of teosinte.

Given the difficulty of creating
maize x Tripsacum hybrids, it
seems extremely unlikely that
transgenes would introgress into
the Tripsacum genus. Introgression
into teosinte would be much more
likely, and the same principles
related to natural and farmer
selection cited earlier should
apply. In short, one would not
expect to see a negative impact on
diversity per se, but only limited
research has been conducted to
date on this aspect of gene flow.

Validating the
This brief look at some of the
underlying issues related to
transgenes and Mexican landraces
has focused mostly on potential
impacts on genetic diversity. The
observations are drawn from basic
models and will need to be
validated through targeted
experiments. Clearly the potential
impacts of an introgression of a
transgene would also extend to
the environment, farmers'
welfare, marketplace concerns
such as consumer acceptance,
intellectual property
considerations, and the regulatory
sphere. These issues should be
taken up in appropriate fora.

For more information:
SMauricio Bellon
Julien Berthaud (j.berthaud@cgiar.org)
David Hoisington (d.hoisington@cgiar.org)
Masa Iwanaga (m.iwanaga@cgiar.org)
Suketoshi Taba (s.taba@cgiar.org)

30 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

Breeding Real Wheat from

Virtual Wheat

High points in wheat
breeding: cross
different wheats and select

among their

Sweats that

* I..

In the works at
CIMMYT and at
Australia's University
of Queensland is a
computer tool so
sophisticated that it
can help wheat breeders
make some of the
toughest decisions they
face when developing a

have inherited the good
traits of both parents. As per the
basic laws of inheritance, the
in this .
represents the progeny that has
all desired traits from both
parents, the next highest
represents the one that has
fewer of these traits, and so on
down to the lower peaks. The
QU-I simulation module
help breeders reach the highest
more efficiently.

QU-CIM, a computer tool designed
specifically for simulating CIMMYT's
wheat breeding program, "can help us
work better, faster, and more
economically," points out Maarten van
Ginkel, who breeds bread wheat for
irrigated and high rainfall environments
and leads the QU-CIM effort on the
CIMMYT side. "It can save labor, land,
and money." When finished, it will be
applicable to other crops and other plant
breeding programs, including those in
developing countries.

CIMMYT's bread wheat breeding
program was chosen for the QU-CIM
project because, according to Ian De Lacy,
a biometrician and expert on database
management, "the program has 53 years
of accumulated breeding data and is one
of the most important and successful
plant breeding programs in the world."
De Lacy is one of the researchers fine-
tuning QU-CIM to respond to real-life
breeding situations.

Diversity to Sustain Future Generations 31

Australia's Grains Research and
Development Corporation (GRDC)
funds the work on QU-CIM, which
is based on QU-GENE, a simulation
platform developed at the
University of Queensland. It can
integrate enormous amounts of
genetics-based data from widely
different sources, process them in
many ways, and produce
alternative theoretical (but realistic)
scenarios that breeders can draw on
to make a decision.

Choices that Make
or Break a Breeding
Jiangkang Wang, a postdoctoral
fellow at CIMMYT, feeds the system
the information it needs to simulate
the breeding program. "My biggest
challenge is to describe the field-
based breeding process in a genetic
language the computer can
understand," says Wang. A first
experiment is underway in which
QU-CIM compares two selection
schemes applied by CIMMYT wheat
breeders to achieve the same
objective. The program will indicate
which strategy works best
depending on the breeding materials
and goals that are fed into it.

The laws of genetics put forth by
Mendel more than 130 years ago
underpin the simulation module,
which also contains genetic
equations developed over the past
century. To work, the simulator
draws upon data from many
sources, including CIMMYT's
International Wheat Information
System (IWIS) and geographic
information systems. QU-CIM will
also link to the Agricultural
Production System Simulator
(APSIM), a collection of biological,
physical, system control, and other
modules that interact to simulate
the operation of a farming system.
These links will endow the
simulation module with knowledge
of the genetic and other
relationships affecting wheat, plus
wheat's performance in real
farming situations.

One of the module's strengths is
that it accommodates the combined
effects of different genes that affect
the same trait at the same time,
which is often the case. "Breeders
know that the effect of putting genes
together is not simple, like 1 + 1 = 2.
There's a synergy at work here that
sometimes causes 1 + 1 to equal
much more than 2, and sometimes
less," explains van Ginkel. Positive
synergy can produce huge genetic
gains, but apart from relying on
experience and intuition, breeders
have to conduct tedious, large-scale
genetic studies on a few lines at a
time to predict how and when this
synergy might happen. With QU-
CIM they can quickly discover how
to achieve the synergistic effects
they seek.

QU-CIM can also indicate when it is
cost-effective and/or efficient to use
a specific technology at a specific
stage in the breeding process. For
example, using molecular markers
to identify plants with valuable
traits early in the breeding process
might seem appropriate, but at that
stage the number of plants to be
tested is still very great, as is the
cost of testing. It might make more
sense to apply the technology at a
later stage, when the population of
experimental plants has been pared
down to a more economical number.
But by that time the gene of interest
may have been bred out of the
population, or nearly so, which is
also undesirable. What is a breeder
to do? Apply the module to see how
the two scenarios play out, and then
make a more informed decision.

Environments and
QU-CIM does not give breeders
just one set of growing conditions
in which to run tests, but generates
different versions of an artificial
environment to simulate
conditions in different years and
run, say, 100 breeding cycles to see
what the outcome would be. Why
is this useful?

Consider following example. In
North Africa four out of five
years are dry. Farmers sow their
wheat, and if they see the year
will be very dry, they will not let
the crop grow to harvest because
the grain yield will be very low;
instead they allow their livestock
to graze on it. For that they need
a wheat variety that produces lots
of stems and leaves and appeals
to the animals. But the variety
also has to produce a lot of grain
(and not fall over under the
added weight), since farmers
want to reap an abundant harvest
one year out of five, when rainfall
is adequate. In wetter years, more
disease is present in the fields, so
the variety has to be disease
resistant. In this complex
scenario, the simulation module
would aid in setting breeding
priorities by running many
breeding cycles while weighing
the importance of different traits
depending on the variations in
the environment where the
variety will be grown.

Bringing Down
Breeding Costs
QU-CIM could bring down
breeding costs by reducing the
number of crosses breeders make
to reach a particular goal,
identifying the best breeding
method to use, or determining
the most cost-effective, efficient
time to use it. It would also
compare the cost of the input to
the cost of the corresponding
output to determine whether
applying a given technology
makes sense. With QU-CIM,
wheat breeders will more easily
and economically help countries
meet their farmers' needs.

For more information:
Maarten van Ginkel
Jiangkang Wang

32 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

In Situ Maize
Conservation in


Mexico: What

Have We Learned?

The loss of maize

landraces may have


consequences, not only

for the conservation of

genetic resources but

The relationship between lost
landraces and diminished farmer
welfare was a key finding from a five-
year study funded by Canada's
International Development Research
Centre (IDRC). Researchers aimed to
identify and evaluate interventions
that would help smallholders in the
Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico, to
conserve the diversity of maize
landraces in the area. The study was
undertaken by CIMMYT and the
Oaxaca division of INIFAP, Mexico's
national agricultural research

Farmers Demand
"Even when farmers want to
continue growing landraces, diversity
can be lost," says Mauricio Bellon, the
CIMMYT social scientist who headed
the study. "It's not easy for farmers to
obtain seed of landraces they want to
grow or to cross with their own
varieties. A farmer has to know who
has the variety he or she seeks, if the
seed is good, and if it will do well in

the field. Then the farmer has to
negotiate to acquire the seed-
maybe not through a cash payment
but through some sort of
commitment to the seed seller."
The Oaxaca study revealed that
helping smallholders identify the
traditional varieties they want and
providing them with seed of those
landraces at lowered costs is one of
the most important contributions
institutions can make to genetic
resource conservation and rural
The starting point for helping
farmers to access and conserve
diversity was to systematically
collect and evaluate the biodiversity
of landrace populations in six
communities. The objective was not
simply to review local landraces'
agricultural or physical
characteristics or genetic diversity,
but to involve farmers.
"The challenge is to identify
landraces that contribute to
conserving genetic diversity and are

Diversity to Sustain Future Generations 33

for the welfare of

farmers who grow


"If we don't

understand how

farmers manage

genetic resources, we

connot understand

the effects of

introducing new

maize varieties."

also of interest to farmers," says
Bellon. "If we can do that, and
establish mechanisms for farmers to
obtain seed and information,
farmers will sow landraces, and
maintain the evolutionary processes
that are essential to conserving

Farmers' Strategies
for Gaining Diversity
Researchers could not help farmers
conserve genetic resources until
they learned how farmers actually
managed those resources. Julien
Berthaud, a molecular
cytogeneticist at CIMMYT, affiliated
with the Institut de Recherche pour
le Developpement (IRD), says that
farmers' management of landraces
shows a high level of gene flow.
Gene flow can be described as the
movement of genes in and out of
the population of maize landraces
in the study communities-with
obvious implications for the
diversity of those populations. Gene
flow can occur through human
intervention (e.g., the acquisition or
exchange of seed) as well as natural
intervention (e.g., pollen dispersed
by insects and wind).

"There is gene flow through seed
exchange among farmers in the
same community, and through
varieties bought in local and
regional markets or within
communities," he says. "There is
also a flow of genes over long
distances, for example among
distinct races of maize at more than
200 kilometers. This flow promotes
the maintenance of a full genetic
base and greater resistance to
stresses of all kinds."

Farmers in Oaxaca gain greater
diversity by managing their
landraces in three ways: by adding
new varieties to their inventory, by
crossing distinct varieties, and by
selecting for particular

characteristics in the varieties they
grow. "The third strategy is used in
farmer participatory breeding,"
says Bellon. "But to support
farmers' conservation and use of
diversity, we cannot limit ourselves
to one strategy."

Dynamics Matter
Nearly 1,000 farmers (654 men and
343 women) from six communities
participated in the study, which
included a survey that gathered
socioeconomic and agricultural
data, the collection of 152
representative samples of maize
landraces in the region, an
agronomic evaluation in scientist-
designed and farmer-managed
trials, a participatory exercise to
identify a subset of landraces that
captured the diversity in the larger
collection, and the development of
17 "elite" landraces. Farmers
participated in 30 training sessions
on topics ranging from basic
principles of maize reproduction
and breeding to seed selection in
the household and field, and seed
and grain storage.

These kinds of studies are
extremely important for
understanding how communities
maintain diversity in the maize
they grow.

"If we don't understand how
farmers presently manage genetic
resources, we cannot really
understand the effects of
introducing new maize varieties,"
says Bellon. This question is
extremely important, given recent
developments in Oaxaca (see
"Transgenic Maize in Mexico," p.
27). "Much more research needs to
be done," cautions Berthaud.

For more information:
Mauricio Bellon
Julien Berthaud

34 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

Managing Agriculture

to Manage

Climate (

How Will Climate
Change Affect
Intensive Farming?
CIMMYT scientists, with researchers
at Stanford University's Department
of Geological Science and
Environmental Studies, have
concluded that farmers are not totally
at the mercy of climate change. They
arrived at this conclusion through
satellite observations of Mexico's
Yaqui Valley. Conducted in three
successive years, the observations
confirmed that farmers could reduce
the negative impact of weather on
their crops by using appropriate
farming practices.
The Yaqui Valley is ideal for studying
the long-term effects of an intensive
farming system on neighboring
environments and the implications
for global warming.* Since
agricultural conditions in the Valley
are representative of the irrigated
environments that produce 40% of
the developing world's wheat, study
results will be applicable in those
environments. This is extremely
useful, considering that those
environments will have to produce
90% or more of the grain needed to
feed a population slated to increase
steadily over the next 25 years.
As crop production intensifies,
ecological damage and the emission
of greenhouse gases will have to be
brought under control. The results
reported here-namely that certain
farming practices are not only more
benign for the ecology, but help
sustain farm production in the face of
climate change-should motivate
farmers to adopt those practices.

*See Nature 418:812-814.






Protecting the
Environment by
Protecting Agriculture
Researchers conducting this study
chose four main soil types in the Yaqui
Valley, and in each year they looked at
average wheat yields from those soils.
The three years of satellite observation
showed great contrasts. The first was
one of the warmest on record, the last
was one of the coolest, and the other
was intermediate. In a relatively short
time, researchers could learn how
wheat yields in the four soil types
were affected by different climatic
conditions, something that otherwise
could have taken many years.
Based on these findings, the research
team concluded that farmers on good
soils are little affected even by marked
climate changes, whereas farmers who
have low-quality or degraded soils are
more affected. Developing cropping
practices that improve soil quality is
thus critical not only for increasing
yields, but also for diminishing
vulnerability to climate change and
avoiding soil erosion.


Soil types in the
Yaqui Valley, Mexico:
Farmers who have
cared for the soil are
less likely to be
harmed by climate

For more information:
SIvan Ortiz-Monasterio

Diversity to Sustain Future Generations 35



the future, a mergin
many useful maize i
says Taba. "In the p:
useful diversity get,,
made available for a
The genebank is a v
of useful traits for p
23,000 or more regis
collections-called i
also akin to grandm
need to look through.
to find its treasures.
has employed sophi
statistical analysis a
distill useful, access
from bank contents
seed. These "core su
carefully chosen to 4
a specific race's divc
feature useful traits,
yield or disease resi
subsets are virtual g
rather than actual cc
seed. They are linke
agronomic data and
the original accessic
locate specific maizi
and, ultimately, the





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a a n=30
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0 n=47
n= n47
e n=50


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* *

CIMMYT maize pools are genetically diverse, but their components still fall
into discrete groups that researchers are trying to break up and mix together.
The clustering shown here for genotypes in Pool 25-all tropical, late-
maturing, yellow maize of flint kernel type-was done using data for impor-
tant agronomic traits. The key gives the number of genotypes in each cluster.

Taba and his team use the subsets
as "samplers" of diversity,
crossing them with elite inbred
lines to identify genotypes that
possess useful landrace genes
without typical landrace
weaknesses. The best products are
added to the pools.

The group also works with the 32
pools to enhance desirable
characteristics and weed out
unwanted ones. "Yield, for instance,
is not a dominant trait. It results
from many recessive alleles-forms
of the same gene-working
together," Taba explains. "You're
trying to gather the best alleles for
each of maybe 30 or 50 traits, so that
their small effects accumulate."

Because of the way genome
segments are broken up and
recombined in reproduction, genes
that are nearer to each other on a
chromosome are more likely to be
passed on as a single block to
succeeding generations; they are
said to be "linked." As a result, in
diversity's banquet, desirable
qualities are often served along
with unwelcome side dishes of
inferior traits.

"Pools are composed of different
race accessions, each with
characteristic linkages-that's what
makes them races," says Duncan
Kirubi, CIMMYT adjunct scientist
who has worked in prebreeding.
"We try to break the normal linkages
and create new ones that render
useful traits more accessible to
breeders." He and Taba apply
statistical analyses that allow clear
visualization of pool components
(see figure). Those least alike
genetically can be crossed to endow
pools with new combinations that
contain higher fractions of favorable
traits. The researchers also break up
close-knit subgroups to remix pool
contents, and they are beginning to
use DNA fingerprinting to assess
and monitor diversity in pools.
Finally, they have classified the pools
into heterotic groups, which are
pairings that can be used to develop
productive hybrids.

Taba and his associates are
perfecting a method that combines in
situ conservation and farmer
participatory breeding of maize
landraces, while enriching and
taking advantage of gene pools. (In
situ conservation of cultivated crop

species, such as maize, is the
conservation of genetic resources
in farmers' fields rather than in
genebanks.) According to
Matthew Krakowsky, a
postdoctoral fellow at CIMMYT,
the first step is cataloguing the
genotypes grown in a center of
diversity for a particular landrace.
"We analyze what farmers have,
pinpoint the genotypes they want
to improve, and cross them with
our improved materials to
enhance them," he says.

For example, in 1997 Taba and
researchers from INIFAP, Mexico's
national agricultural research
program, began work with
farmers in the Central Valleys of
Oaxaca, where varieties bred by
researchers have had little impact.
They focused on improving Bolita,
a drought-tolerant landrace that
farmers especially appreciate for
its tortilla-making quality. Initial
efforts resulted in refined versions
of key Bolita types, and farmers
throughout the Central Valleys are
purchasing Bolita seed.

The researchers will now take a
selection of the best genotypes
from the area and from Bolita core
subsets developed with farmers,
cross them with plants from
improved pools, and cross the
resulting progeny again with the
original landrace samples. The
first cross with pools will
contribute improved traits; the
final backcrossing to the landrace
ensures conservation of the
original landrace type-that is, the
grain quality and appearance that
farmers like. "This approach also
gives us access to valuable traits
from the landrace," says
Krakowsky. According to Taba,
similar methods may be perfected
and extended to many landraces
grown in Latin America.

For more information:
SSuketoshi Taba
Matthew Krakowsky

Diversity to Sustain Future Generations 37

It's probably the first and the only tortilleria of its kind in Mexico.
Tortilleria Itanoni, a small "mom and pop" operation run in the
city of Oaxaca, Mexico, by Amado Ramirez Leyva and his wife,
sells high-quality tortillas prepared the traditional way from
maize landraces in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca.



Preserves Local Traditions

"The tortilleria is a model that we hope
will be replicated elsewhere," says
Amado Ramfrez. "Customers who buy
the tortillas will know what the tortilla
is made of, where the maize came from,
and the specific characteristics of the
maize with which the tortilla is made."
Itanoni, which means "maize flower"
in the Mixteca language, is part of an
effort by Ramfrez to revive the unique
cultural and culinary practices of
Oaxaca. He obtained much of his
information about maize landraces
during field days organized by
CIMMYT and INIFAP, Mexico's
national agricultural research program,
as part of a project in which farmers
and scientists worked together to
conserve maize genetic diversity.

"The most important aspect of our
work is the information given to
consumers about the value and
quality of the tortillas that they
consume," says Ramfrez.
Ramirez believes that his marketing
strategy will bring economic benefits
for farmers. "If people develop an
appreciation for the tortillas made from
this maize," he says, "farmers will have
a viable market to sell their maize. At
the same time, there will be a deeper
appreciation for the biodiversity and
traditions of this region."

For more information:
Mauricio Bellon

Visitors to the
city of Oaxaca
will find
Itanoni at No.
512, Belisario

38 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002


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An estimated 3 billion people in the
world who do not go hungry
nonetheless suffer the debilitating
effects of unhealthy diets. People
who eat mostly cereal-based foods
can lack such essential nutrients as
iron, zinc, and vitamin A. Some
developing countries overcome this
deficiency by distributing
supplements to the population and/
or fortifying food with nutrients.
Some of these programs have been
successful, but they are expensive.

BiofortifiedTM Crops
An excellent means of
complementing these programs
would be to breed crop varieties
with increased levels of minerals and
vitamins. Biofortified crops could
benefit malnourished populations
cheaply and sustainably.

Creating biofortified versions of the
main food crops is the idea behind
the CGIAR Biofortification Project*
funded by Danish International
Development Assistance (Danida)
and coordinated by the International
Food Policy Research Institute
(IFPRI) and the International Center
for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT),
which is also working on raising the
micronutrient content in beans and
cassava. CIMMYT is working on
generating nutrient-enriched maize
and wheat. Other CGIAR centers,
such as the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI) and the
International Potato Center (CIP), are
working on their respective crops.

The project relies on the
collaboration of the University of
Adelaide in Australia and Cornell
University in the USA, whose

laboratories are testing for
micronutrient and vitamin A content
and micronutrient bioavailability
(i.e., whether nutrients can be
assimilated by humans and

A Bridge to High-
Nutrient Genes
Since most improved bread and
durum wheat varieties lack high
concentrations of iron and zinc in
the grain, the search is on for good
sources of the genes that control
these traits. CIMMYT scientists
headed by Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio
have been screening materials stored
in the CIMMYT genebank for five
years now. They have found that
wheat's wild relatives carry the
highest levels of iron and zinc in the
grain. Although grain nutrient levels
vary depending on where plants are
grown, trials in northwestern
Mexico revealed that, compared to
an average wheat, some of the best
wild relatives had 1.8 times more
zinc and 1.5 times more iron
in the grain.

How to tap into genes contained in
these wild species? The Wheat Wide
Crosses Unit has already provided
the means: bridge wheats. These
wheats act as a "bridge" for
transferring favorable genes from
wild species to improved bread
wheat. In this case, they are
generated by crossing a durum
wheat with a related wild grass.
That is a reproduction of the chance
crossing that occurred in nature
between those two species and first
gave rise to bread wheat about 8,000
years ago.

Filling empty stomachs,
the priority when people
are starving, is not
enough in the long term:
people need food with the
nutrients they require to
lead healthy and
productive lives.

Bridge wheats (also called synthetic
wheats) are true bread wheats and
can be crossed readily with high-
yielding varieties. Crossing bridge
wheats with improved wheat is
important because it helps to
eliminate negative characteristics.
The resulting wheats will be like
their improved parents, except for
the desired trait from the wild
parent (in this case, high iron or zinc
content in the grain).

Bread wheat breeders Maarten van
Ginkel and Richard Trethowan use
bridge wheats as a source of the
high iron and zinc traits in their
crosses with high-yielding lines.
Since the inheritance of high levels
of the two micronutrients seems to
be linked, breeders can use the same
bridge wheats for both traits. The
researchers have advanced to the
third and fourth generations, which
means they are making good

Work on improving the vitamin A
content of wheat is just beginning.
The materials in the CIMMYT
wheat genebank are currently being
classified for orange pigmentation,
which may indicate high levels of
beta-carotene, the precusor of
vitamin A.
For more information:
I. Ortiz-Monasterio

Initially reported as the CGIAR Micronutrients Project in
our Annual Report, CIMMYT in 7999-2000, pp. 8-10.

Diversity to Foster Scientific Innovation 41


f Why Is It Taking So Long?

"The whole situation with
apomixis research reminds me
of the 1902 Georges Meli&s
movie, A Trip to the Moon. In
the movie, they simply shot a
large bullet from a giant gun
at the moon, and after a short
time it struck the giant cheese
orb. Sixty-seven years later,
we actually landed on the
moon, but not until we had
developed and fully
understood a huge range of
new technologies, as well as
the basic scientific concepts
involved. Now, in our
apomixis work, we have
reached the stage where we
understand that our initial
approach was too simple, and
we need to know more."

-Enrico Perotti, apomixis
research team member

Over 13 years ago, the Institut de
Recherche pour le Developpement
(IRD) joined with CIMMYT to
initiate work on creating
"apomictic" maize. Hopes were high
that by crossing maize with its wild
apomictic relative Tripsacum,
researchers could breed a maize
plant that would produce clones of
itself over generations (see "What
Makes Apomixis a Valuable Trait?",
next page).

One need not be familiar with the
terminology or the process to
recognize the revolutionary
potential of apomixis. Hybrid
production could be greatly
accelerated, breeding for niche
environments (small environments
with unique conditions) could be
economically feasible, and poor
farmers could recycle seeds that
maintain hybrid characteristics.

Knowledge about apomixis has
grown considerably, and so has
impatience to develop apomictic
maize. So exactly why has it
taken so long?

The First Approach
"At the beginning," says research
team leader Olivier Leblanc, "we
were working on the premise that
apomixis is a simple trait and that it
should not be overly difficult to

transfer a single-gene trait to maize
with the existing technology. We
pursued an applied breeding rather
than a basic science approach. We
weren't interested in the
mechanisms and the molecular basis
for the phenomenon. We just needed
to find that one and only apomictic
specimen that was hiding out there
among half a million experimental
plants. We never found it."

Therein lies much of the impatience.
In plant breeding, if you identify a
source of variability for a given trait,
eventually, through step-by-step
plant crosses, the desired trait can
usually be incorporated into maize
varieties or lines. As it turns out,
apomixis is complex. It certainly did
not yield to a step-by-step

Does this mean that those years of
work were unfruitful? No. In
science, as false leads are discarded,
efforts are redirected based on the
insights obtained, according to
David Hoisington, director of
CIMMYT's Applied Biotechnology
Center, where the research on
apomixis takes place.

"Because we have such a strong
team, partnerships, and advances in
science," Hoisington explains, "we
can continue our progress toward
the ultimate goal, even if we change
roads every once in a while."

42 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

The Road
Less Traveled
Although the creation of apomictic
maize remains the team's clear goal,
the route there has changed from a
relatively mechanical approach-
transferring the apomixis gene(s)
directly from Tripsacum to maize-to
exploring other options that require
better understanding of the
apomictic process in general.

Most teams working on apomixis,
according to Leblanc, are
investigating and manipulating the
sexual pathways of plants to
produce an apomictic outcome. The
CIMMYT-IRD team remains
committed to using an apomictic
plant and a related crop plant. In
doing so, they can draw on their
long experience with Tripsacum,
"a truly beautiful model plant for
apomixis," says team member
Daniel Grimanelli, "which is an
original approach compared to those
being pursued by other groups."
They are investigating the cell
biology and molecular genetics of
the processes behind apomixis, as
well as barriers within the maize
genome to the transfer of the

They also draw support from a
consortium formed in 1999 to
accelerate progress. The IRD and
CIMMYT joined in a five-year
agreement with Pioneer Hi-Bred,
Groupe Limagrain, and Novartis
Seeds (now Syngenta) to bring their
diverse strengths to bear on the
apomixis challenge. For the
CIMMYT-IRD team this means
access to useful biological material,
databases, information, and experts,
as well as additional financial

The team is excited about its new
direction. "We're working on novel
approaches and have some nice stuff
cooking," says Leblanc. "But it's too
soon to talk about major
achievements. We're out of the
prediction game for good."

For more information:
SOlivier Leblanc

What Makes

APOMIXIS a Valuable


Apomixis-asexual reproduction through seeds-
results in plants that are exact clones of the mother
plant. The trait occurs naturally and has been
identified in more than 400 species of plants,
including some varieties of Tripsacum, a wild
relative of maize. With an apomictic mode of
reproduction, exact copies of the chromosomes are
transferred from the mother plant to the progeny,
making each offspring a clone of its ancestor. This
direct transfer of chromosomes (and therefore traits)
continues generation after generation.

The implications of transferring the apomixis trait to
a major cereal crop such as maize are tremendous.
Breeders would be able to greatly reduce the time
and expense required to produce new varieties, for
example, by instantly "fixing" a desired genetic
composition, which normally takes several seasons.
Apomixis is of particular interest to CIMMYT
because it would make niche breeding, the
development of cultivars tailored to unique
agroecological areas and very specific uses, more
economically feasible.

Seed producers would be able to reduce the cost of
producing hybrids, which could translate into lower
seed prices for farmers. Farmers in developing
countries who obtained improved seed carrying the
apomixis trait would be able to recycle their seed
indefinitely, while maintaining various yield-
enhancing properties usually associated with
hybrids, which cannot be productively recycled.

1"' Generation

2nd Generation

genetic | ** 4-
information. ,.
-1"' "'

Sexual reproduction: Hybrid maize produced sexually (first generation) displays identical genetic makeup. Maize
plants depicted in the second generation represent the use of seed recycled from hybrids, a common practice in many
developing countries. These second-generation plants are genetically and physically diverse.


Apomictic reproduction: Hybrid maize produced apomictically asexuallyy) also displays identical genetic makeup in
the first generation, but it retains its genetic composition and characteristics through the second generation and beyond.

Diversity to Foster Scientific Innovation 43


4Leads to

Public GEoo

Molecular geneticist Marilyn Warburton arrived at
CIMMYT in 1998 with a goal: to develop large-scale
methods for fingerprinting wheat and maize (see "What Is
Genetic Fingerprinting?", p. 47). Forty years before that,
Hermann Eiselen arrived at what was to be his lifelong
mission-a commitment to fighting hunger through
research. Their paths crossed through a CIMMYT project
on the genetic characterization of wheat.

Large-Scale Genetic Fingerprinting
Becomes a Reality
Warburton and David Hoisington, director of CIMMYT's
Applied Biotechnology Center (ABC), had several reasons
for wanting to conduct large-scale fingerprinting of wheat
and maize at CIMMYT. This capability would give
researchers new insight into the parentage of thousands of
lines, varieties, and landraces used in their work. They
would have a new clue as to whether the desirable genes
they sought were present. They could incorporate those
genes more quickly into new varieties and could ensure
that new varieties were genetically diverse. Fingerprinting
would also help genebank curators collect and maintain
genetic resources more efficiently.

44 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

The ABC could screen a few dozen
varieties a month. The goal was to
screen hundreds. "Given the size of
our seed collections," says
Warburton, "people were not
interested in fingerprinting only a
few varieties. We needed to develop
high throughput capabilities to
respond to CIMMYT's needs."

Funding was quickly procured to
develop protocols for maize, mainly
from the Deutsche Gesellschaft fir
Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ),
the French Institut National de la
Recherche Agronomique (INRA),
and PROMAIS (a consortium of
private French companies). Support
for similar work in wheat was less

Enter Hermann Eiselen, whose
family has supported research at the
University of Hohenheim, Germany,
over the last four decades. Most of
this philanthropy has been directed
to students interested in applying
science to international
development, particularly in
agricultural sciences and nutrition.
Twenty years ago, the family
handed these tasks over to the
Eiselen Foundation, where Hermann
is Chairman of the Board.

Finding the Funding
Through University of Hohenheim
professor Albrecht Melchinger,
Eiselen learned about CIMMYT's
situation and pursued support
through GTZ and his own
foundation. Eiselen's interest in the
wheat project may have been piqued
by the fact that his family's fortune
came from products for the bread
making industry (his affection for
bread and baking is evidenced by
his family's founding of the Bread
Museum in Stuttgart, Germany).

"Biotechnology is one of the key
sciences for increasing agricultural
production to help alleviate world
hunger," says Eiselen. "On my
initiative, the German government
entered into the first and, to my
knowledge, only public-private
partnership by the nation in
development-oriented agricultural
science, this joint project between
CIMMYT and the Institute for Plant
Breeding in Hohenheim. I am proud
that my foundation is one of the few
private institutions in Europe
dealing with world food security by
fostering scientific research, and it is
my great desire that other nonprofit
organizations do the same."

Capable Hands to
Launch a New Project
The three-year project was launched
in 2000. Susanne Dreissigacker and
Pingzhi Zhang, PhD students at
Hohenheim, arrived at CIMMYT to
start developing a high throughput
fingerprinting method for wheat. It
was a daunting task.

"First, we had to identify markers
that would allow us to cover the
whole genome," Warburton says.
"We wanted at least two markers
per chromosome arm for each of
wheat's 21 chromosomes." Further
complicating the job was the fact
that the wheat "genome" actually
falls into three similar but not
identical genomes, meaning that the
markers had to be specific to each

"The students and I ran through
more than 200 SSR markers. We
wound up with nearly 84, the
requisite number, though we still
had only one marker for a few
chromosome arms." The task was
complicated by the dearth of good
markers in the public domain.

Negotiations with Dupont freed
some more effective markers that
will be publicly available at the end
of the year.

The next step was to identify
markers that could be run in the
same gel. (If the various markers
registered in the same place on the
gel, it would be difficult to
distinguish one from another.)
Finally, software had to be adapted
to "score" the markers, which would
tell the scientists what gene
sequences were present in the tested
variety or line.

With the markers selected and the
protocols in place, Warburton and
the students analyzed hundreds of
wheat lines. They looked at
important CIMMYT wheats to
determine whether genetic diversity
was increasing or declining over
time. Compared to the 1970s,
present-day wheats carry more
genetic diversity, indicating that
breeders are using new sources of
variation and that there is no
imminent threat of diminished
diversity. Much useful information
was obtained, but the biggest impact
so far has been on landrace
collection and genebank storage
strategies (see "Fingerprinting
Yields Surprising Findings," p. 46).

Last June, the students returned to
Hohenheim to complete their
analyses and write their theses. "It's
a little sad to lose them and their
very capable hands," reflects
Warburton, "because now that
we've got all the data, the exciting
stuff starts. Our relationship evolved
from a mentoring situation to a team
relationship during those two years.
By the end of the second year, they
were teaching me a lot and probably
knew the sequencer better than
anybody in the lab."

Hermann Eiselen could not have
hoped for more.

For more information:
Marilyn Warburton

Diversity to Foster Scientific Innovation 45

Fingerprinting Yields



on Wheat Diversity

Capturing diversity by collecting
and storing wheat landraces is a
tricky business. Should collectors go
to many fields and obtain a single
sample from each? Or should they
go to a single field and collect a
multitude of samples? Should
sampling strategies be the same for
regions that are a center of origin as
for those that are not? And that's just
the beginning. Storage and
maintenance strategies also differ
based on the variation in each
landrace. Genetic fingerprinting can
answer these questions.
CIMMYT molecular geneticist
Marilyn Warburton and her team
looked at about 150 landraces
collected from x 1i iiI-L countries
using a range ot mii thid1.. "Passport
data," when .a allablL, supplied
information about where a sample
was collected, how it was collected,
and how it was stored. For example,
a sample could be collected as a
single spike (ear) of grain from one
plant, as spikes from several plants
from the same field that were
conserved separately by the
genebank, or as part of a "bulk" of
seeds-seeds collected from a
number of plian t thought to be
representative of a given landrace
and maintained in the same sample.
The analysis reinforced long-held
views on c> ll c t iIn but, surprisingly,
contradicted other l-.

The team found tremendous genetic
differences among landraces grown
within a country considered a center
of origin for wheat, even if the
landraces went by the same name
and were collected from adjacent
villages. On the other hand, in
countries not designated as centers
of origin, even landraces going by
different names appeared to be very
similar genetically.
"These findings tell scientists to
focus their collecting in centers of
diversity," says Warburton. "While
we knew that in theory, we now
have the data to back it up."
However, the team came up with
disconcerting results that showed
that the amount of variation within
a landrace sample did not
necessarily correlate with how it was
collected-a finding at odds with
the conventional wisdom.
"If the sample was collkctkd a
bulk," Warburton L\plain., ') o.u'd
expect to see several different
alleles-forms of the same gene-at
each marker, but all t>'> IlquI ntllll- t
we saw only one or two alleles.
Either the field wh L i c collected
the sample was plaInt t, ai single
genotype, or some :,i iatioi' was lost
after) I- in storage."

Such samples should not be treated
as bulks but rather as a single inbred
line. When the sample is
regenerated, fewer seeds can be
planted. In addition, breeders can be
informed that there is limited
variation in the line and it can be
treated as an inbred.
A few samples collected from a
single spike showed a lot of
variation. There are several possible
explanations for this unexpected
result. The sample may have been an
outcrossed hybrid (a rare but not
impossible occurrence), seeds may
have been mixed during some stage
of handling, or the passport data
were simply incorrect. Regardless of
how the variation occurred, v. h>ict
breeders or genebank curators
should not treat these samples as
inbreds. They should treat them as
bulks and conserve their diversity.
"This work provided an immediate
practical payoff for the genebank,"
says Bent Skovmand, head of the
wheat genebank. "By employing
these techniques on a wider scale,
we can help people collect and store
genetic resources more efficiently,
avoid loss of variation, and save
money by growing only the number
of plants needed to retain the genetic
diversity in a particular sample."

46 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

What Is Genetic


I", = i ..


Genetic fingerprinting is probably
more widely known for its uses in
people-where it is used to
determine paternity or indicate
whether a person was present at
a crime scene-than for its uses
with plants. Howeverjust like
fingerprinting in humans,
fingerprinting in plants can
clear up a few mysteries.
Known also as "DNA fingerprinting"
and "DNA profiling," fingerprinting
in plants is based on the assumption
that every individual variety or
population has a genetic profile,
revealed through its DNA, that is
unique to that variety.
Researchers obtain samples of
DNA fim plant tissue and use
several techniques to produce a
"fingerprint" that looks like a series
of bands of varying size, much like a
bar code. The bands for one variety
can be compared to bands for other
varieties to detect similarities and
differences. The more similarities
there are, the more related the two
varieties are, and the parents of the
variety (or sibling varieties sharing
the same parents) can be determined.

Although breeders generally have a
very good idea of the origins and
probable genetic advantages of the
varieties or lines they develop,
fingerprinting adds greater certainty
to their work and helps them to
work more rapidly. Closely related
lines frequently share the same
characteristics; thus, if one line has a
favorable performance under certain
conditions, lines closely related to it
probably will, too. Also, in hybrid
breeding, lines that are unrelated
generally create better performing
hybrids than lines that are related
to each other or aw very similar
genetically. DNA fingerprinting can
help breeders decide which varieties
to cross with which.
Another problem that can confound
plant breeding is that varieties
found in several parts of the
world (or even the same country or
province) can have the same name
but may not even be elated.
Fingerprinting can determine if
varieties with the same name are
truly genetically identical. This
information helps breeders and also
helps genebank curators decide
which seed to conserve.

Diversity to Foster Scientific Innovation 47


Studies: Room for Improvement?

Reaching the right people:
3. International research
/7 organizations have
documented how their work
helps the poor, but are the
results of these impact
studies making a difference?


The complex and costly nature of
good impact assessment studies and
the multiplicity of factors that
determine their outcome were
among the issues discussed during
an international conference held in
Costa Rica in 2002.
The conference, provocatively
entitled, "Impacts of Agricultural
Research and Development: Why
Has Impact Assessment Research
Not Made More of a Difference?",
was hosted by the CGIAR's
Standing Panel on Impact
Assessment (SPIA) and the
CIMMYT Economics Program.
Leading experts reviewed impact
assessment studies, communicated
the pivotal role of research and
development to policymakers, and
shared best practices.
.1 d"~ i~E~~j~

48 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

Do We Learn from
Our Mistakes?
"Experience suggests that one of the
best ways to achieve food security,
good environmental stewardship,
and sustainable economic
development is through the
development and application of
improved agricultural technologies,"
says Prabhu Pingali, director of the
CIMMYT Economics Program at the
time of conference. He notes that
these improved technologies take a
long time to develop, and their
future availability depends largely
on current investments in research.

"If current investments are to be
effective, we have to understand the
outcomes of past investments," says
Pingali. "This is why our conference
focused on ways to make impact
assessment more understandable."

Participants developed principles
and strategic guidelines for future
impact studies. They examined the
multiple purposes of impact
assessment-accountability to
donors, improving future research,
resource mobilization, and public
awareness. Mention was also made
of the need for multidisciplinary
studies that look at a range of

"People want information that
guides them on design, program or
project choices, on how to allocate
resources across programs or
projects, or to demonstrate at the
completion of a project that
resources were effectively used,"
says Alex McCalla, emeritus
professor in the Department of
Agricultural and Resource
Economics at the University of
California-Davis and Chair of
CIMMYT's Board of Trustees.

McCalla points out that impact
assessment has become more
complicated because there are more
players with more objectives, and
they demand more sophisticated
analysis. "Answering questions of
impacts for these multiple players
with multiple objectives, using
complex conceptual models, has
made impact assessment more
costly," he says.

Impacts to Funding
Agencies and the
Representatives from funding
agencies such as GTZ, the
International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD), and the US
Agency for International
Development (USAID) outlined
issues that concerned donors. They
emphasized the need for more
credible results, including a more
balanced selection of case studies
that examine research failures as
well as successes.

A media panel included journalists
from The Economist and The Hindu
and Barbara Rose, executive director
of Future Harvest at the time of
conference. The panelists observed
that journalists are interested in
stories that are relevant to current
problems such as environmental
degradation, poverty, and global
warming. Because myriad issues vie
for journalists' attention, it is critical
to target the right audience and
media outlet for messages about
research impacts.

Immediate Impacts
of the Conference
The conference exceeded
expectations. "There appeared to be
a real openness to rethinking how
impact assessment is done at the
Future Harvest Centers," remarks
Rose. Archana Godbole from the
Applied Environmental Research
Foundation in India and Carmen
Nieves Mortensen from the Institute
of Seed Pathology in Denmark say
that they learned a lot. "I have to
admit I was surprised to see that
even after four long days of
meetings, the room was still
packed," says SPIA chair Hans

Instead of issuing a traditional
proceedings volume, conference
organizers are assembling selected
papers for publication in special
issues of professional journals.
"Special issues reach a much larger
audience than proceedings," says
Michael Morris, assistant director of
the CIMMYT Economics Program.
"They're externally reviewed and
regarded as more substantial

Special issues are currently being
prepared for Agricultural Economics,
Quarterly Journal of International
Agriculture, and Agricultural Systems.
Work has also begun on the
development of a web site to
promote best practices in impact
assessment, disseminate results,
foster dialogue between impact
assessment practitioners, and

demonstrate organizational

For more information:
Michael Morris

Diversity to Foster Scientific Innovation 49

Achieving Uncommon Things:

in Asia

The first slide appeared on
the screen and B.M. Prasanna
read it through to the last
sentence. 'The purpose of an
organization is to enable
common men'-and of course
we also mean women-'to do
uncommon things.' These Indi
words are from Peter Drucker, be b
the pioneer of management lab
theory," Prasanna explained, and
"and they speak directly to
why we are here today."

The occasion was the initiation of
Phase II of a project to develop the
Asian Maize Biotechnology
Network (AMBIONET). The
meeting, held in 2002 in Indonesia,
involved research teams from the
participating countries-Indonesia,
Thailand, Philippines, China (two
teams), Vietnam, and India-as well
as resource persons from CIMMYT
headquarters and Antonio "Tony"
Perez (interviewed on p. 54) from
AMBIONET's primary financial
supporter, the Asian Development
Bank (ADB). Other significant
donors include CIMMYT and the
national agricultural research
systems of the research teams.

ridual genius is good, but organized collaboration
better. AMBIONET team members from Malasyia ii
with Luz George, project coordinator (back row, le
Tony Perez of the Asian Development Bank.

Meeting National
Needs through
AMBIONET was launched in 1998.
Perez and David Hoisington,
director of CIMMYT's Applied
Biotechnology Center, envisioned
creating a participatory forum that
would employ biotechnology to
catalyze increased maize
productivity in Asia's developing
countries. Collaboration and
information sharing would advance
the aims of all the teams. CIMMYT
would provide technical training,
backstopping, and guidance
through project coordinator Maria
Luz George, based in the
Philippines, and scientists at
CIMMYT headquarters.

The teams established research
objectives to meet national and
network needs. One of the
objectives, the molecular
profiling of maize, has already
had considerable impact in
China, the world's second
may largest maize producer, and in
n the India, a major Asian producer.
eft) Shihuang Zhang, the
AMBIONET-China country
coordinator, reflects that when
the network was initiated, there was
considerable debate among Chinese
maize breeders about pedigrees and
heterotic groups. "Experienced
breeders were arguing that we
needed maybe 12 or 16 groups or
patterns, but this was slowing
progress. We went to work with the
molecular markers, and today our
knowledge about our materials is
much better-our breeders work on
the basis of 3 groups and 2 patterns,
and even more important, they have
changed their approach."

Prasanna tells a similar story. Indian
maize breeders were skeptical about
molecular genetics. Then along came
the Plant Variety Protection Act.
Now, says Prasanna, they are
interested in fingerprinting their
maize lines to firmly establish their
identities: "I have more requests than
my lab can handle."

50 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002


Working on another AMBIONET objective, to
use molecular markers to accelerate breeding
for traits of interest, teams used molecular
data from a cross previously mapped by
CIMMYT, combined with phenotypic data
produced in five locations in India, Indonesia,
Philippines, and Thailand, to identify genes
for downy mildew resistance. Five
quantitative trait loci (QTL) that significantly
influence downy mildew resistance were
identified, three of which explain up to 50% of
the phenotypic variance for reaction to downy
mildew disease. With genetic linkage maps
constructed in the AMBIONET-China lab and
phenotypic data from Beijing, researchers
identified five QTLs conferring resistance to
sugarcane mosaic virus, explaining up to 27%
of the phenotypic variance. By verifying the
presence of these QTLs in their lines and
varieties, breeders can be sure that they are
developing plants that resist these destructive

Most gratifying for network coordinator
George was simply getting the network up
and running well. "Our primary goal, to form
an environment where scientists could work
together to apply new science to maize
production, was realized, but it took some
work-about 80 scientists trained at 4
workshops, 12 extended exchange visits, and
contributions to 10 graduate degrees. With
support from CIMMYT and the national
programs, and leadership from the network
scientists, we are moving forward." Team
leaders discuss their experiences in
"AMBIONET: Getting Students into the Lab"
(see right) and "AMBIONET: Focus on
Thailand," p. 53.

The funding of a second phase was an
endorsement of AMBIONET's approach.
"One goal for phase two," says George, "is to
make the national teams and the network self-
sustaining." To make this critical transition,
training in grant writing has been assigned
high priority. On the scientific side, genetic
fingerprinting and mapping activities in
support of breeding are targeted to quality
protein maize (QPM), drought tolerance,
genetic diversity, and resistance to banded
leaf and sheath blight (an emerging threat in
intensive maize/rice cropping systems).
These objectives too will be supported with
training, as will bioinformatics.

For more information:
Maria Luz George (m.george@cgiar.org).
AMBIONET project web site: http://www.cimmyt.org/

A Conversation with


Antonio "Tony" Perez

As a Principal
Agriculturalist with the
Asian Development Bank
(ADB)for many years,
Antonio Perez has seen
support ebb and flow for
agricultural research, and
he has witnessed the
impacts on poor farmers.
All of this has endowed
Perez with a keen sense of
what is needed to get
results. During a break at
meeting in April 2002,
Perez took a few moments
to talk about the project
with us.

Q: Dr. Perez, you were
present at the creation of
AMBIONET. What did you
originally envision?

A: What we envisioned was
simply to have maize farmers benefit
from biotechnology. Because the rice
biotechnology network has been so
successful, we found a similar
opportunity to do the same with

The NARS [national agricultural
research systems] were not getting
access to biotechnology techniques.
They had laboratories, but they did
not function well, if at all. Most of
them were not getting support from
their governments and ministries. This
network was meant to build a
foundation so that the scientists from
the ADB developing member
countries can support one another in
the future.

All this ties into a central mandate of
the ADB-the reduction of poverty.
More than 900 million people in
Asia still suffer from poverty, most of
them in rural areas. We have seen
firsthand how something as simple as
an improved variety can make a lot

of impact on the income and nutrition
of the poor in these areas. When
farmers earn some extra money, most
often it goes to sending their children
to school, a huge factor in helping
people lift themselves out of poverty.
Bringing biotechnology to bear on
the development of improved
varieties will lead to improved
varieties with various resistances and
advantages in terms of consumer
characteristics. This is a clear route to
getting the benefits of modern
science to the poor farmers.

Q: Why did ADB seek out
CIMMYT as a partner?

A: The advantage you gain when
you bring a CGIAR center such as
CIMMYT into a project is that you get
a team of scientists from a range of
disciplines with the knowledge to
backstop the multifaceted activities of
a network like AMBIONET. The
ADB's focus on networks-
backstopped by strong institutions
such as CIMMYT-has been
evaluated as one of our more
successful approaches to agricultural
research and development.

52 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

.J Aside from the hard work of
the AMBIONET team and
CIMMYT's support, what was
critical for the network's success?

A : I think those institutions that
brought graduate students into their labs
and programs really strengthened their
outputs and the vitality of the network.
They strengthened the overall scientific
capacity of their nation at the same time.
The lack of this approach remains a
concern in some AMBIONET partners,
but I believe they will move in this
direction. The ADB experience is that
whether it's a livestock network or a
commodity network, when the
universities participate, the payback in
terms of quality and quantity of research
are tremendous.

Q: Why did ADB decide to
support a Phase II for

A: Obviously we were quite pleased
with the progress we saw in Phase I. The
capacity building, both human and in
terms of facilities, and the coalescence
of the team were very encouraging.
With those in place, we saw the
opportunity to focus on the development
of germplasm that will be tailor-made for
resource-poor farmers. These are difficult
but important areas of research,
including resistance to drought,
tolerance to low soil fertility, the
introduction of quality protein maize,
and resistance to emerging diseases
such as banded leaf and sheath blight.

With the pool of trained people we now
have in the region, we also have the
ability to move into functional genomics
and bioinformatics. Work in these areas
can be broken down into independent
components, so it is amenable to a
network approach. Because of the
expense and scope of this type of
research, it will only be through
networking that ADB developing
countries will be able to fully utilize this
new branch of science.

Antonio Perez, much to the regret of the
AMBIONET team, retired from his position
at ADB in June 2002. He plans, however,
to remain active in the field of agricultural
research and international development.



Shortly after the launch of
AMBIONET, Thai maize breeder
Pichet Grudloyma (pictured, far
right) became a key part of the
Thailand team. Two years ago, he
was partnered with molecular geneticist Krishnapong
Sripongpankul (pictured to the left of Pichet), who
works with the Asian Rice Biotechnology Network (also
initiated by ADB). Krishnapong's experience with rice
could be very useful in developing a marker-assisted
selection approach for maize.

Both researchers concluded that they could go well
beyond fingerprinting for downy mildew resistance,
drought tolerance, and tolerance to low nitrogen in the
soil; they could produce recombinant inbred lines that
would yield a new generation of hybrids that
incorporate those traits. That kind of progress goes a
long way toward convincing breeders about the
efficacy of the technology.

"Right now," says Pichet, "the breeders spend a lot of
time and money on numerous breeding cycles. If we
can optimize the marker-assisted selection, we can
quickly decide whether to breed a variety further."

"We interact a lot," says Krishnapong. "Though we sit
in different places and have different perspectives
based on our disciplines, our idea of where we want
to go is the same. We both aim to benefit farmers
through the Department of Agriculture mandate. It's our
job and our duty."

Such talk in a US or European lab might sound
contrived. In Thailand this commitment is heartfelt, not
just by the AMBIONET-Thailand team, but by the
national government, which gives agriculture high
priority and sees biotechnology as the way forward. In
late 2002, Krishnapong will move to a new lab in the
Srindhorn Plant Genetic Resources Building, named
after the highly esteemed Royal Princess of Thailand
who has championed the use of these technologies.

All the disciplines that use biotechnology will be in a
single facility, together with a robust genebank for key
crops. The facility will provide high throughput
sequencing, lab and bioinformatic support for
functional genomics, and with its transformation lab
and biocontainment greenhouse, genetic engineering.

[Iivtr[,ly i.. f..ler Scientific Innovation 53

CIMMYT Funding



I lllt1,
iS Ii,., ,1 .
IHl V,.l..

i v,. landd
III ...lh- ...r l....r i /
n,,, l, / I I ( .,,, ,
Mexico 4% Japan Rockefeller Commission
60/0 6%
Foundation 6%
Figure 1. Top 12 investors in CIMMYT, 2001.

Advanced research
institute agreements
(Public) 6%
I I IAP aiih dh.- I 'I

II ,,,, in. ,hhi,i,.-l I
1 1 r I F i1h,, iii L

Advanced research institute
agreements (Private) 3%

iI i ilInlIII
i. i

Figure 2. Investors in CIMMYT, 2001.

I Policy 4%
Germplasm collection 14% Policy4%

Figure 3. Allocation by CGIAR output, 2001.

Total funding


Center earned income
1995 96 97 98 99 2000 2001 2002

Funding at a Glance
The governments and agencies that
provided the largest share of our
funding in 2001 are shown in Figure 1.
The contributions to CIMMYT's
budget by CGIAR member
nations, North and South, as well as
foundations and advanced research
institutes (public and private), are
presented in Figure 2. To achieve the
five research outputs of the CGIAR,
CIMMYT allocated its budget as
shown in Figure 3.

Sources of income from grants are
presented in the Table (p. 56).
Targeted funding continues to
provide the bulk of CIMMYT's
research resources (Figure 4). The
trend in core unrestricted funding in
relation to targeted contributions
continues to provide challenges to the
Center, as flexibility is reduced and
core research on the management and
use of genetic resources becomes
harder to support. Full costing of
projects is more important than ever,
including accurate costing and
recovery of indirect costs. Indirect
costs are currently running at about
28%, whereas net overhead recovery
is slightly less than half this rate.

Funding Trends
Funding for 2001 was US$ 41.030
million (including Center earned
income), of which 80% came from
CGIAR investors and 20% from
other sources. Expenditure was
US$ 41.3 million.

Figure 4. Trends in funding (US$ 000), 1995-2002.

54 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

The budget in 2001 was 4% higher
than initially projected for several
reasons. First, our research portfolio
is highly relevant to the current
goals of investors who have
traditionally supported international
agricultural research. Second,
CIMMYT has enhanced efforts to
support its research with non-
traditional sources of funding. The
trend towards diversified sources of
income has continued in 2001-2002.
CIMMYT's partnerships with
foundations and advanced research
institutes are expanding.

CIMMYT's alliances with advanced
research institutes take the form of
partnerships, generally with the
public sector in the North and the
South. In the case of the former,
CIMMYT is interested in alliances
that help us to more quickly develop
new, appropriate technologies and
deliver them to farmers' fields in
developing countries. For the latter,
we are very cognizant of our role in
helping to create an enabling
environment for our partners in
developing countries. A significant
component of CIMMYT's budget in
2001 (almost US$ 5.5 million) was
flow-through funding to our
partners in the South; this represents
trust in CIMMYT by our partners
and trust with our investors.

Similarly, our interactions with the
advanced research institutes of the
private sector have become stronger.
These interactions continue to take
the form of "win-win" alliances
directed at achieving the following

* access to proprietary technologies
that enable CIMMYT to deliver
research outcomes to developing
countries more quickly;

* the facilitated transfer of
technology, research products, and
other benefits to the resource-
poor; and

* the leverage of additional
resources brought to bear on
challenges in developing

A third reason that the Center's
budget was higher in 2001 than
initially projected is that CIMMYT
has vigorously pursued
partnerships that enable scientists
from developed countries to work at
CIMMYT sites worldwide and make
a significant contribution to
CIMMYT's research agenda. This
approach, known as "in-kind
contributions," is perhaps best
exemplified by the current
contribution from France (CIRAD,
IRD, INRA),* but there are a number
of other examples. Total income in
this category for 2001 amounted to
almost US$ 2 million.

Prospects for
An important factor in the Center's
budget and cash flow scenario in
2001 was that the US dollar
remained strong against almost all
other currencies in the world.

Against this trend, however, the
Mexican peso appreciated in value.
With 50% of CIMMYT's budget
expended in pesos, the Center was
forced to produce an effective
"efficiency gain" of 5-7%.

The operation of a Center that has
two major plant breeding programs
continues to pose challenges for
financial management, particularly
with regard to cash flow and
working capital reserves.
CIMMYT's level of working capital
is lower than that recommended by
the CGIAR and an additional
injection is needed. We are using
alternative options to increase
working capital beyond the current
level of about 50 days. We have also
taken measures internally to
optimize the use of capital funds.
For example, we have implemented
an internally administered cost
recovery system for the vehicle fleet.

Given the volatility of traditional
funding resources and the increased
competition for resources, both
inside and outside the CGIAR,
CIMMYT's budget estimate for 2003
is likely to be more conservative.
More specifically, CIMMYT and
other CGIAR Centers will be
affected by changing conditions in
the World Bank's general support
allocation (replacing the matching
formula with a fixed contribution
based on the past three years'
funding outcomes), most probably
starting in 2003. In addition, we
have not budgeted funds for the
implementation of the Challenge

CIRAD (Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le
Developpement), IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement), and INRA
(Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique).

CIMMYT Funding Overview 55

Table 1. CIMMYT sources of income from grants by country/entity (US$ 000s), 2001.

ADB (Asian Development Bank)
INTA (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria)
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
CRC Molecular Plant Breeding
Grains Research and Development Corporation
Southern Cross University
Federal Ministry of Finance
Agency for Support to the Development of the
Agricultural Private Sector
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and
International Cooperation
EMBRAPA (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)
Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canadian International Development Agency
International Development Research Centre
Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical
CGIAR Finance Committee*
International Food Policy Research Institute
International Livestock Research Institute
International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
Standing Panel on Impact Assessment
Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture
CAAS (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences)
Lamsoo Milling Company (Germplasm Enhancement)
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Danish International Development Agency
European Commission
Rural Development and Food Security
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)
Ford Foundation
Club Cinq (Wheat Breeding)
Minister de I'Education Nationale, de la Recherche et de la Technologie -
DRIC (Delegation aux Relations Internationales et a la Cooperation)
Eiselen Foundation
Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development
University of Hohenheim
Department of Agriculture, Research and Education
Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Co. Ltd. (Wheat Germplasm)
IDB (Inter-American Development Bank)
IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Ministry of Agriculture
Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
JIRCAS (Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences)
Nippon Foundation
Sasakawa-Global 2000

745 1
115 1
640 1
160 1

158 3
65 2

574 '
449 3
100 2
1,213 1
352 1
154 1
23 1
68 1
120 2
293 6
132 2
686 '
2,424 '
56 4

960 1
1,139 1
161 2
69 2
300 1
441 1
227 2
1,814 1
112 1
251 5

Kenya, Government of
KARl (Kenya Agricultural Research Institute)
Korea, Republic of
Rural Development Administration
SAGAR (Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo Rural,
Pesca y Alimentacion)
Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relaci6n con la Agricultura
Fundacion Guanajuato Produce A.C.
Fundacion Hidalgo
Fundacion Sonora
Grupo Industrial Bimbo (Industrial Quality in Wheat)
ICAMEX (Maize and Wheat Improvement)
Miscellaneous Research Grants
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
DGIS (Directorate General for International Cooperation)
New Zealand
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
OPEC Fund for International Development
Other Foundations
National Institute of Natural Resources
Bureau of Agriculture Research, Department of Agriculture
Institute for International Scientific and Technological Cooperation
Rockefeller Foundation
South Africa
Agricultural Research Council
National Department of Agriculture
Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentaci6n
Agrovegetal, S.A. (Durum and Bread Wheat Breeding)
Swedish International Development Agency
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture
Tajikistan, Republic of
Farm Privatisation Support Project
Department of Agriculture
United Kingdom
Department for International Development
University of Reading
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
Africa Bureau
National Institue of Agricultural Research
Carter Center
Cornell University
Hilton Foundation
Monsanto Company (Hybrid Wheat)
Oklahoma State University
Pioneer (Training Center)
Stanford University
United States Agency for International Development
United States Department of Agriculture
University of California
World Bank
Total Grants

1) CGIAR Members (North).
2) CGIAR Members (South).
) Non-CGIAR members (South).
4) Foundations (CGIAR members).

140 2

149 6
318 1
100 1
268 1
50 1
717 7
1,337 s
60 2
150 1
2,405 4
37 6
223 2
102 '
352 1
1,680 1
1,295 1
413 1
93 1
150 3
229 7
25 7
116 6
4,883 1
547 6
5,028 1
39,980 **

) Foundations (Non-CGIAR members).
) Advanced research institute agreements (Public).
Advanced research institute agreements (Private).

56 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

*Activities related to this grant: Rice-Wheat Consortium (214), Maize-rice genomics (55),
CAC System-wide Initiative (wheat) (62), and CAC System-wide Initiative (maize) (21).
" Does not include Center income of US$ 1.050 million.

Invesor Gant

Ins Grant



Our Mission
L ININh) T i- an inti national, non-
plillit a:-41 ic ltuliiil iL-sarch and
ti ini4llllli'- CL tI d dit l ted to
hLIlpin.4 thL pii'l in l'iw-income
ouLIIntl IL-. \\L hlIp a:ll- \ it t
p '\ LI t\ bi\ I!IIL.-]i '-14 thL
pilC it:idiIit\ pi'ldttiz It\ ait di

1\>Lik n'no ijti-t\ >' k i :I. diz>- jinIJ
\\L k k iinq i tl ltL Hie IolnIIZL anlii
wheat, two crops vitally important
to food security. These crops
provide about one-fourth of the
total food calories consumed in
low-income countries, are critical
staples for poor people, and are an
important source of income for
poor farmers.

Our researchers work with
colleagues in national agricultural
research programs, universities,
and other centers of excellence
around the world; in the donor
community; and in non-
governmental organizations.


* DL\ LI-'pnim t .1k\i 0 1' I%, lde
distribution ot hi ,4h i \ IL in'4
maize and wheat i\ ith built-in
genetic resistarcL tlI impi 'tLint
diseases, insect-, aid >thlii k\ ildl-
ILIlJii i'4 stressL-.
* Lk( I-.i \ -ltion anid di. ti lbuiti n i
11IIIZL- 1i!d whfe t g, !n tili

* "stldtL'ic research on natural
IL-'I'Iun management in maize-
ad 1ni. li hat-based cropping
* Research on economic and
policy issues in maize and wheat
production and research.
* Development of new knowledge
about maize and wheat.
* Development of more effective
research methods.
* Training of many kinds.
* Consulting on technical issues.

* CIMMYT-related wheat varieties
are planted on more than 64
million hectares in low-income
countries, representing more
than three-fourths of the area
planted to modern wheat
varieties in those countries.
* Nearly 14 million hectares in
non-temperate environments of
developing countries are planted
to CIMMYT-related maize
varieties, which is nearly half of
the area planted to modern
maize varieties in those


L F n' ILr' I'- lon ii .inJlit I L 't
thiL u-andi I hLL t iLr iI,._ in
Li1\ IlopIIull rll!nltl I L Lse.
i 'k>' rcL -k-n'n^>r\ 111.4 puid tic-
dL\ LIopLJ d 11J piI10itLItd b\
L IN IN iT and it, partni-i.
] I tll h ll" L II IIII I JCll I "I'
InItit k t hi e ki i li ha IT
tbe!Ininl4,t trIIit Cl ININ T

dIluIIm!II !l01, h -ad I1 111IjJ I
breeding programs, public and
private, throughout the world.
* Our information products and
research networks improve the
efficiency of researchers in more
than 100 countries.

CIMMYT wishes to thank the
many governments and
organizations that help us fulfill
our mission. We owe a special debt
of gratitude to those who support
our core activities. The impacts
described in this publication would
have been impossible to achieve
without that support.

Activities and impact extend
throughout the world via our
regional offices. Headquarters are
in Mexico. See contact information,
p. 61.

Visit CIMMYT at www.cimmyt.org.

CIMMYT Worldwide 57


and Principal Staff AsofSeptember2002


Principal Staff

Alexander McCalla (Canada), Chair, Board of Trustees and Chair of Executive
Committee; Emeritus Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource
Economics, University of California, Davis, USA

Sebastian Acosta-Nufez (Mexico),* Director General, Agricultural Research,
National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock Research, Mexico

Tini (C.M.) Colijn-Hooymans (Netherlands), Management Director, Plant
Sciences Expertise Group, the Netherlands

Edwina Cornish (Australia), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of
Adelaide, Australia

Niu Dun (China), Director General, Department of Science, Technology, Education,
and Rural Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, China

Robert M. Goodman (USA), Professor, Russell Laboratories, University of
Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees

Atsushi Hirai (Japan), Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Meijo University, Japan

Carlos Felipe Jaramillo (Colombia), Lead Economist, Central America
Department, World Bank, and Chair of Finance and Administration Committee

Lene Lange (Denmark), Science Director, Molecular Biotechnology, Novozymes
A/S, Denmark

Klaus M. Leisinger (Germany), Executive Director, Novartis Foundation for
Sustainable Development, Switzerland

Jesus Moncada de la Fuente (Mexico), Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees, and
Director in Chief, National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock
Research, Mexico, and Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees

Norah K. Olembo (Kenya), Director, Kenya Industrial Property Office, and Chair
of Program Committee

Mangala Rai (India), Deputy Director General (Crop Science), Indian Council for
Agricultural Research

Masa Iwanaga (Japan),* Director General, CIMMYT

Uraivan Tan-Kim-Yong (Thailand), Chairperson, Graduate Program in Man and
Environment Management (Chiang Rai), College of Graduate Study, Chiang Mai
University, Thailand, and Chair of Audit Committee, Board of Trustees

John R. Witcombe (UK), Manager, DFID Plant Sciences Research Programme,
Centre for Arid Zone Studies, University of Wales, UK

Javier Usabiaga (Mexico),* Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural
Development, Fisheries, and Food, Mexico

Office of the
Director General
Masa Iwanaga (Japan), Director General
Claudio Cafati (Chile), Deputy Director
General, Administration and Finance
Pilar Junco (Mexico) Executive Assistant to
the Director General
Monica Mezzalama (Italy), Scientist,
Plant Pathologist, Seed Health Unit
Agustin Munoz (Mexico), Senior Auditor
Peter J. Ninnes (Australia), Senior
Executive Officer, Research Management
Shawn Sullivan (USA), Intellectual
Property Manager and Counsel
Anne Acosta (USA)
Gregorio Martinez (Mexico)
Norman E. Borlaug (USA)

Maize Program
Shivaji Pandey (India), Director
Ganesan Srinivasan (India), Associate
Director; Senior Scientist, Breeder/Leader,
Subtropical Maize; Head, International
Maize Testing Unit
Marianne Banziger (Switzerland), Senior
Scientist, Physiologist (based in Zimbabwe)
David Beck (USA), Senior Scientist,
Breeder/Leader, Highland Maize
David Bergvinson (Canada), Senior
Scientist, Entomologist
Hugo Cordova (El Salvador), Principal
Scientist, Breeder/Leader of Tropical Maize
Carlos de Leon G. (Mexico), Principal
Scientist, Pathologist/Breeder/Liaison
Officer (based in Colombia)
Julien de Meyer (Switzerland), Associate
Scientist, Training Coordinator
Alpha 0. Diallo (Guinea), Principal
Scientist, Breeder/Liaison Officer (based in
Dennis Friesen (Canada), Senior Scientist,
Agronomist (based in Kenya)
Fernando Gonzalez (Mexico), Senior
Scientist, Breeder (based in Nepal)
Daniel Jeffers (USA), Senior Scientist,
Fred Kanampiu (Kenya), Scientist,
Agronomist (based in Kenya)
Stephen Mugo (Kenya), Scientist, Breeder
(based in Kenya)
Luis Narro (Peru), Senior Scientist, Breeder
(based in Colombia)
Marcelo E. Perez (Mexico), Program
Kevin V. Pixley (USA), Senior Scientist,
Breeder/Liaison Officer (based in
Joel K. Ransom (USA), Senior Scientist,
Agronomist (based in Nepal)
Efren Rodriguez (Mexico), Manager,
International Maize Testing Unit

Suketoshi Taba (Japan), Principal Scientist,
Head, Maize Germplasm Bank
Carlos Urrea (Colombia), Associate
Scientist, Breeder
Surinder K. Vasal (India), Distinguished
Scientist, Breeder
Bindiganavile Vivek (India), Scientist,
Breeder (based in Zimbabwe)
Stephen Waddington (UK), Principal
Scientist, Agronomist (based in Zimbabwe)

Adjunct Scientists
Miguel Barandiaran (Peru), Breeder
(based in Peru)
Salvador Castellanos (Guatemala),
Breeder (based in Guatemala)
Neeranjan Rajbhandari (Nepal),
Agronomist (based in Nepal)
Strafford Twumasi-Afriyie (Ghana),
Breeder (based in Ethiopia)
Duncan Kirubi (Kenya), Breeder (based in
Sarvesh Paliwal (India), Breeder (based in
Postdoctoral Fellows
Matthew Krakowsky (USA), Breeder
Slobodan Trifunovic (Yugoslavia), Breeder
Gonzalo Granados R. (Mexico), Training
Mick S. Mwala (Zambia), Breeder, based
in Zambia
Mthakati A.R. Phiri (Malawi), Socio-
economist, based in Malawi

Wheat Program
Sanjaya Rajaram (India), Director,
Distinguished Scientist
Thomas S. Payne (USA), Assistant Director,
Senior Scientist, and Head, International
Wheat Improvement Network
Osman S. Abdalla (Sudan), Senior
Scientist, Regional Bread Wheat Breeder,
West Asia and North Africa (based in Syria)
Karim Ammar (Tunisia), Associate Scientist,
Triticale and Hybrid Wheat Breeder
Hans-Joachim Braun (Germany), Principal
Scientist, Head, Winter Wheat Breeding/
Liaison Officer (based in Turkey)
Efren del Toro (Mexico), Administrative
Etienne Duveiller (Belgium), Senior
Scientist, Regional Pathologist, South Asia
(based in Nepal)
Guillermo Fuentes D. (Mexico), Senior
Scientist, Pathologist (Bunts/Smuts)
Lucy Gilchrist S. (Chile), Senior Scientist,
Pathologist (Fusarium/Septoria)
Zhong-Hu He (China), Regional Wheat
Coordinator, East-Asia (based in China)
Arne Hede (Denmark), Scientist, Facultative
and Winter Wheat Breeder (based in Turkey)
Monique Henry (France), Scientist,
Pathologist (Virologist)

58 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

Man Mohan Kohli (India), Principal
Scientist, Regional Wheat Breeder, Southern
Cone/Liaison Officer (based in Uruguay)
Jacob Lage (Denmark), Associate Scientist,
A. Mujeeb-Kazi (USA), Principal Scientist,
Head, Wide Crosses
Alexei Morgounov (Russia), Senior
Scientist, Regional Representative Wheat
Breeder/Agronomist, Central Asia and
Caucasus (based in Kazakhstan)
M. Miloudi Nachit (Germany), Senior
Scientist, Regional Durum Wheat Breeder,
West Asia and North Africa/Liaison Officer
(based in Syria)
Julie Nicol (Australia), Associate Scientist,
Pathologist (Root Diseases) (based in Turkey)
Guillermo Ortiz-Ferrara (Mexico),
Principal Scientist, Regional Coordinator-
Wheat Germplasm, South Asia (based in
Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio (Mexico), Senior
Scientist, Agronomist
Mahmood Osmanzai (Afganistan)
Principal Scientist, Agronomist (based in
Roberto J. Pena (Mexico), Principal
Scientist, Head, Industrial Quality
Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer (Germany),
Principal Scientist, Head, Durum Wheat
Matthew P. Reynolds (UK), Senior
Scientist, Head, Physiology
Kenneth D. Sayre (USA), Principal
Scientist, Head, Crop Management
Ravi P. Singh (India), Principal Scientist,
Geneticist/Pathologist (Rusts)
Bent Skovmand (Denmark), Principal
Scientist, Head, Wheat Germplasm Bank and
Genetic Resources
Douglas G. Tanner (Canada), Senior
Scientist, Agronomist, East Africa/Liaison
Officer (based in Ethiopia)
Richard Trethowan (Australia), Senior
Scientist, Spring Bread Wheat Breeder
(Marginal Environments)
Maarten van Ginkel (Netherlands),
Principal Scientist, Head, Spring Bread Wheat
Breeding (Optimum Environments)
Reynaldo L. Villareal (Philippines),
Principal Scientist, Head, Germplasm
Improvement Training
Adjunct Scientists
Flavio Capettini (Uruguay), ICARDA/
CIMMYT, Postdoctoral Fellow, Head, Barley
Julio Huerta (Mexico), Senior Scientist
Pathologist (Rusts)
Jong Jin Hwang (Korea), Senior Scientist,
Winter Wheat Breeder
D.K. Joshi (Nepal), Scientist, Wheat Breeder
(based in Nepal)
Muratbek Karabayev (Kazakhstan)
Senior Scientist, Liaison Officer (based in
Morten Lillemo (Norway), Postdoctoral
Fellow, Wheat Breeder
Philippe Monneveux (France), Principal
Scientist, Breeder/Physiologist
Postdoctoral Fellows
Patricia Dupre (France), Breeder/
Jiankang Wang (China), Breeder
Anne Acosta (USA)
Arnoldo Amaya (Mexico)
David Bedoshvili (Georgia)
Robert Blake (USA)

Charles Boyer (USA)
Jesse Dubin (USA)
Gerardo Leyva Mir (Mexico)
R. Prabhakar (India)
George Varughese (India)
Hugo Vivar (Ecuador)
Maria Zaharieva (Bulgaria)

Economics Program
Michael Morris (USA), Interim Director,
Pedro Aquino (Mexico), Principal Research
Assistant, Economist
Lone Badstue (Denmark), Associate
Scientist, Social Anthropologist
Mauricio Bellon (Mexico), Senior Scientist,
Human Ecologist
Emma Diangkinay (Philippines),
Research Assistant, Economist (based in the
Hugo De Groote (Belgium), Scientist,
Economist (based in Kenya)
Javier Ekboir (Argentina), Scientist,
Dagoberto Flores (Mexico), Principal
Research Assistant
Roberta Gerpacio (Philippines), Research
Associate, Economist (based in the
Maximina Lantican (Philippines),
Research Associate, Economist
Mulugetta Mekuria (Ethiopia), Scientist,
Economist (based in Zimbabwe)
Erika Meng (USA), Scientist, Economist
Wilfred M. Mwangi (Kenya), Principal
Scientist, Economist (on leave of absence)
Kamal Paudyal (Nepal), Adjunct Scientist,
Economist (based in Nepal)
Maria Luisa Rodriguez (Mexico),
Program Administrator
Gustavo E. Sain (Argentina), Senior
Scientist, Economist (based in Costa Rica)
Shephard Siziba (Zimbabwe), Research
Associate, Economist (based in Zimbabwe)
Postdoctoral Fellows
Monika Zurek, Economist (Germany)
Cheryl Doss (USA)
Janet Lauderdale (USA)
Martins Odendo (Kenya)
George Owuor (Kenya)
Mitch Renkow (USA)

Gregory Traxler (USA)
David Watson (UK)
Graduate Students
Lucy Wangare (Kenya)
Timothy Nyanamba (Kenya)

Natural Resources
Larry Harrington (USA), Director
Raj Gupta (India), Senior Scientist,
Regional Facilitator, Rice-Wheat Consortium
for the Indo-Gangetic Plains (based in India)
Peter R. Hobbs (UK), Principal Scientist,
Agronomist/Liaison Officer (based in USA)
Jaime Lopez C. (Mexico), Manager, Soils
and Plant Nutrition Laboratory
Eduardo Martinez (Mexico), GIS Analyst
Craig A. Meisner (USA), Senior Scientist,
Agronomist (based in Bangladesh)
Maria Luisa Rodriguez (Mexico) Program
Patrick C. Wall (Ireland), Principal
Scientist, Conservation Tillage and
Agriculture Specialist

Jeff White (USA), Senior Scientist, Head,
GIS/Modeling Laboratory
Postdoctoral Fellows
Rolf Sommer (Germany)
Adjunct Scientists
Bernard Triomphe (France), CIRAD
Scientist, Agronomist
Luis Fragoso Tirado (Mexico), Scientist,
National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture
and Livestock Research (INIFAP), CENAPROS
Nur-E-Elahi (Bangladesh), Affiliate Maize
Scientist (based in Bangladesh)
David Hodson (UK), GIS Specialist/
Scott Justice (USA), Research Affiliate
(based in Nepal)
Bernard Kamanga (Malawi), Research
Affiliate (based in Malawi)
Joost Lieshout (the Netherlands),
Database Manager/Consultant
Golam Panaullah (Bangladesh), Affiliate
Soil Scientist (based in Bangladesh)
M.A. Razzaque (Bangladesh), Affiliate
Liaison Scientist (based in Bangladesh)
Jens Riis-Jacobsen (Denmark) Consultant
A.B. Sakawat Hossain (Bangladesh),
Affiliate Wheat Scientist (based in
Zondai Shamudzarira (Zimbabwe),
Research Affiliate (based in Zimbabwe)
Graduate Students/Interns
Amandine Boutin (France)
Frederic Goulet (France)
Bertrand Roux (France)
Elodie Thomas (France)
Flor Nochebuena (Mexico)
Teresa Balderrama (Mexico)
Maaike Hoekstra (The Netherlands)

David Hoisington (USA), Director
Jean Marcel Ribaut (Switzerland), Senior
Scientist, Assistant Director and Senior
Molecular Geneticist
Maria Luz George (Philippines), Scientist,
AMBIONET Coordinator (based in
Scott McLean (USA), Scientist, Geneticist/
Alessandro Pellegrineschi (Italy),
Scientist, Cell Biologist
Enrico Perotti (Italy), Scientist, Molecular
Marilyn Warburton (USA), Scientist,
Molecular Geneticist
Manilal William (Sri Lanka), Scientist,
Molecular Geneticist

Adjunct Scientists
Julien Berthaud (France), IRD/France,
Senior Scientist, Molecular Cytogeneticist
Daniel Grimanelli (France), IRD/France,
Senior Scientist, Molecular Geneticist
Olivier Leblanc (France), IRD/France,
Scientist, Molecular Cytogeneticist
Antonio Serratos (Mexico), INIFAP/
Mexico, Molecular Biologist
Postdoctoral Fellows
Maria de la Luz Gutierrez (Mexico),
Molecular Geneticist
Mark Sawkins (UK), Molecular Geneticist

Sarah Hearne (UK), Molecular Geneticist/
Graduate Students
Celine Pointe (France), University of Paris
Fabiola Ramirez (Mexico), UNAM/Mexico
Gael Pressoir (France), IRD/France
Juan Jose Olivares (Mexico), University
of Adelaide/Australia
Patricia Dupre (France), University of
Picardie, Verne
Magdalena Salgado (Mexico), University
of Adelaide/Australia
Pingzhi Zhang (China), University of
Susanne Dreisigacker (Germany),
University of Hohenheim
Mirjana Trifunovic (Yugoslavia)
Diego Gonzalez de Leon (Mexico)

Biometrics and
Jose Crossa (Uruguay), Principal Scientist,

Juan Burgueno (Uruguay)
Mateo Vargas (Mexico)
Jorge Franco (Uruguay)

Ed Brandon (Canada), Head
Carlos Lopez (Mexico), Software
Development Manager, Software
Development Department
Jesus Vargas G. (Mexico), Systems and
Operations Manager, Systems and Computer
Enrique Martinez (Mexico), Head,
Development and Implementation of New
Projects, Systems and Computer Services
Marcos Paez (Mexico), Network
Administrator, Systems and Computer
Fermin Segura (Mexico), Network
Infrastructure Manager, Systems and
Computer Services

Hugo Alvarez V. (Mexico), Administrative
Luis Banos (Mexico), Supervisor, Drivers
Enrique Cosilion (Mexico), Supervisor,
Eduardo de la Rosa (Mexico), Head,
Building Maintenance
Joaquin Diaz (Mexico), Head, Purchasing
Maria Garay A. (Mexico), Head, Food and
Fernando Sanchez (Mexico), Accountant,
Employee Mutual Fund

Finance Office
Martha Duarte (Mexico), Senior Finance
Zoila Cordova (Mexico), Manager, Projects
and Budgets
Salvador Fragoso (Mexico), Head, Payroll
and Taxes
Hector Maciel (Mexico), Manager,
Accounting Operations
Saul Navarro (Mexico), Head, Program-
based User Support
Guillermo Quesada 0. (Mexico), Head,
Treasury Supervisor

Trustees and Principal Staff 59

German Tapia (Mexico), Warehouse

Human Resources
Marisa de la 0 (Mexico), Interim HR
Georgina Becerra (Mexico), Human
Resources Specialist
Carmen Espinosa (Mexico), Head, Legal
Eduardo Mejia (Mexico), Head, Security
Ma. del Carmen Padilla (Mexico),
Teacher, Childcare Center
Cuauhtemoc Marquez (Mexico), Doctor,
Medical Service

Visitor, Conference,
and Training
Linda Ainsworth (USA), Head, Visitor,
Conference, and Training Services

Information and
Multimedia Services
Kelly A. Cassaday (USA), Head
Satwant Kaur (Singapore), Writer/Editor
G. Michael Listman (USA), Senior Writer/
Alma L. McNab (Honduras), Senior
Writer/Editor and Translations Coordinator
Miguel Mellado E. (Mexico), Head,
Publications Production
David Poland (USA), Writer/Editor
Anila Heittiaracchi (India)
Jane Reeves (Australia)

Fernando Garcia P. (Mexico), Interim
Head Librarian
John Woolston (Canada), Visiting Scientist

Experiment Stations
Fernando Delgado (Mexico), Field
Superintendent, Toluca
Raymundo Lopez (Mexico), Field
Superintendent, Agua Fria
Francisco Magallanes (Mexico), Field
Superintendent, El Batan
Rodrigo Rascon (Mexico), Field
Superintendent, Cd. Obreg6n
Abelardo Salazar (Mexico), Field
Superintendent, Tlaltizapan

Claudio Cafati, Deputy Director General,
Administration and Finance
Larry W. Harrington, Director, Natural
Resources Group
David Hoisington, Director, Applied
Biotechnology and Bioinformatics
Masa Iwanaga, Director General
Michael Morris, Interim Director,
Economics Program
Peter J. Ninnes, Senior Executive Officer,
Research Management

Shivaji Pandey, Director, Maize Program
Sanjaya Rajaram, Director, Wheat Program

Advisory Committee
Claudio Cafati, Deputy Director General,
Administration and Finance
Martha Duarte, Senior Finance Manager
Larry W. Harrington, Director, Natural
Resources Group
David Hoisington, Director, Applied
Biotechnology and Bioinformatics
Masa Iwanaga, Director General
Michael Morris, Interim Director, Economics
Peter J. Ninnes, Senior Executive Officer,
Research Management
Shivaji Pandey, Director, Maize Program
Sanjaya Rajaram, Director, Wheat Program

Marianne Banziger: Project 4 (G4) Maize for
sustainable production in stressed environments
David Bergvinson: Project 20 (F5) Reducing
grain losses after harvest
Hans-Joachim Braun: Project 12 (R4) Food
security for West Asia and North Africa
Hugo Cordova: Project 2 (G2) Improved
maize for the world 's poor
Javier Ekboir: Project 21 (F6) Technology
assessment for poverty reduction and
sustainable resource use
Guillermo Ortiz Ferrara: Project 13 (R3)
Sustaining wheat production in South Asia,
including rice-wheat systems
David Hoisington: Project 18 (F3)
Biotechnology for food security
Olivier Leblanc: Project 17 (F2) Apomixis:
seed security for poor farmers
Patrick C. Wall: Project 9 (G9) Conservation
tillage and agricultural systems to mitigate
poverty and climate change
Alexei Morgounov: Project 15 (R6)
Restoring food security and economic growth in
Central Asia and the Caucasus
Michael Morris: Project 7 (G7) Impacts of
maize and wheat research
Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio: Project 19 (F4)
Biofortified grain for human health
Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer: Project 5 (G5) Wheat
for sustainable production in marginal
Matthew P. Reynolds: Project 16 (F1) New
wheat science to meet global challenges
Gustavo E. Sain: Project 14 (R5) Agriculture
to sustain livelihoods in Latin America and the
Ravi P. Singh: Project 6 (G6) Wheat resistant
to diseases and pests
Bent Skovmand: Project 1 (G1) Maize and
wheat genetic resources: use for humanity
Maarten van Ginkel: Project 3 (G3)
Improved wheat for the world 's poor
Joel Ransom: Project 11 (R2) Maize for
poverty alleviation and economic growth in Asia
Reynaldo L. Villareal: Project 8 (G8)
Building human capital
Stephen Waddington: Project 10 (R1) Food
and sustainable livelihoods for Sub-Saharan

Visiting Scientists
for terms of at least 2 months, January to
December 2001

Aiman Absattarova (Kazakhstan), Kazakh
Agricultural Research Institute, Wheat
Ana Cristina Alburqueque (Brazil),
EMBRAPA, Applied Biotechnology Center
Abbas Alemzadeh (Iran), Agricultural
Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran,
Applied Biotechnology Center
Fargana Alibakshiyeva (Azerbaijan),
Azeri Institute of Farming, Wheat Program
Emad Mahmoud AI-Maaroof (Iraq),
Agricultural Biological Resarch Center, Wheat
Atiq Atiq-Ur-Rehman (Pakistan), Crop
Diseases Research Institute, Wheat Program
Adylkhan Babkenov (Kazakhstan),
Kazakh Research Institute of Grain, Wheat
Saidmurat Baboev (Uzbekistan), Genetika
and Plant Experimental Biology, Wheat
Asmund Bjornstad (Norway), Agricultural
University of Norway, Applied Biotechnology
Necmettin Bolat (Turkey), Anatolian
Agricultural Research Institute, Wheat
Pedro Silvestre Chauque (Mozambique),
Institute Nacional de Investigacao
Agronomica, Maize Program
Anthony Gerard Condon (Australia),
CSIRO Plant Industry, Wheat Program
David Coventry (Australia), Adelaide
University, Natural Resources Group
Anush Davtyan (Armenia), Scientific
Center of Agriculture and Plant Protection,
Wheat Program
Thomas Degen (Switzerland) Universite de
Neuchatel, Applied Biotechnology Center
Jan Dempewolf (Germany), University of
Bayreuth, Natural Resources Group
Marco Gian Vittore Dettori (Italy),
Centro Regionale Agrario Sperimentale,
Wheat Program
Pierre Dubreil (France), INRA, Applied
Biotechnology Center
Paula Faccio (Argentina), Instituto de
Genetic "Ewald A. Favret," Applied
Biotechnology Center
Kristen Lea Flaherty (USA), World Food
Prize Foundation, Applied Biotechnology
Kyle Wayne Freeman (USA), University of
Oklahoma, Wheat Program
Halomoan Silalahi Frits (Indonesia),
Assessment Station for Agriculture
Technology, Maize Program
Chunbao Gao (China), Hubei Academy of
Agricultural Sciences, Wheat Program
German Gutierrez (Mexico), UPIBI-IPN,
Applied Biotechnology Center
Hudayberdi Hajiyev (Turkmenistan),
Agricultural of Mater Management Institute,
Wheat Program
Abdul Hakim (Bangladesh), Bangladesh
Agricultural Institute, Wheat Program
Alexander Jose Hernandez (Venezuela),
Universidad Centro Occidental DANAC,
Applied Biotechnology Center
Thi Nga Hoang (Viet Nam), Viet Nam
Agriculture Science Institute, Wheat Program
Evert Yuliang Hosang (Indonesia), Maize
Research in Dry Lands, Maize Program

Nikola Hristov (Yugoslavia), Institute of
Field and Vegetable Crops, Wheat Program
Venera Karabekovna Isaeva
(Kyrgyzstan), Kyrgyzs Agricultural Research
Institute, Wheat Program
Otto Raul Leyva Ovalle (Mexico), Colegio
de Postgraduados, Maize Program
Jianjun Liu (China), Crop Research Institute,
Shandong, Wheat Program
Gholamabbas Lotfali Ayeneh (Iran),
Seed and Plant Improvement Institute, Wheat
Andarias Murni Makka (Indonesia),
Assessment Station for Agriculture
Technology, Maize Program
Anuar Massalimov (Kazakhstan), Kazakh
Agricultural Research Institute, Wheat
Esau del Carmen Moreno Perez
(Mexico), Colegio de Postgraduados, Maize
Khafiz Muminjanov (Tajikistan), Tajik
Agrarian University, Wheat Program
Wilson N.P. Muasya (Kenya), Kenya
Agricultural Research Institute, Maize
Charles John Masaku Mutinda (Kenya),
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Maize
Gansile Nieba (Guinea), Agricultural
Research Institute of Guinea, Maize Program
Van Thu Nguyen (Viet Nam), National
Maize Research Institute, Maize Program
Song Hak Pak (North Korea), Institute of
Agriculture Pyongyang, Maize Program
Valasubramanian Ramaiah (India),
Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd., Applied
Biotechnology Center
Quintin Rascon (Mexico), CINVESTAV-
Irapuato, Applied Biotechnology Center
Abu Sefyan Ibrahim Saad (Sudan),
Agricultural Research Corporation, Wheat
Nasredin Sharipov (Kazakhstan), Kazakh
Agricultural Research Institute, Maize
Kyol Ju Song (North Korea), Maize
Research Institute, Maize Program
Ramya Srinivasan (India), Greengates
School, Applied Biotechnology Center
Kazuhiro Suenaga (Japan), JIRCAS, Applied
Biotechnology Center
John Sullivan (USA), National Center for
Genome Resources, Applied Biotechnology
Johanis Tandiabang (Indonesia), Research
Institute for Maize and Other Cereals, Maize
Luice Albertine Taulu (Indonesia), Kalasey
Research and Assessment for Agriculture,
Maize Program
Juliana Rodriguez Terrones (Mexico),
Universidad Autonoma Chapingo, Wheat
Saidjon Teshaboev (Uzbekistan), Andijan
Scientific Research Institute, Wheat Program
Salam Abdul Wahid (Indonesia), Makassar
Assessment Institute for Agricultural
Technology, Maize Program
Kevin Williams (Australia), South Australian
Research and Development Institute, Applied
Biotechnology Center
Jinhua Yang (China), Food Crops Research
Institute, Yunnan Academy, Wheat Program
Changxiang Zheng (China), Upland Crop
Institute, Guizhou Academy of Agricultural
Sciences, Maize Program

60 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002





Mexico (Headquarters) CIMMYT, Apdo.
Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, D.E, Mexico *
Tel.: +52 (55) 5804 2004 Fax: +52 (55) 5804
7558 Email: cimmyt@cgiar.org Primary
contact: Masa Iwanaga, Director General

Afghanistan CIMMYT, PO Box 5291,
Kabul, Afghanistan Email:
m.osmanzai@cgiar.org Primary contact:
Mahmood Osmanzai

Bangladesh CIMMYT, PO Box 6057,
Gulshan, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh Fax:
+880 (2) 882 3516 (send c/o CIMMYT
Bangladesh) Email: c.meisner@cgiar.org
* Home page: www.cimmyt.cgiar.org/
bangladesh Primary contact: Craig

China CIMMYT, c/o Chinese Academy
of Agricultural Sciences, No. 30 Baishiqiao
Road, Beijing 100081, PR. China Fax: +86
(10) 689 18547 Email: zhhe@public3.bta.
net.cn Primary contact: Zhonghu He

Colombia CIMMYT, c/o CIAT, Apdo.
Aereo 67-13, Cali, Colombia Fax: +57 (2)
4450 025 Email: c.deleon@cgiar.org *
Primary contact: Carlos De Leon

Costa Rica CIMMYT, Apdo. Postal 55,
2200 Coronado, San Jose, Costa Rica Fax:
+506 216 0281 Email: gsain@iica.ac.cr *
Primary contact: Gustavo Sain

Ethiopia CIMMYT, PO Box 5689, Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia Fax: +251 (1) 464645
Email: cimmyt-ethiopia@cgiar.org *
Primary contact: Douglas Tanner

Georgia* CIMMYT, 12 Kipshidze Str., Apt.
54, Tbilisi 380062, Georgia Email:
d.bedoshvili.cimmyt@caucasus.net *
Primary contact: David Bedoshvili

Guatemala CIMMYT, Apdo. Postal 231-A,
Guatemala, Guatemala Fax: +502 335 3407
* Email: cimmyt@ns.guate.net Primary
contact: Salvador Castellanos

India CIMMYT-India, CG Centre Block,
National Agricultural Science Centre (NASC)
Complex, DP Shastri Marg, Pusa Campus,
New Delhi 110012, India Fax: +91 (11) 582
2938 Email: cimmyt-india@cgiar.org *
Primary contact: Raj K. Gupta

Kazakhstan CIMMYT, PO Box 374, Almaty
480000, Kazakhstan Fax: +7 (3272) 282551
Email: cimmyt@astel.kz Primary contact:
Alexei Morgounov

Kenya CIMMYT, PO Box 25171, Nairobi,
Kenya Fax: +254 (2) 522 879 Email:
cimmyt-kenya@cgiar.org Primary contact:
Alpha O. Diallo

Malawi CIMMYT, Bunda College of
Agriculture, PO Box 219, Lilongwe 3,
Malawi Fax: +265 277 420 Email:
bkamanga@malawi.net Primary contact:
Bernard Kamanga

Nepal CIMMYT, PO Box 5186, Singha
Durbar Plaza Marg, Bhadrakali, Kathmandu,
Nepal Fax: +977 (1) 229 804 Email:
cimmyt-nepal@cgiar.org Primary contact:
Guillermo Ortiz Ferrara

Peru CIMMYT, Apartado 456, Lima
1, Peru Fax: +51 (1) 349 3136 Email:
m.barandiaran@cgiar.org Primary
contact: Miguel Barandiaran

Philippines CIMMYT c/o IRRI,
DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila,
Philippines Fax: +63 (49) 536 7995 *
Email: m.george@cgiar.org Primary
contact: Maria Luz George

Syria CIMMYT, Wheat Program,
ICARDA, PO Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria *
Fax: +963 (21) 2213 490 Email:
m.nachit@cgiar.org Primary contact:
Miloudi Nachit

Turkey CIMMYT, PK 39 Emek, 06511
Ankara, Turkey Fax: +90 (312) 287
8955 Email: cimmyt-turkey@cgiar.org
* Primary contact: Hans-Joachim

Uruguay CIMMYT, CC1217
Montevideo, Uruguay Fax: +598 (2)
902 8522 Email: cimmyt@inia.org.uy
* Primary contact: Man Mohan Kohli

Zambia CIMMYT, University of
Zambia School of Agricultural Sciences,
PO Box 32379, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia *
Fax: +260 (1) 250 587 Email:
mmwala@agric.unza.zm Primary
contact: Mick S. Mwala

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

CIMMYT Contact Information 61

* 2A
* 1

a 31

* 41
a II
* il


* 12

A Map of the World for

Wheat Breeding

CIMMYT wheat breeders have a different
map of the world than the rest of us.

Their map is a mosaic of growing
environments, each with distinct
characteristics that influence wheat

Most wheat breeders have a fairly
narrow scope of operations, but
those at CIMMYT breed wheat for
the entire developing world. This is
a tall order: wheat is grown on
about 110 million hectares in more
than 70 developing countries, so
CIMMYT breeders must understand
how factors such as temperature,
rainfall, diseases, and pests vary.
They need to know which
characteristics are essential in wheat
varieties intended for specific parts
of the world, and they must also
understand how individual wheat
varieties-and ultimately wheat
production-are likely to be affected
by growing conditions in the
various environments.

In the 1980s, CIMMYT's wheat
breeders began to codify their vision
of the developing world's wheat
growing areas into a standard set of
"mega-environments." The mega-
environments were defined by crop
production factors (temperature,
rainfall, sunlight, latitude, elevation,
soil characteristics, and diseases),
consumer preferences (the color of
the grain and how it would be
used), and wheat growth habit (see
"Habits of Highly Successful Wheat
Varieties," inside back cover).
Researchers identified six mega-
environments for spring wheats and
three each for facultative and winter
wheat (see table). Most wheat
grown in developing countries is
spring wheat, though China, Turkey,
and parts of Central Asia, for
example, have large areas of winter
and facultative wheat.

62 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

Description of global wheat mega-environments. Climatic criteria are based on conditions during the coolest,
warmest, or wettest consecutive three months of the year and annual means or totals.

Mega-environment Description Representative sites

Spring Wheat
ME1: Favorable, irrigated Well irrigated, low rainfall regions. Conditions Gangetic Valley, India;
low rainfall, during the cropping season range from temperate Indus Valley, Pakistan;
to late heat stress, especially with late sowing. Nile Valley, Egypt;
Estimated area: 36 M ha. Predominantly winter-sown, tropical to subtropical. Yaqui Valley, Mexico.
Rarely, spring-sown cool temperate regions.
White-grained types predominate.
ME2: High rainfall. Regions where crops experience
no or minor moisture deficits.
Estimated area: 8 M ha.
ME2A: Highland, summer Highland regions of the tropics and subtropics Kulumsa, Ethiopia;
rain. where crops are grown on summer rainfall. Toluca, Mexico.
Estimated area: 2 M ha. Red grain type except white for Ethiopia.
ME2B: Lowland, winter rain. Highland regions of subtropical and warm Izmir, Turkey;
temperate regions where crops are grown Pergamino, Argentina.
Estimated area: 6 M ha. on winter rainfall.
Red grain type.
ME3: High rainfall, acid soil. Similar to ME2 but for regions with Passo Fundo, Brazil;
acid soils. Mpika, Zambia.
Estimated area: 2 M ha. Red grain is generally preferred except
in the Himalayas.
ME4: Low rainfall. Three types of moisture deficits, based on
developmental stage when moisture deficits
Estimated area: 14 M ha. occur, are recognized as sub-environments.
ME4A: Winter rain or Regions with a Mediterranean climate Aleppo, Syria;
Mediterranean-type climate, with post-flowering moisture deficits Settat, Morocco.
and heat stress typical. Late season frosts
Estimated area: 8 M ha. may occur.
White grain is preferred.
ME4B: Winter drought or Associated with pre-flowering moisture Marcos Juarez, Argentina.
Southern Cone-type rainfall, deficits.
Estimated area: 3 M ha. Red grain preferred to reduce sprouting.
ME4C: Stored moisture. Sown after monsoon rains, resulting in Dharwar, India.
continuous, Indian Subcontinent-type
Estimated area: 3 M ha. drought. Only white grain is accepted.
ME5: Warm.
ME5A: Warm, humid. Warm, humid, lowland tropical to Joydebpur, Bangladesh;
Estimated area: 8 M ha subtropical regions. Encarnacion, Paraguay.
Estimated area: 8 M ha
ME5B: Warm, dry. Warm, semiarid to arid tropical Kano, Nigeria;
Estimated area: 1 M ha. to subtropical regions. Wad Medani, Sudan.
ME6: High latitude Cool temperate regions of North America, Europe,
(> 450N or S). and Asia where wheat is spring-sown as winters are
Estimated area: 50 M ha. too severe for survival of even winter wheat.
ME6A: High-rainfall. Humid regions of western and central Harbin, Heilongjiang,
Europe and of eastern Asia with winter China.
conditions too severe for winter wheat.
ME6B: Semiarid. Dry regions of central and eastern Astana, Kazakhstan.
Asia and the northern plains of Canada
and the USA with winter conditions
too severe for winter wheat.
Facultative Wheat
ME7: Favorable, moderate Zhenzhou, Henan, China.
cold, irrigated.
ME8: High rainfall Temuco, Chile;
(> 500 mm), moderate cold. Corvallis, Oregon, USA.
ME9: Semi-arid, moderate Diyarbakir, Turkey;
cold, low rainfall. Vernon, Texas, USA.
Winter Wheat
ME10: Favorable, cold, irrigated. Beijing, China.
ME11: High rainfall, cold. Cambridge, UK; Krasnodar, Russia.
ME12: Semi-arid, low Ft. Collins, Colorado;
rainfall, cold. Manhattan, Kansas, USA.

A Map of the World for Wheat Breeding 63

CIMMYT wheat breeders plan
crosses between varieties with the
different mega-environments in
mind. By focusing on key
characteristics for each mega-
environment, breeders can reach
their objectives more efficiently. For
example, farmers in high-rainfall
environments need wheat that resists
as many as eight diseases, whereas
fewer and different diseases are
important for their counterparts in
drought areas.

Once the actual breeding process has
come to an end, experimental wheats
destined for a certain mega-
environment are tested under those
conditions. They are selected for
additional improvement only if they
can withstand the particular stresses
predominating in that environment.
Mega-environments therefore help
CIMMYT's breeders set priorities for
their research, which is important
when they serve such a large area.

The results of this approach have
been impressive. CIMMYT-related
wheat varieties are planted on more
than 64 million hectares in
developing countries-more than
three-fourths of the area planted to
modern wheat varieties in those
countries. In other words, CIMMYT
wheat breeders have been extremely
successful in developing wheat for a
multiplicity of environments.

With the advent of geographic
information systems (GIS),
researchers have gained a means to
visualize these important growing
environments in greater detail,
though it is not a simple matter to
map the mega-environments. Jeff
White, head of CIMMYT's GIS and
Crop Modeling Laboratory, recently
revised the mega-environment
classification, primarily using climate
data (see map, previous page).

"Chasing down mega-environment
classifications for each site required
several rounds of consultation with
wheat scientists," White says. "Not
surprisingly, nailing down precise
locations was a challenge-names of
research sites sometimes bear no
relation to nearby towns or cities.
But with this database in place, we
can address the challenge of
delineating the mega-environments
as regions based on quantitative
criteria for climatic and soil

The head of bread wheat breeding at
CIMMYT, Maarten van Ginkel,
worked closely with White to revise
the mega-environments. He
appreciates the potential of GIS
techniques to help breeders develop
varieties with the precise traits that
farmers and consumers want. "With
GIS, we can go beyond classical
maps based on political boundaries,
rainfall, and temperature. For
example, we can visualize the
geographical extent of trends in
climatic change, projected pathways
for wind-borne wheat diseases,
human demographic and migration
trends that affect wheat
consumption, urban-rural zoning
developments, and perhaps even
new consumer preferences," he says.

Over the past 40 years, CIMMYT's
wheat breeders have increasingly
refined their breeding goals based
on their comprehensive experience
of conditions in the developing
world. Now GIS techniques offer a
way to test some of the assumptions
behind their breeding goals. "We
want to do more than simply
confirm what we already know,"
says van Ginkel. "I hope that using
GIS will teach us some things we do
not know, or identify assumptions
that are incorrect, so we can become
better at what we do."

For more information:
Jeff White (j.white@cgiar.org)
Maarten van Ginkel (m.van-ginkel@cgiar.org)

64 CIMMYT Annual Report 2001-2002

When your job is

to breed wheat

for the entire

developing world,

how can you

meet specific

needs in specific


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