Front Cover
 Natural resource initiatives
 Research for marginal areas: Feeding...
 Biotech applications: Reaching...
 Genetic resources: Nurturing tradition,...
 New partnerships for sustainable...
 The CIMMYT economics program
 The strategic importance of CIMMYT's...
 Back Cover

CIMMYT in ..
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080100/00001
 Material Information
Title: CIMMYT in ..
Physical Description: 5 v. : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Place of Publication: Mexico D.F
Creation Date: 1995
Publication Date: 1993-1997
Frequency: annual
Subjects / Keywords: Corn -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Wheat -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: 1992-1996/97.
General Note: Title from cover.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 31300648
lccn - sn 94029558
issn - 0188-9214
System ID: UF00080100:00001
 Related Items
Related Items: CIMMYT en ...

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Natural resource initiatives
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Research for marginal areas: Feeding the millions, shepherding scarce resources
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Biotech applications: Reaching inside the genome, reaching farmers
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Genetic resources: Nurturing tradition, unleashing potential
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    New partnerships for sustainable maize and wheat cropping in developing countries
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    The CIMMYT economics program
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    The strategic importance of CIMMYT's information work
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Back Cover
        Page 51
        Page 52
Full Text

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C ININYIT An international, non-profit, agricultural research and training center dedicated to
helping the poor in low -income countries.

Focus Increasing the productivity and sustamability of maize and wheat farming in low-income
countries: protecting the natural resources upon which agriculture is based. Work concentrates on maize and
wheat, two crops vitally important to reducing poverty and to ensuring food security for the poor. These
crops provide about one-quarter of the food (total calories) consumed in low-income countries, are critical
to the diets of the poor and, for poor farmers, are an important source of income.

* Development and world ide distribution of higher yielding maize and wheat with built-m genetic
resistance to diseases, insects, and other yield-reducing stresses.
* Conservation and dismbution of maize and wheat genetic resources.
* Strategic research on natural resource management in maize- and wheat-based cropping systems.
* Creation and documentation of new knowledge about maize and wheat.
* Development of more effective research methods.
* Training of various types.
* Consulting on technical issues.

Partners Staffwork 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.

* 50 million hectares in low-income countries are now planted to CLIMMYT-related %wheat varieties (about
700 o of the total wheat area m those countries, not counting China).
CIMMYT-related wheat were sown on an additional 16 million hectares of farmland in low-income
countries during the 1980s alone
13 million hectares in low-income countries are now planted to ClIMMYT-related maize varieties (about
50',. of the total nontemperate area devoted to improved varieties in those countries).
Nearly US$ 4 billion in extra grain production each year can be traced to the higher genetic yield
potential and built-in pest resistance of CIMMYT-related varieties.
More than 4.500 researchers are alumni of the Center's training programs.

Location Headquarters are mn Mexico. but activities and impact extend to over 100 countries via 16
regional offices (see contact information, back cover). ...ii
.. -.*

AM'5i :i& 3 *i. I ;Z91

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T ThIex 0 er

Prof. Timothy G. Reeves
Director General

during the week of September 24-27,
1996, CIMMYT formally
commemorated three full decades of
operation. We did so with just a touch of fanfare and
a great deal of consultation with key research
partners and investors. In honor of the occasion, we
devoted the first day to an inauguration of
CIMMYT's new Plant Genetic Resources Center
and our expanded Applied Biotechnology Center, as
well as some crystal ball gazing by a number of
developing country partners and financial supporters
concerning the future of maize and wheat research.
Those events were then followed by three days of
intensive consultation with more than 35 national
system leaders and financial backers, all focused on
our draft Medium-Term Plan, 1998 2002. The
results of that very productive consultation are being
combined with input from C1MMYT staff obtained
during a similar "in-house" set of meetings as we
move toward a final draft plan.
Several who spoke during the 30th
Commemoration noted that CIMMYT has good
cause to celebrate, for we have together with our
many research partners accomplished much on
behalf of the world's poor. And yet, even as each
spokesperson reflected on past accomplishments, all
urged us to maintain our focus squarely on the
agricultural development challenges that confront
the world as the next millennium approaches.
Amid today's apparent plenty, tremendous
inequalities exist. The World Bank estimates that
there are about a billion people roughly one in
every five who must survive on less than one US
dollar per day. Equally alarming is the deteriorating
condition of the natural resources that underpin our
current agricultural production systems. We are now
witnessing a never-before-seen rate of increase in
the world's population nearly 200 new residents

are added to this crowded planet every minute; a new
Mexico City every 12 weeks; a new Mexico every year.
Moreover, global food stocks, as a percent of
utilization, are at their lowest level since we began
keeping such records. Clearly, we can claim only a
tenuous hold on global food security.
Agricultural research by CIMMYT and by many,
many other institutions has provided the margin of
survival for millions of the world's poor. It remains our
best hope for confronting the daunting challenges
before us now: reducing poverty, conserving the
natural resources upon which our children's welfare
will depend, and producing enough food for all.
CIMMYT's maize and wheat technologies more
productive varieties combined with new, more efficient
and environmentally friendly ways of growing them -
provide hope in an uncertain future. They promise
more food from less land; better, more nutritious grain
with fewer chemical inputs; and more stable yields
under less predictable growing conditions.

Our research is constantly evolving as advances in
science open new opportunities for research. We are
moving from our traditional and more narrow focus on
producing high-yielding, input-responsive cultivars to

a more inclusive concern with enhancing not only the

productivity but also the sustainability of maize and
wheat production systems in developing countries. Our
research strategies increasingly transcend conventional

plant breeding to achieve a creative blend of proven and
new research methodologies.
One tangible result of such changes is the new
Wellhausen-Anderson Plant Genetic Resources Center
that we dedicated in late September. This center
combines a state-of-the-art genebank complex,
refurbished seed distribution facilities, and a revamped

array of related research activities some of which are
highlighted later in this 30th Anniversary Annual
Report. The new facilities were made possible by
generous donations from Japan and other core donors to
CIMMYT, and will enable us to more effectively
conserve and more efficiently use the maize and wheat

genetic resources we hold in trust for humankind.
In this Report, readers will find considerable
evidence of change in CIMMYT, beyond that reflected
in the bricks and mortar of our new Genetic Resources
Center. For example, we highlight several initiatives
involving our recently created Natural Resources Group
(NRG). The NRG was formed specifically to target
natural resource issues. The Group uses a variety of
networking approaches to solve problems, and features
a strong in-house capacity for geographic information

systems research. The NRG mission is to develop
efficient research methods, conduct strategic research

on processes and prototypes, and, most important, to
backstop CIMMYT researchers and their partners in
developing countries as they address productivity and
sustainability issues. In so doing, the NRG helps answer
key questions having to do with increasing maize and
wheat yields in environmentally safe ways, using maize

and wheat technologies to help slow or reverse resource
degradation, and measuring the long-term impacts of
technical change.

CIMMYT is devoting a growing share of its
resources to research aimed at improving the resiliency
of maize and wheat to a variety of stresses, especially
those encountered in more marginal production

environments. In this Report, we feature our work on

maize drought tolerance, on heat tolerance in wheat,
and on reducing widespread losses in maize production
attributable to the parasitic flowering plant, Striga spp.,
known to sub-Saharan farmers by the charming and all
too descriptive name "witchweed." Other important
work involving our Maize and Wheat program staff is
featured throughout this Report.
The last six years have witnessed the development
of an impressive applied biotechnology capability in
CIMMYT, one closely linked to the work of our Maize
and Wheat programs. Special funds recently provided
by DANIDA and others have enabled a modest yet

critical expansion of this capability, such that our
Applied Biotechnology Center is now well positioned
to carry out its mission into the next century. That
mission is to do no less than make maize and wheat
breeding even more effective through DNA marker
techniques and the genetic transformation of these vital
crops. Our biotechnology staff continually evaluate and
adapt new technologies for use at CIMMYT and in
developing countries, transfer useful technologies to
developing countries through training and consulting,
and collaborate closely with other biotechnology groups
worldwide. In this Report, we look more closely at four
aspects of the Biotechnology Center's work: the use of
marker assisted selection in the development of drought
tolerant maize; recent successes in the genetic
transformation of maize and wheat for developing
country production settings; our progress in transferring
apomixis to maize from its wild relative, Tripsacum;
and the results of CIMMYT's first-ever biotechnology
course, held in late 1995.
One of CIMMYT's greatest strengths is its close,
long-standing relationships with research partners
throughout the developing world. These relationships
are absolutely vital to addressing the agricultural

development challenges of
the 21st century. We have

set about rededicating the
Center and ourselves as
individuals to research
partnerships in service to

the poor, to protecting the
environment, and to
increasing global food

security. Central to the

progress we are making in
this regard is our firmnn
commitment to listening
to and understanding the
needs of our partners, as well as a growing openness
to innovative organizational forms that facilitate

meaningful collaboration. This includes new
arrangements with sister centers, as the recent

agreement with ICARDA on joint research to improve
and disseminate spring bread wheat, durum wheat,
and facultative and winter bread wheat for West Asia/
North Africa, as well as to share conservation

responsibilities for wheat genetic resources. We
highlight in this Annual Report several activities that
embody the above-mentioned operating principles,
giving special attention to work under way in Central
America, southern Africa, and in tiny but densely

populated Bangladesh.
We are also moving in new directions in the area
of economics: research related to genetic diversity in
maize and wheat, long-term supply and demand

projections, technology assessment and forecasting,
adoption and impact studies, and research priority
setting all are either new, or recently modified
activities. In this Report, we give special emphasis to
our economics work relating to genetic diversity in
wheat, and to a recently completed study of the maize
seed industry in developing countries.
CIMMYT is inii c,,.;ILI' aware of the strategic
importance of information and the potential benefits
associated with managing it more effectively. We are
investing in this area now in anticipation of significant
payoffs both for CIMMYT and for our research
partners as we move into the next millennium. We

highlight in this Report some recent activities and a
noteworthy internal reorganization that we think will

strengthen our ability to capitalize on the information
revolution going on around us all.
Finally, a few words relating to the Center's
financial situation. Specifics are provided later in this
Report. Of more immediate interest here is the fact that,
like all CGIAR centers, CIMMYT finds itself
confronted with a dynamic set of circumstances:

funding for international agricultural research seems
increasingly hard to come by, but important changes in
the System's financing procedures resulting largely
from the CGIAR's "renewal process" are providing
incentives for fundraising by individual centers.
Efforts to strengthen ties with current and potential
investors have been expanded through the creation of an
External Relations program, whose primary mission is
to broaden the Center's funding base. The new program
combines the areas of donor relations, project
development, public awareness, and other infonnation
areas that contribute to these operations.
Perhaps more importantly, we are in the process of
redefining CIMMYT's research agenda in terms of a
number of megaprojectss," each of which addresses
research challenges of major global or regional
importance. These megaprojects will form the heart of
our new Medium-Term Plan, referred to at the very
beginning of this introductory section. We are working
hard to ensure input by key stakeholders into the
formulation of these megaprojects and the Plan itself.

So, on this, the occasion of CIMMYT's 30th
anniversary, let us celebrate the climate of change in
which we find ourselves. Let us reiterate the
fundamental operating principles of true research
partnerships, mutual respect and understanding, and
professionalism in the face of adversity, that will guide
CIMMYT staff and their colleagues in developing
countries into the next century. And yes, let us take time
to recognize all that has been accomplished during the

past 30 years
But even more important, let us rededicate ourselves
to meeting the challenges of the next 30 years: easing
the plight of the poor, protecting our children's natural

resources, and increasing food security for all.

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he facts cannot be
ignored. They point
toward hard conclusions
with the cold logic of a
schoolbook syllogism or a
proposition out of Euclid.

* World population is
increasing at a rate of 100
million per year.
* Food production must
increase dramatically to cope
with this growth.
Most of the world's arable land-and all of its
best lands-are already being cultivated, often at
a high level of efficiency.

How then are we to continue feeding ourselves?
Given that trade opportunities are limited and that
much of the world derives its income from small-
scale farming, only two answers are possible: by
;'aii,i i;f i,.. production on currently cultivated lands
and by expanding production onto marginal lands.
Both options will require an unprecedented level
of expertise in managing the natural resource base. At
present, however, we know relatively little about the
long-term implications of intensified production, nor
are we well equipped to deal with large-scale
migrations into marginal and easily degraded
Unless we can develop strategies that produce
adequate food supplies in the short term without
compromising the long-term productive capacity of
the resource base, the human and environmental costs
are apt to be catastrophic. Even at current population
levels and production intensities, resource
degradation in developing countries has often been
swift, severe, and widespread.
CIMMYT's newly formed Natural Resources
Group (NRG) was established with these challenges
in mind. More specifically, the NRG helps CIMMYT
and its collaborators answer these key questions:

What are the opportunities for environmentally
safe increases in maize and wheat productivity?

How can maize and wheat
technologies help slow or
reverse environmental
How can the long-term
consequences of technical
change best be assessed?

Because natural resource issues
are inextricably connected to
S CIMMYT's ongoing work, the
NRG has been designed not as a
separate program but as a cross-
cutting activity that supports and complements efforts
in the Maize, Wheat, and Economics Programs. The
following projects are representative of the natural
resource initiatives in which CIMMYT participates.

Rice- and Wheat-based Cropping

Systems in the Indo-Gangetic Plains
Recent evidence from some high-productivity sites

suggests that resource degradation may be reducing
productivity in South Asia's rice-wheat systems. Such
news has sobering implications for the more than 200
million farmers who depend for their livelihoods on
this cropping sequence. Sobering too is the possibility
that widespread degradation has been masked by the
increased use of fertilizers and other inputs, thus
raising the risk that irreversible damage may occur
before the danger is fully realized.
Rice and wheat dominate South Asia's food supply,
accounting for about 90% of the region's total cereal
production. Because further expansion of the area
planted to these crops is likely to be negligible, the
production gains necessary to keep pace with
population growth will have to come mainly from yield
increases. Although average rice and wheat yields rose
at about 2% per year between 1960 and 1990, evidence
suggests that these impressive rates are no longer being
maintained. Indeed, in some intensively cultivated
areas, yields have already begun to decline.
These indicators are especially alarming since the
use of productivity-enhancing inputs seems to be
approaching saturation levels in many areas. Adoption

South Asia's rice-wheat area.

of modern varieties is virtually
complete, and although farmers can
realize further genetic gains by

regularly replacing old varieties with
new ones, many breeders now focus on
maintaining yields through improved
resistance and grain quality. Fertilizer
use on rice and wheat is now close to
optimal in many zones. With traditional
sources of productivity growth showing
signs of exhaustion, how will farmers
keep pace with increases in demand?
"We aren't going to meet this
challenge simply by conducting the
same kind of research we've conducted
in the past-or even by conducting the
same research better," says NRG staff
member Peter Hobbs. "Although some
low-production areas still have scope
for yield gains from increased input use,
high-productivity areas are going to
require more and more sophisticated
information about how to increase the

efficiency of input use and how to
arrest-or reverse-soil and water

The Rice-Wheat Consortium

Developing this kind of efficiency
is one of the chief aims of the Rice-
Wheat Consortium for the Indo-
Gangetic Plains. An outgrowth of

collaborative work between CIMMYT
and national partners in the 1980s, the
Consortium now includes national

Programs from Bangladesh, India,
Nepal, and Pakistan (China is an
associate member), as well as a number
of universities. CGIAR partners
include IRRI, ICRISAT, and IMMI.
CIMMYT leads work on land
management, tillage, and crop
establishment; we support work on
system ecology and on nutrient and
water management.
"The Consortium provides a good
model for the development of an
ecoregional initiative in line with
national research priorities," says
William D. Darr, Chairperson of the
Asia-Pacific Association of
Agricultural Research Institutions.
Hobbs concurs that this kind of
responsiveness is crucial to the
Consortium's success. "We can't just
develop prepackaged solutions,
administer them across large regions,
and expect to achieve uniformly
beneficial results," he says. "To cope
with these increasingly complex
problems, we must develop flexible
technical options that farmers can
adjust to their own circumstances."
A multidisciplinary, systems-
oriented approach is clearly evident in
CIMMYT-led work on reduced tillage
and improved crop establishment.
Properly managed, a reduced tillage
system offers a number of advantages:
farmers can plant earlier, avoid late-
season heat stress, increase the
efficiency of applied inputs, produce
better stands, use less fuel, and reduce
equipment wear. To maximize these
benefits, however, the Consortium

must foster collaboration among a broad

range of participants.
"We work with plant breeders to
develop varieties capable of flourishing
under various new schemes," Hobbs

says. "We work with equipment
designers and blacksmiths to ensure that
the machinery is effective and available.
We work with crop protection specialists
and specialists in water and fertilizer

management to develop site-specific
practices and to monitor the long-term

impact of those practices. We work with
policy-makers to help catalyze change.
And we work with farmers since they
must ultimately be convinced that the
new packages are more effective."

The potential payoffs from this kind
of collaboration are difficult to overstate.
"When wheat planting is delayed past
the end of November, yield declines by 1
to 1.5% per day," Hobbs says. "One of
the chief causes of these delays is time-
consuming-and often excessive-
tillage operations. In some regions, these
delays can push back planting dates by
four weeks or more. Reduced tillage

"We've clearly shown that reduced-
tillage options can be more efficient and
economical," says G.S. Giri of Nepal's
National Wheat Program.

Wheat yield (kg/ha)

Pak 81

Punjab 85



2,500 i I I
1 Nov 21 Nov 11 Dec 4 Jan

Effect of planting date on wheat yield.

systems often require more careful

management, but by cutting the
turnaround time between rice harvest

and wheat planting, they can be a great
boon to farmers."
Thus far, the Consortium is
examining a range of reduced tillage

systems-as well as some systems that
rotate reduced and conventional tillage.

"In low lying, poorly drained areas with

heavy soils, surface seeding may be the
best option since it doesn't require any
equipment," Hobbs says. "In other

areas, we are examining the effect of
various tractor-drawn drills. We are also
testing a two-wheeled Chinese drill that
looks promising and eliminates the

need to keep a pair of bullocks just to
plow the land. And we have had some
promising preliminary results with bed
planting systems that have become

popular in Mexico."

Reduced Tillage:

Impact in Nepal
The surface-seeding option has

proven so effective in parts of Nepal
that farmers are now fine-tuning the
practices in their own fields. "Wet soils

that produced about 1.5 tons per hectare

under conventional tillage are
producing up to 3.0 tons per hectare

under the zero-tillage system," says
Hobbs. "Moreover, when one considers

that tillage operations account for about
a third of all production costs, the

advantages of this option become even
more obvious."

NRG Manager Larry Harrington

adds that, in evaluating these and other
technologies, his staff are particularly
mindful of sustainability issues. "We

don't just focus on near-term, on-site

impacts," he says. "Our role is to clarify

the consequences of various alternatives

across a broad agricultural,
environmental, and social canvas. On-
site assessments must be balanced
against off-site assessments at various

levels of system hierarchy. Short-term
impacts must be balanced against long-

term impacts. Productivity concerns
must be evaluated alongside
environmental and ecological
considerations. As we learn more about

these complex interrelationships,

farmers and policy-makers become
better equipped to make informed
choices about the kinds of systems
they want."

Smallholder Maize

Systems in Mesoamerica
In Mesoamerica, land degradation,

primarily from erosion, now affects

about 50% of the hillside farmland. And
the farmers who work these lands are

among those least able to withstand
production vagaries and implement

costly remedies.
The effects of land degradation,

however, are not borne solely by
farmers. Runoff from farms and cattle

operations has contributed to a broad

range of environmental and economic

problems: contaminated water, flash

floods, the siltation of rivers, financial

losses to fish-farming industries, and the
compromised efficiency of hydroelectric
power plants.
Because the area devoted to hillside

maize is three times the combined area

devoted to other hillside crops,

productivity-enhancing, resource-
conserving maize systems tailored to the
needs of marginal farmers are crucial to

addressing Mesoamerica's food-security
and environmental problems.
The chief components of these

systems are well-established. Farmers
and researchers have long known that
both cover crops and conservation

tillage strategies can stabilize the land,
reduce runoff, improve water
infiltration, and increase soil organic

matter. What has often been
underestimated, however, is the
difficulty of tailoring these general

strategies to the specific economic and
environmental conditions of marginal

CIMMYT works to overcome these

problems with a wide range of partners.

These include the Mexican national

research program, the Programa

Regional de Maiz, CIAT, IFPRI, the
Institute Interamericano de Cooperaci6n

para la Agricultura, CATIE, the Instituto

Centroamericano de Administraci6n de
Empresas, the Escuela Agricola

Panamericana, and various NGOs.

Farmer Adoption Studies

One collaborative venture is helping
to clarify why farmers adopt (or fail to
adopt) new maize technologies. In

Mexico, NRG staff member Olaf
Erenstein has shown that

indiscriminately promoting soil
conservation measures developed in the

industrialized world often proves
misguided since measures such as
conservation tillage can have

substantially different implications in
the tropics. For unmechanized maize-

based systems, conflicting demands for
crop residues are a particularly
important consideration.
"When residues are used as fodder,

the cost of leaving them on the field is

painfully clear," Erenstein says. "The
land-stabilizing benefits tend to be less

so. Before we try to transfer
conservation tillage systems to these

hillsides, we need to appreciate the

constraints under which farmers labor."

Responding to that insight, maize
agronomist and NRG staff member Eric

Scopel has determined that farmers in
Jalisco state, Mexico, generally have a

small surplus of residues after they feed
their animals-enough to provide about

2 tons of mulch per hectare. Typically,
these residues have been burned or

incorporated. "Very few studies in
tropical regions have analyzed the

impact of this minimal level of mulch

on productivity and soil moisture,"

Scopel says.
Scopel's preliminary studies are
encouraging. "In some dry areas at
least, conservation tillage practices that

employ just 2 tons of mulch per hectare
can have a tremendous effect-in some

cases enabling farmers to produce 50%
more grain and 30% more biomass as
compared to traditional practices,"
Scopel says. He points out, however,

that herbicides and specialized
equipment will be required if farmers

F_ .Z OE-.

~-' ,-

are to plant through the residues and
avoid weed problems. To obtain and

employ these materials, many farmers
will require financial and technical

support-issues that policy-makers
need to consider carefully.
Related work in El Salvador has
clarified the confluence of technical,

institutional, and economic factors
related to the widespread adoption of

conservation tillage practices in the

Guaymango area. "Unlike farmers in
other parts of El Salvador, Guaymango
farmers adopted these practices-and

they did so for two basic reasons," says
Gustavo Sain, a member of CIMMYT's
Economics Program and an NRG
associate. "First, the recommended

package combined soil conservation

components and productivity-
enhancing components, thus ensuring
that long-term benefits were not

overshadowed by short-term costs.
Second, economic and institutional
incentives encouraged the adoption of

both components-not just the one
related to production."

The Guaymango case also offers an

excellent example of how increased

productivity can contribute to long-
term sustainability. In this case, the

,'Lz' I.* .-

.-' .- *

introduction of high-yielding maize
varieties tremendously increased stover

production. As a consequence, farmers
had more than enough stover to feed

their animals and so could apply the
additional residues to their fields. Far

from depleting the resource base, the
more productive technology is actually

helping to protect it.

Percentage of farmers





1960 65 70 75 80 85 90 95
The spread of conservation tillage in
Guaymango, El Salvador.

Targeted Policy Workshops
In El Salvador and the Sierra de

Santa Marta Region of Mexico,
CIMMYT has organized targeted

policy workshops that bring together
local-, regional-, and national-level

stakeholders to develop a common
vision with respect to crucial

productivity and sustainability
problems. CIMMYT staff then build on
this vision, encouraging coordinated

action to ameliorate problems. Targeted
policy workshops will become an
increasingly important component of
the NRG approach.
In the Sierra de Santa Marta,

workshop participants devised a
strategy that is also becoming an

important part of the NRG approach:
farmer-to-farmer dissemination of
improved practices. In this instance,

designated contact farmers were trained

and then encouraged to form regional

groups interested in learning more about

the new methods. Improved practices
were subsequently implemented on
more than 1,500 hillside hectares.
Although pleased by this outcome,

Erenstein points out that researchers still

have a lot to learn about farmer-to-

farmer dissemination methods. "Perhaps

the most important result of this project

was the opportunity it afforded us to
refine those methods," he says. "We are

now in a better position to employ this

cost-effective strategy for reaching large

groups of farmers."

Assessing Impact

and Scaling Up
CIMMYT's emphasis on increasing

and sustaining production requires an
ability to monitor the long-term impact

of technical change. The problem with

such monitoring, of course, is that (by
definition) long periods are required to

obtain results-and farmers and policy-
makers often need answers now.
CIMMYT and its collaborators are
employing an innovative approach that
may help to circumvent this problem.
Recognizing that many farmers have

already been growing green manure
cover crops in maize rotations or

employing conservation tillage
practices, researchers are
comparing sustainability
indicators in their

fields with indicators

in similarly constituted
fields where


have not been employed. These studies
are helping researchers develop a time

series (or chronosequence) for

monitoring system productivity and
resource quality.
In work that will help to extend these

kinds of findings across large regions,
NRG staff member Hector Barreto has

developed and digitized a soil database

using information from studies

conducted in Honduras over the last 25
years. A soil scientist jointly sponsored
by CIMMYT and CIAT, Barreto points
out that the database contains over 600

soil profile descriptions, each of which

can be georeferenced to various
environmental and socioeconomic
factors. Such information provides
essential baseline data for the

chronosequence studies currently being

conducted at two sites in Honduras.

Smallholder Maize

Systems in Southern Africa

Maize dominates the smallholder

cropping systems of southern Africa.

Recent projections suggest that yields
must increase from 1.1 to 2.5 tons per
hectare to meet food needs into the first
quarter of the next century. At present,

declining soil fertility prevents such
increases in the wetter agroecologies and

is also a major constraint in semi-arid

Although improved germplasm is
now grown on 33-50% of Africa's maize
area, national per hectare increases in
productivity have been disappointing.

Soil degradation is largely responsible
for that disappointment. As population

has grown, lands have become more
scarce and shifting cultivation has

often been replaced by continuous


maize cropping. Fallows-which

traditionally restored soil fertility and

reduced the buildup of weeds, insects,

and diseases-are disappearing.

Nutrient losses now generally exceed

nutrient inputs. Only about a third of the

region's maize area receives any

inorganic fertilizer. The task of

improving productivity without

compromising sustainability has

become so large that no single

discipline can hope to address it.

"Improved germplasm alone will

not meet the challenge," says

CIMMYT's Steve Waddington, an

agronomist with the Maize Program and

an NRG associate based in Zimbabwe.

"We must address the complex issues

related to building-up and maintaining

soil fertility under the income

constraints faced by poor farmers."

Innovative Approaches

With the Rockefeller Foundation

and national programs, CIMMYT has

organized a Soil Fertility Research and

Extension Network to address just such

complexities. The network links

multidisciplinary groups in Malawi,

Zimbabwe, and Kenya. Members

conduct basic, applied, and adaptive

research, and they encourage

technology adoption by working closely

with farmers and NGOs. Particular

attention is devoted to combining

organic and inorganic nutrient sources.

At present, inorganic fertilizers are

expensive and not very profitable for

smallholders-especially since blanket

applications are recommended even in

semi-arid areas. To change that reality,

farmers need information about what

types of inorganic fertilizers to apply,

when to apply them, and what parts of

the field are likely to be most

responsive. Because such information

tends to be site specific, network

members are developing a menu of

options that users can adapt to their own


"To halt the downward spiral of soil

fertility, farmers also need to increase


Kg nutrient/ha arable land





Sub-Saharan Developing world
Africa (SSA) (excluding SSA)
Inorganic fertilizer application rates for
1993 dramatize the need for innovative
approaches to solving sub-Saharan
Africa's soil fertility problems.

the proportion of locally produced

organic materials," says Waddington.

"Legumes offer a way to provide these

materials and to capitalize on the freely

available nitrogen in the atmosphere,

but the potential of these technologies

is rarely realized in farmers' fields."

How do we change that reality?

"We need to do more with legumes that

farmers can plant for food,"

Waddington says. "And old

technologies such as rotations with

grain legumes need to be made more

attractive to farmers."

Combining low rates of organic

and inorganic inputs seems a promising

way to increase maize productivity, but
innovative mechanisms will be needed

to help farmers obtain these inputs.

One such innovation, working well

with an NGO in central Malawi, is to

provide farmers with start-up grants

paid into savings schemes, from which

farmers can obtain loans. In the future,

the network plans to explore more and

more of these options.

GIS and Modeling

The Network will benefit from

CIMMYT's expanded potential for

applying and extending research

information. "To simplify a bit,

geographic information systems help us

extrapolate across space and modeling

tools help us extrapolate across time,"

says new NRG staff member Jeff White.

"With modeling, we're trying to reduce

risk and improve research efficiency

by making projections over long

periods. With GIS, we're trying to

broaden the impact of what we learn at

one site by extending it to other sites.

One challenge, of course, is

identifying the scale we need to

employ for such transfers to be


"It's not just a question of

matching-up soil analyses," White

adds. "We need to consider a whole range

of production variables. That's

complicated work-but the potential

payoffs are enormous."

So too are the consequences of failure.

"Our technology-development process is

becoming more attuned to farmers'

needs," Waddington says. "We must

persist in those efforts if we are to prevent

a continuing decline in rural living

standards across southern Africa."


In the Yaqui Valley of northwestern Mexico, a team of

Fertilizer scientists from CIMMYT, Stanford University and the
Applications to University of California Berkeley is investigating what
Raise Wheat may be a significant but hidden relationship between
Yields and farmers' nitrogen fertilizer applications and stagnating
Protect the wheat yields, the holes in the ozone layer, and other
Environment environmental phenomena.
In an outstanding example of research collaboration, these
scientists are studying farmers' fertilizer use from three different
perspectives. CIMMYT agronomists are focusing on ways to
improve farmers' fertilizer practices and raise their yields,
behavioral scientists from Stanford are studying the
socioeconomic factors that influence farmers' decisions regarding
fertilizers, while ecologists from UC Berkeley are concentrating on
measuring gas emissions produced by fertilizer applications. "This
is a potential 'win-win' situation where the results we hope to get
will benefit farmers and the environment alike," explains Ivan
Ortiz-Monasterio, CIMMYT wheat agronomist coordinating the
project in Mexico. The project is being funded mostly by the US
Department of Agriculture.
Studies conducted in developed countries have shown that
nitrogen fertilizer applications tend to increase atmospheric levels
of two nitrogen-derived gases: nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas
that also contributes to the
destruction of the ozone
layer, and nitric oxide, which
adds to the unwanted ozone
in heavily populated cities
and is an ingredient in acid
rain. Similar information on
nitrogen fertilization in
!, ~ developing country
agriculture is lacking,
although scientists suspect it
-may account for a significant

amount of these gases present in the atmosphere. Finding out
just how much is one of the reasons this study was undertaken
in the Yaqui Valley, a site representative of nearly half the
wheat growing environments in developing countries.
For the wheat crop to absorb more nitrogen, the timing of
fertilizer applications and of irrigation is as important as the
amounts applied. With this in mind, researchers set up an
experiment to compare the typical farmer's practice, in which
most of the fertilizer and one irrigation are applied almost a
month before planting, with an alternative that schedules
nitrogen applications and irrigation in response to the wheat
plants' needs at planting and one month afterwards. Their
observations suggest that nitrogen is lost mainly during
irrigation. The water carries away part of the nitrogen and
triggers gas emissions when it comes into contact with the
nitrogen. "If what we're finding is true, the farmers' practice
causes a significant portion of the nitrogen to be lost before the
wheat crop is even planted," says Ortiz-Monasterio.
The experimental practice produced lower gas emissions
and higher wheat yields, which makes CIMMYT agronomists
feel they are on the right track for finding a combination of
fertilizer applications, irrigation, and timing that will improve
farmers' yields and reduce nitrogen loss. Eventually the
practice will be recommended to local farmers, who may or
may not adopt it.
Ellie Rice, of the Stanford group and predoctoral fellow in
Economics at CIMMYT, is reviewing CIMMYT interviews with
farmers from the past 15 years to see if the new practice will
prove attractive. "To the extent that we understand what the
farmers are doing and why, we can come up with fertilizer
practices that are good for the environment and well suited to
farmers' needs," says Rice. Adds Beatriz Avalos, also of the
Stanford group, "Our hope is that the practices that result in the
highest yields and lowest nitrogen losses will also be
economically profitable to farmers."

rmaIR MariaAes


~L CI _

2: r. i



hey say you can't get
water from a stone. This
well-known admonition
against unrealistic expectations
might color the thoughts of many
a farmer in marginal production
zones of Africa, Asia, and Latin
America. The extraordinary
multiplication of humanity and its
demands in developing countries
have elbowed agriculture into ever
more forbidding environments:
acid savannas; tropical forest
margins; steep, erosion prone hillsides; drylands
threatened by creeping desertification; areas where
rainfall may come too little or too late; areas where
infertile soils, like a starving mother, poorly nurture the
crop. Water from a stone.
Burgeoning populations are also overwhelming once
abundant, traditional crop lands, in effect making them
more marginal too. Partitioned and spread among
members of expanding families, the land is stretched
thinner with each successive generation. To squeeze
productivity out of their holdings, farmers practice
intensive, multiple cropping year round. Fertility drops
and weeds, pathogens, and insect pests flourish.
There will be relatively few offerings from the
private sector to meet the demands for agricultural
technology in such regions, where the promise of large
profits or impacts is scant. Despite the hardship, though,
few farmers choose to abandon their lot agriculture is
the only life they know and other sectors in their nations
do not yet furnish viable alternatives.
In keeping with its mission, CIMMYT is working
with research partners to help address the needs of these
half-forgotten farmers. Outputs include hardy, resource
efficient strains of maize and wheat suited to the rigors of
marginal production settings, as well as cropping
practices that boost yields while preserving scant natural
resources. With funding from such long-term supporters
as the Inter-American Development Bank (maize for acid
soils) and the United Nations Development Programme
(maize stress breeding), we have made great strides and

are now working with partners
to get useful products to
farmers' fields. For many years,
the Canadian International
Development Agency has
financed crop management
research in sub-Saharan Africa
that has brought, among other
things, significant progress on
methods for controlling the
parasitic flowering plant, Striga
spp. In wheat, stable resistance
to major fungal pathogens and
tolerance to important stresses such as heat make the
crop even more apt for developing country farming
systems. As is evident from the reports below, much of
the work we do has strong relevance for sub-Saharan
Africa, where farmers badly need more productive,
resource saving technology.

Helping Maize Farmers
Through Dry Spells
Nothing is more obvious to people in eastern and
southern Africa than the overriding influence of rain on
the region's economic well-being. Most dramatically,
after the major drought of 1991-92 some US$800
million in food aid was needed to stave off starvation.
Export deficits soared from reduced agricultural
production and many poor rural inhabitants were
pushed to starvation.
Eastern and southern Africa is not the only region,
though, where maize farmers struggle on limited
moisture. "Throughout the developing world, drought
is second only to soil infertility as a constraint to maize
production, and probably reduces yields overall by
more than 15% yearly," says CIMMYT maize
physiologist Gregory Edmeades. "This represents
annual losses in excess of 20 million tons of grain."
To help farmers capture this foregone productivity,
Edmeades and his colleagues found a simple yardstick
for identifying and improving drought tolerance in
maize. In essence, they showed that mid-season
drought tends to increase the number of days between

male and female flowering, known

formally as anthesis-silking interval

(ASI), and that this effect was tied to
the dramatic loss in productivity under

dry conditions during flowering.
Capitalizing on the correlation, they

developed a methodology for

improving the drought tolerance of

maize by selecting under dry conditions
for reduced ASI. The technique can

increase maize yields by half under
severe, mid-to-late season drought. A

valuable spin-off was the more recent

discovery that selecting for reduced
ASI also improves the performance of

maize under low nitrogen conditions.

The methodology is relatively easy
and does not require special equipment.

"Breeders need only measure yield,

ASI, and a few related secondary traits

under uniform drought or low nitrogen
conditions," Edmeades says.

"Nonetheless, establishing and

maintaining controlled stress levels is

difficult for many maize research

programs in developing countries, given

their resource constraints."

So, with funding from the United

Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) and Swiss Development

Cooperation (SDC), CIMMYT is

beginning joint research with national

programs in sub-Saharan Africa to
establish suitable selection sites and

help local breeders improve leading

maize cultivars from the region for

drought and low-nitrogen tolerance. To
foster the best use of resources and

speed progress, we are helping to set up

a drought and low-nitrogen tolerance

breeding network for eastern and

southern Africa, and will work with

IITA and existing networks in West and

Central Africa. Network scientists

throughout each region will work

collaboratively, sharing seed and
information. "There is no overstating
the importance of this for subsistence

maize farmers in Africa," Edmeades

says. "Their yields typically hover
around one ton per hectare: they and

their families have absolutely no margin

for crop failure." Added help for the
above initiatives is forthcoming in the
form of DNA marker-assisted selection

techniques for drought and low-nitrogen

tolerance in maize.

The tag tells the story for these ears from a
drought tolerant line of maize grown under
dry conditions. Male flowering anthesiss)
occurred 88 days after planting; the female
flowers (silks) appeared only one day later.
Such a brief anthesis-silking interval (ASI)
is what breeders aim for when improving
maize yields under drought.

Wheat for the Subtropics:

Cool Heads Prevail under

Heat Stress

Keeping a cool head has big

advantages, not only in humans, but in
wheat as well. In places where

temperatures may reach 35-400 C, only
wheats that manage to keep their

'heads' (canopies) cool produce good

yields. "After five years of observing

Yield (t/ha)


3 -
0 0
2 -

6 7 8 9
Canopy temperature depression (OC)

Association between CTD and yield of
sister lines (Seri 82/Siete Cerros) in
Tlaltizapan, Mexico (average for two

wheat's reaction to heat, we can
confidently say that a cooler canopy

leads to higher yield," says Matthew
Reynolds, CIMMYT physiologist and

leader of a project focusing on
developing methods for selecting heat
tolerant wheat. Funds for the project
were provided by the United
Kingdom's Overseas Development

Agency (ODA).

Wheat, normally a temperate crop,

has been moving into hot, subtropical

environments, where people's rising
incomes and changing tastes have
increased the demand for wheat

products. Today over 7 million ha of

wheat in about 50 countries is grown
under continual heat stress, often with

low yields. In an even larger expanse in

South Asia, where wheat is often

planted late (after rice), damage
inflicted by heat during critical phases
of the crop's development notably
reduces yields. Recognizing the need
for wheat varieties that yield reasonably
well in those harsh environments,
CIMMYT breeders have been focusing
on improving heat tolerance since
the 1980s.

Selecting for heat tolerance in the
field is difficult. Up to now, breeders
have had to rely on measuring final
yield under stress. But yield is not a
good indicator of how well wheat
tolerates heat, so a more reliable one
was needed. Reflecting the close
collaboration between wheat breeding
and physiology at CIMMYT,
physiologists went to work on testing
several traits that might be used to
guide selection.
One likely candidate was the ability
of some wheats to keep their canopies
cooler than the surrounding air (a
phenomenon called canopy temperature
depression, or CTD). Initial studies
revealed that CTD is closely associated
with yield; the fact that it can be
measured quickly and easily with an
infra-red thermometer made it doubly
attractive. "Other physiological traits
are measured on individual leaves, one

*- 5 .... .*-

:** v^,^

by one," explains Reynolds. "But the
infra-red 'gun' reads the temperature of
scores of leaves at once, in a matter of
seconds, and gives more precise

Researchers tested the CTD-yield

connection under hot, irrigated
conditions at CIMMYT's experiment
station in Tlaltizapan, Mexico, and in
such countries as Sudan, India, Brazil,
Bangladesh, and Nigeria, where wheat

is cropped under similar conditions.
Results confirmed that CTD is
positively correlated to yield and could
serve as a powerful breeding tool in heat
stressed sites all over the world.
"Thanks to the cooperation of national
research programs, our findings are
truly representative of wheat growing
environments worldwide," emphasizes
Breeders hope the new technique
will be useful in improving other traits
besides heat tolerance-for example, to
increase wheat's genetic yield potential.
"CTD is probably a good indicator of
higher yield in all kinds of

environments, not just hot ones," says
Maarten van Ginkel, head of bread
wheat breeding at CIMMYT. "If so, it
could help us breed varieties that yield
even more than our current ones. This

would benefit farmers in developing
countries whose yield increases aren't
keeping pace with population growth."

Fighting Witchweed's
Spell in Sub-Saharan Africa
To farmers in sub-Saharan Africa,
the term "witchweed," used popularly
for the parasitic flowering plant Striga

spp., is certainly no misnomer. The
parasite is one of the foremost
biological constraints to food
production in the region, and sorcery
might well be invoked as an explanation
for the widespread damage it causes.
Witchweed infests an estimated grain
growing area of 21 million hectares in
Africa, resulting in annual yield losses
calculated at 4.1 million tons. In
northern Ghana alone, witchweed
attacked maize on more than 40% of the
region's 134,000-ha maize area in 1988,

Seeds of Striga spp. (center) appear
dustlike in comparison with those of
maize (above) and sorghum. A single
stalk of this parasitic weed can
produce tens of thousands of seeds,
making containment of Striga

reducing yields as much as 16% and
the value of the crop by some US$4.5

million. Kenya has suffered similarly
catastrophic crop losses to Striga in the
current decade.

The modus operandi of this
parasitic plant makes it notoriously

difficult to control. Early in its life
cycle, the seedling attaches to the roots
of a potential host and siphons off
water and nutrients. Worst of all, it
poisons its victim, often leaving a

stunted and barren plant. "By the time
Striga emerges above ground,

considerable damage has already been
wrought upon the crop," says Joel
Ransom, CIMMYT maize agronomist
in eastern Africa. "This means that

farmers can't really control it through

the traditional approach of weeding."

Ransom and his colleagues in the

region have been collaborating for

several years to develop simple and
inexpensive ways to break witchweed's

spell. It turns out that there are no easy

solutions, but they have discovered that
Striga primarily affects small-scale

farmers with limited resources, so

integrated control strategies are

required. Ransom talks about three
primary components for control:

containment, reducing seed banks, and

maintaining or increasing farm
productivity. Containment simply means
using clean seed and farm implements.

Reducing Striga seed banks, in contrast,
may involve several steps. One is to

prevent reproduction through hand-
weeding and herbicides. Another is
essentially tricking Striga into suicide
by planting "trap crops" false hosts

that trigger its germination but resist its

attacks. A particularly effective trap crop
is the fast growing leguminous tree,

Sesbania sesban, also known to enhance
soil fertility when used as part of a
managed fallow. Finally, productivity

can be improved by using resistant
cultivars or non-host crops, by bathing
herbicide-resistant seed in herbicides to

delay attachment and kill the Striga, and

by improving soil fertility. "This pest
occurs in varied agroecologies and

farming systems in the region," Ransom

says, "So our research partners need to
test and adapt control measures locally."
Ransom has been promoting Striga

control in various ways besides

collaborative research. For example,
with funding from the Canadian

International Development Agency and
diverse supporters, he organized the 5th

International Symposium of Parasitic

Weeds in Nairobi, Kenya, and

coordinated production of the related

proceedings. Ransom is also active in
educating colleagues and decision
makers about the seriousness of Striga.
"We are talking here about one of the

most intractable pests of maize in sub-

Saharan Africa," he says.
To help small-scale maize farmers

hold the line on Striga in the future,
CIMMYT will begin work in a project
involving the University of Hohenheim,
Germany, the Kenya Agricultural
Research Institute (KARI), the

Rockefeller Foundation, and our sister

i ~V

Lovely and lethal, the parasitic flowering plant Striga attaches to the roots ot cereal
crops, sapping nutrients and poisoning hosts with a potent phytotoxin. This Kenyan
maize field has been overrun by Striga hermonthica.

Yield (g/plot)
600-- .. :

400 --- .-

4 Cio


0 -

treated seed


Using herbicides to coat herbici
resistant maize seed before sow
helps control Striga.

increase maize productivity in Africa,"

Ransom says, "but will improve the lot

of poor farmers, who are the hardest hit

by the pest."

Toward the Future

To develop resistance sources and
breeding and crop management

research methodologies for stress,

work initially focused on individual

traits. But crop production constraints

rarely occur in isolation, and

interactions among them can multiply

de- damaging effects. Thus, in recent years
ing CIMMYT has worked increasingly on

combining two or more traits in elite

experimental varieties for specific

regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, for

example, this includes developing

maize that possesses resistance to both

streak virus and major insect pests. The

approach will be expanded in the

future, with the help of new genetic

resources and techniques supplied by

the CIMMYT ABC. Finally, to ensure

the relevance and profitability of new

technology for crop and natural

resource management in marginal

environments, researchers will draw

heavily on contributions from the areas

of social science, crop modeling, and

geographic information systems.

center, IITA, to develop and

disseminate Striga resistant maize

varieties and hybrids using

conventional and DNA-based

approaches. Efforts will capitalize on

the recent identification at IITA of

resistant maize lines, the genomes of

which the CIMMYT biotech staff will

help map in hopes of applying DNA

marker assisted selection to transfer

resistance to a range of maize for sub-

Saharan Africa. Also, given the

discovery of witchweed resistance in

maize's grassy relatives, teosinte and

Tripsacum, CIMMYT will provide

seed of these wild species for screening

and will develop mapping populations

for any new resistance genes found

within either species. Finally, Ransom

and his research partners in eastern

Africa will conduct field evaluations

for Striga resistance in experimental

products from the above activities.

"Controlling Striga will not only

Biotc Applicain

Rechn I sid th I *e


AT -

ince 1990, CIMMYT's Applied
Biotechnology Center (ABC)
has been working with breeders
and others to develop and apply molecular
selection techniques for improving maize
and wheat and, more recently, to utilize
desirable genes from organisms with
which the crops cannot intermate. A list of
the CIMMYT research areas where

marker-based techniques are being used
reads like a description of key crop
production concerns: in wheat, there is
work on vernalization and photoperiod,
durable resistance to rust and barley
yellow dwarf virus, and tolerance to
aluminum; in maize, efforts cover
drought, acid soil, and low-nitrogen

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6

ASI I Grain weight

Selection for drought tolerance
in maize using molecular
markers will target genes
associated with anthesis-
silking interval (ASI) and yield.
This will be easier in cases like
the one shown here, where the
same genome regions are
linked to ASI and a yield-related
secondary trait such as grain

maize. As described in the section
"Research for Marginal Areas,"
conventional selection for short ASI under
drought significantly improves maize
yields in droughted fields, and does not
adversely affect yields in favorable
settings. "The problem is that conventional
breeding for drought takes about eight
years and must be done under carefully
controlled conditions," says molecular
geneticist Jean Marcel Ribaut.
This year, though, Ribaut and his
colleagues tested an approach that should
cut the development time for drought
tolerant maize in half, as well as
substituting laboratory selection for much
of the fieldwork. The method alternates

tolerance, as well as resistance to insect pests and
pathogens such as maize streak virus, maize mozaic
complex, and Fusarium spp. Markers are also being used to
further our understanding of the origins and evolution of
maize and to obtain and apply apomixis. Finally, drawing
on expertise in tissue culture, genetic engineering, and
molecular biology, ABC staff have successfully
transformed tropical maize and wheat with genes from
other organisms.
Coming this far has not been as easy or as fast as some
first imagined. But, whatever the difficulties, leading
research institutes worldwide continue to push the biotech
frontier forward; plant breeding's future, as its past, is
anchored in the genome.

Marker Assisted Selection: Methodologies
and Drought Tolerant Maize
Among the most promising tools of biotechnology are
molecular markers, DNA signposts which allow near-direct
selection for traits of interest. In tandem with conventional
field work, marker assisted selection (MAS) could
considerably expedite breeding for certain genetically
complex traits. CIMMYT molecular geneticists and
biometricians have been collaborating with breeders over
the last year or so to develop a workable MAS scheme.
Their studies involve anthesis-silking interval (ASI) the
number of days between male and female flowering in

use of an older type of marker, restriction fragment
length polymorphisms (RFLPs), with newer types known
as sequence tagged sites (STSs) and simple sequence
repeats (SSRs). To lay the groundwork, the researchers
used RFLPs to map the maize genome and identify major
genes associated with short ASI. They then developed
experimental populations by crossing a short-ASI maize
line of average agronomic characteristics with an elite
line that has a long ASI.
"This is a typical breeding scenario, and normally
you would select in the field for progeny that show both
short ASI under stress conditions and the superior traits
of the elite parent," Ribaut says. "In the lab, though, you
don't have to wait till plants mature or place them under
stress; you simply select for ASI and other yield-related
markers, using DNA samples from plantlets." At one
point midway through their work, the group needed to
run marker tests on 2,200 plants. "This would have been
hard using RFLPs, which are relatively laborious,"
Ribaut explains. "So we did a preselection using the new
markers. In three weeks we identified 250 promising
progeny." From this subset, a handful of plants that meet
the requirements will be chosen using RFLPs once again.
After one more molecular culling, breeders will be given
the few choice plants that remain. "These may require a
cycle or two of work," Ribaut says, "but that's nothing
compared to the labor of the conventional approach."

Genetic Transformation:
From Biolistics to

During 1995-96, ABC staff
achieved their first successful genetic

transformations of tropical maize and
wheat. In maize, they inserted and

obtained expression of a gene from a

common soil bacterium, Bacillus

thuringiensis (Bt), that makes the plants
resistant to maize borers. "Eventually,
CIMMYT will be able to offer tropical
maize cultivars which possess both Bt-

based resistance and resistance

developed through our conventional

breeding efforts here," says Natasha
Bohorova, head of the ABC's genetic

engineering lab. "Those materials will
serve as a cornerstone for integrated
pest management in developing

countries, making maize farming more
productive and sustainable." The work

is far from finished, though. Among
other things, ABC and maize staff still
need to study the inheritance of the
transgene, its stability, and its

expression in different maize plant
tissues. In wheat, Bohorova's group

inserted transformation "tester" genes,
in preparation for later transferring

genes for fungal resistance and other

useful traits.
Insertion of the novel genes in both

crops was accomplished using a "gene
gun" a device that propels DNA-

coated dust into target cells on bursts of
pressurized gas. However, looking to
the future, ABC staff are beginning

experiments with a recently reported
technique in which new DNA segments

are carried into cells by Agrobacterium.
"The method seems to have several

advantages over biolistics, both for us

and for researchers in developing
countries," explains David Hoisington,

ABC head. "First, it is more efficient at
achieving stable insertions; second, it
allows insertion of larger or multiple
genes; and finally, the technology is

much simpler."

Progress in Research

on Apomixis
Apomixis asexual reproduction
through the seed results in plants that

are exact clones of the mother plant.
Having apomictic versions of improved

varieties and hybrids would mean that

maize growers could replant seed from
their own harvests each year and still

Leaves of maize endowed with Bt-based insect resistance (right) show the power
of genetic transformation.

Maize Tripsacum

20 chromosomes 72 chromosomes

F1 46=10M+36Tr

BC1 56=20M*36Tr

BC2 28=10M*18Tr

BC3 38=20M+18Tr

BC4 20*=20tTr

The ORSTOM-CIMMYT researchers'
scheme for obtaining apomictic maize.
First, maize and apomictic Tripsacum are
crossed. Selected hybrids (F1) are crossed
back to maize. Selected progeny from that
step (BC1) are crossed back to maize again;
and so on for successive backcross (BC)
generations. Each time the size of the
Tripsacum genetic contribution is reduced.
Researchers use advanced techniques to
ensure that the progeny selected at each step
are those whose Tripsacum complements
contain the apomixis gene. The ORSTOM-
CIMMYT team has reached BC4 a largely
maize-like plant and estimate they are one
or two steps from success.

maintain high yields, instead of having

to purchase fresh seed. The possible
implications for farmers in developing
countries most of whom cannot
afford or obtain commercial seed are

nothing short of revolutionary.

Scientists from the French National
Research Institute for Development
Cooperation (ORSTOM) working at
CIMMYT have been on the trail of
apomixis since 1990, attempting to

transfer it to maize from a grassy

relative of that crop known as

Tripsacum. In 1995 the group achieved

another milestone in that effort,

generating several plants that closely
resemble maize but reproduce
apomictically (see figure). The

researchers identified the apomicts

using advanced cytogenetic and

molecular techniques. "Our methods

had to be efficient," says Yves Savidan,

head of the ORSTOM-CIMMYT team,
"because over five years we tested

about 150,000 plants!" The new
apomicts will be crossed with maize yet

again, and Savidan and his group will
comb the progeny for asexually
reproducing maize, a process that

should take two years.
Since they began this crossing and

sifting scheme, biotechnology has
advanced rapidly and the resulting
wealth of molecular tools also holds

promise for apomixis transfer. "We are
exploring other avenues for analyzing

and directly manipulating the genes
involved, with the idea of eventually

using apomixis in a range of crops,"
Savidan says. "Right now we don't

know how large the genome segment
controlling apomixis is, but it tends to

be transmitted as a cluster, rather than

re-assorting itself as sometimes occurs

from one generation to the next in

reproduction, and this is an advantage."
Wrestling with thorny research

issues is nothing new for Savidan and

his team. Since beginning the apomixis
project, they have progressed through a
seeming maze of challenges, bringing
new answers to several old questions

along the way. One example was the

puzzle of why apomixis exists in the
wild only in polyploids plants with

chromosome sets in multiples greater
than two and never in diploids like
maize. Their studies showed that the

explanation lies in a natural barrier to

apomixis transmission through haploid

gametes, the reproductive cells of
diploid organisms. They then found a

way around this stumbling block,
making it conceivable to transfer

apomixis to maize.
"Past reports on apomixis have

conveyed strong optimism, and the

The flower of the Tripsacum plant.

optimism remains," David Hoisington

says. "But we realize this is a long-term

process that requires concerted effort
and the use of both conventional and

molecular methods. Whatever it takes,

we have the qualified scientists, the
tools, and the resources the potential

payoff for poor farmers is too great not
to pursue this work."

CIMMYT "We arrived with many questions. We leave with many answers." Thus began a thank-you note signed by the 18
Biotech participants in the course "Molecular Marker Applications to Plant Breeding," held in December, 1995. The first-ever of its
Course: From kind offered by CIMMYT, the course provided an introduction to plant genome analysis and its application to plant breeding
Cutting-Edge problems in maize and wheat.
Research to The professional background of participants ranged from conventional breeding, with no prior practice in molecular
Applied techniques, to extensive laboratory experience with DNA markers. They came from 13 countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern
Breeding Europe, Latin America, and North America. All expressed admiration at the quality and organization of the course, which
mixed classroom lectures, extensive lab practice, and long sessions of data analysis on the computer. The fruits of their labors included
directly applicable skills in the isolation, digestion, electrophoresis and transfer of DNA to blots, in the non-radioactive marker
techniques used at CIMMYT, in the generation of PCR-based markers, in bacterial transformation, and
in plasmid preparation. Course members also learned how to enter and verify molecular genetic data in
the computer, produce genetic maps, and perform quantitative trait loci analyses with different
statistical tools. As a detailed reference for all they studied, they received a 200-page manual
documenting terminology, protocols, statistical techniques, and other areas of course content.
S"We plan to offer another course on marker applications in late 1996 and are looking to develop a
similar course on maize and wheat transformation," says David Hoisington, head of CIMMYT's Applied
S.' Biotechnology Center (ABC). "A key function of the ABC is to help bridge the gap between cutting-edge
S- ,' research in the industrialized world and applied breeding in the countries we serve." The 1995 event
was sponsored by the International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI) a consortium which promotes
... collaboration among researchers as well as by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and CIMMYT.



Unleashin Poeni

n September 1996 CIMMYT inaugurated the
Wellhausen-Anderson Plant Genetic Resources
Center, built to replace our outdated 24-year-old
germplasm bank. The state-of-the-art facility, funded in
part by the Japanese Government, has a storage
capacity of 450,000 seed samples roughly three
times our current collections and signals
CIMMYT's continued commitment to the preservation
and use of maize and wheat genetic resources for the
benefit of humanity.
The facility is fittingly named in memory of two
researchers who made gigantic contributions to both
aims. As a staff member of a Rockefeller Foundation-
Mexico collaborative breeding program in the 1940-
50s, Edwin J. Wellhausen coordinated and took part in
the systematic collection and preservation of native
Mesoamerican maize germplasm against the day of its
possible replacement or extinction. He later served as
CIMMYT's first director general. Glenn Anderson,
who died in 1981, is fondly remembered by many
CIMMYT staff and researchers worldwide for his
unique blend of talents as a wheat scientist, teacher,
research administrator, and inspiring leader. He was
instrumental in the Green Revolution that changed
world agriculture forever. The following reports
describe efforts which carry forward the torch lit by
these two visionaries, who were well ahead of their
time in comprehending and applying the power of crop
genetic resources and helping ensure that future
generations might do the same.

Rescuing an Invaluable Seed Heritage
In mid-1996 the principal investigators of the Latin
America Maize Project (LAMP) and the Maize
Regeneration Project met at CIMMYT to review four
years of collaborative work to regenerate maize
landrace collections threatened by poor germination or
low seed supplies. Some 7,000 seed samples nearly
a quarter of the total collections in the region's
genebanks were renewed through the joint efforts of
CIMMYT and genebanks of 14 Latin American
nations. The seed, much of which no longer exists in
farmers' fields, is now available for use by scientists

throughout the world. Back-up samples are in long-
term storage at CIMMYT and the USDA National Seed
Storage Laboratory (NSSL). Datasets from the landrace
regeneration plantings are being made available to all
project cooperators. The effort was funded by USAID
through Project Noah and by NSSL.
Participants in LAMP evaluated over 12,000 Latin
American maize landrace collections; 270 of the best
were selected for further testing and analysis. In
addition, 50 tropical and temperate elite LAMP
accessions are being used to add diversity to US maize.
This work was funded by Pioneer Hi-Bred, with
administrative support from the USDA Agricultural
Research Service. The American Seed Trade
Association financed the meetings.

In Situ Insights
CIMMYT post-doctoral fellow Dominique Louette
is working to bring realistic perspectives to discussions
on the in situ conservation of maize landraces. Her PhD
research, a three-year case study in the Cuzalapa
watershed along Mexico's Pacific Coast, used
agronomic and genetic tools to examine relationships
between traditional farming systems and maize genetic
diversity. "Results suggest that indigenous systems may

be far more open and dynamic than is
commonly imagined," she says. More
specifically, her work questions the
relevance of models that would "freeze
the genetic landscape" under the
supposition that conservation and
development are incompatible.
Louette's findings point to more
hopeful and considerably more
challenging realities.
"Maize varieties in the Cuzalapa
watershed change in composition over
time," Louette says. "A small group of
local landraces dominates the area, but
farmers also plant a succession of
foreign varieties sometimes from
quite distant origins." These varieties
tend not to replace local cultivars,
Louette says, but to complement them,
satisfying unmet needs or occupying a
niche that has not yet been exploited.
What impact does this influx have on
genetic diversity? "In Cuzalapa, about
15% of the maize area is planted to
foreign varieties," Louette says. "At
that level of introduction, foreign
material tends to be a source of
phenotypic diversity rather than a cause
of genetic erosion."
In her current work, Louette is
looking more closely at gene flows

between introduced and local varieties,
as well as the impact of farmer seed-
selection practices on those flows.
Identifying the critical values of factors
that affect genetic erosion will be
difficult, Louette points out, particularly
if other indigenous systems are as
dynamic as those in Cuzalapa. What
seems clear, however, is that there is no
simple equivalence between the
introduction of new varieties and the
loss of genetic diversity.
A related conclusion came in 1995
from a group of 20 Mexican scientists
and foreign specialists who gathered at
CIMMYT for a forum entitled "Maize-
Teosinte and Maize-Maize Gene Flow:
Implications for Transgenic Maize."
The event was organized jointly by the
Mexican National Institute of
F oretrt agriculture e and
SL i stock Research (INIFAP), the
M .le'jan National Agricultural
Biosat'et Committee (CNBA), and
CIMMYT. among g other outcomes,
particlpjnts concluded that farmers


must have a central role in preserving
and selecting their own materials, if the
in-situ conservation of maize genetic
resources is going to work.
Finally, CIMMYT is developing a
proposal for a project entitled
"Conserving Maize Diversity in
Mexico: A Farmer-Scientist
Collaborative Approach." Among other
things, the project will test the
hypothesis that selective breeding of
landraces while preserving their
distinctive local traits will increase the
likelihood that farmers will maintain
the diversity of the maize they grow.

Wheat Information
Systems: Bringing Sense
to Seed Collections
Someone once said that germplasm
without information is just a pile of
seed. Indeed, unless something is
known about certain basic traits,
germplasm bank seed collections
cannot be used effectively to improve
crops. On occasion, useful collections
may not even be known to plant
breeders. This can happen because
breeders have followed different
systems for naming wheat lines. As a
result, some wheats have several
names, or several different wheats may
share the same name. To complicate
matters even more, information on a
given wheat may have accumulated in
numerous venues scattered worldwide.
Two closely linked CIMMYT
initiatives have addressed the problem
of making information on bread wheat,
durum wheat, and triticale germplasm
easy to access. One is the International
Wheat Identification System (IWIS), a

database management tool that helps

link useful information from different
sources. By assigning each wheat a
unique identifier, IWIS eliminates the
traditional confusion associated with
names. With this identifier, breeders,
genebank curators, physiologists, and
cereal chemists can pinpoint a
particular wheat, trace its family tree,
and access relevant information. IWIS
runs on a PC and is available on CD-
ROM. Development of the tool was
supported by Australia (GRDC),
Canada (CIDA, Agriculture and Agri-
Food Canada), Denmark (DANIDA),
the Netherlands (the Ministry of
Development Cooperation), and the
Another product that should bring

wheat seed closer to interested users is
the Genetic Resources Information
Package (GRIP), a system for linking
the identifiers used in IWIS to other
classification systems. Because it was
developed by CIMMYT in
collaboration with countries such as
Australia, USA, Canada, India, Russia,

Aegilops neglecta, a wild relative of wheat.

and China, to name just a few, GRIP has
achieved a degree of standardization in
nomenclature unprecedented in other

crops. The GRIP I package was
designed by staff managing the
Australian Winter Cereals Collection

and is available on diskette for PC. It
contains the names, pedigrees,
abbreviations, and bibliographies of
more than 100,000 wheats. Funds for its
development were provided by the
Australian Centre for International

Agricultural Research and Australia's
Department of Industry, Science, and
IWIS gave rise to a collaborative

project between CIMMYT and other
CGIAR centers to develop the
International Crop Information System
(ICIS), a data management structure
based on the IWIS model. ICIS is
expected to enhance data management
for wheat and a wide range of crops.

Global An agreement signed between the CGIAR centers and FAO in 1994 calls for the designation of specific

Arrangements accessions to be included in collections held "in trust." This means long-term conservation for the benefit of

Hail a New the international community and exemption from intellectual property protection.

Era of All CIMMYT maize germplasm bank accessions except those

Conservation defined as varieties are stored under the auspices of FAO as "in trust"
collections. Maize bank accessions from other institutions will also be held in trust, as

will elite CIMMYT-derived germplasm placed under long-term storage in our bank.
With regard to wheat and related species, CIMMYT stores only bread wheat

(Triticum aestivum L.) and triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) in trust. Of these, we

aim to store all old and new cultivars, landraces, and genetic stocks, provided they

are not under protection as intellectual property. In addition, we will place in trust

useful CIMMYT-derived advanced lines identified from international trials.




I"- -j


; .-

ich country or poor, we all Lo w _
must and we all do -

contribute to global

agricultural research and
development," says R.B. Singh, n
Director of the Indian Agricultural
Research Institute. Singh's statement
eloquently defines CIMMYT's view
of its growing partnerships with .
national agricultural research systems
in developing countries. The
tremendous challenges presented by

poverty, environmental degradation, and population
growth are far too great for any one institution to
overcome. Nor can any one institute afford to duplicate
the efforts of others. CIMMYT is re-dedicating itself to
partnerships aimed at helping the poor, conserving
natural resources, and increasing global food security.
As part of its renewed commitment, the center is
exploring alternative forms of cooperation.

Networks: An Evolving Concept
Networks arrangements through which
researchers and others involved in agricultural
development share knowledge and products -
constitute one approach for linking national systems,
non-government organizations (NGOs), advanced
research institutes, and international centers to solve
the complex problems facing farmers in developing
countries. Indeed, such cooperation has been central to
CIMMYT achievements since the Center's inception.
An example? For three decades the Center has shipped
its top experimental wheat and maize lines to hundreds
of cooperators each year for testing in scores of
countries worldwide. The cooperators keep the best
performers for their own breeding programs and
CIMMYT receives crucial feedback for improving its
products. These distribution and testing networks have
contributed significantly to the impact of CIMMYT
germplasm, which in modified form covers fully
seven-tenths of developing country wheat lands and is

an important component in maize research programs
throughout the developing world. Yet these networks

14 and the format they offer for
participants' input are relatively

simple and largely informal few

agreements have been signed or

proposals written; only letters
between CIMMYT and participants
to announce or request seed and

report results. Participants have come
almost exclusively from the
disciplines of plant breeding and
This situation has changed

dramatically over the years, as national systems and
CIMMYT have matured and our awareness of the
complexities of agricultural development has
sharpened. Improved, resource efficient maize and
wheat varieties are still seen as vital to improving

productivity. But concerns about biodiversity, the
efficient use of natural resources in maize and wheat
farming systems, and equity in gender and international
relations are now included in our thinking on
productivity. Building on the foundations of its
germplasm testing networks and in-service training
alumni, CIMMYT has gradually entered into complex
partnerships involving a range of organizations and
disciplines and reflecting the above concerns.
The Center still provides recognized leadership in
technical areas, but we now regularly seek the
expertise of national systems and others to set shared
research directions. Just such a consultation took place
in mid-1996 as part of CIMMYT's efforts to develop a
new medium-term plan. The spirit of participatory
decision-making also suffuses recent regional
partnerships, fostering the commitment and efficacy of
all involved. The following highlights exemplify our
interest in working effectively with a range of partners
to help developing country farmers and consumers.

The Regional Maize Program for
Central America and the Caribbean
The PRM (after its Spanish name, Programa

Regional de Maiz) is a network of maize researchers
from nine countries in Central America and the

- 3

Caribbean and from CIMMYT. The

PRM develops and tests alternative
technologies to sustainably increase

productivity in the region's major maize

production systems. The network builds

on a strong research capacity which can
be traced to mid-century collaborative
initiatives of the Rockefeller Foundation

in Latin America. The PRM originally

concentrated on breeding and training,
but expanded its focus nearly a decade

ago to include sustainable cropping

systems research and socioeconomics.
Its activities have had an enormous

impact: more than three-quarters of the
area under improved maize in the region

is sown to PRM-derived varieties and
hybrids, a range of environmentally-

friendly cropping practices disseminated

by the network are used by farmers, and
national systems have been strengthened
through PRM training and other
support, to name a few achievements.
The technical contributions of

CIMMYT are one key to the PRM's

success, but no less important has been
the guidance of the network's long-term
donor, Swiss Development Cooperation

(SDC), on network organization and

"Beginning in the mid-1980s, SDC
encouraged the PRM to form its own

directive bodies, to implement
participatory planning and budgeting,
and to appoint a regionally recruited

coordinator," says Jorge Bolafios,
CIMMYT technical advisor to the

PRM. The suggestions were
implemented in a careful, stepwise

fashion over the course of several years,

and now constitute central features of

the network. Participants meet each
year to review progress toward

objectives and allocate funding for
subsequent activities based on proven

"Farmers During a recent visit to CIMMYT headquarters, PRM coordinator Elio
Don't Climb Dur6n, an Honduran native, stressed the importance of finding
Hillsides for germplasm, technologies, and collaborators capable of helping
the View..." farmers in difficult environments.
A Network "About two million hectares of maize are grown in Central
Coordinator's America," Dur6n says, "about 60% of it on small hillside farms that
Perspective are extremely vulnerable to erosion. At present, most farmers cannot
sustain yields on these slopes. From both a human and an environmental perspective,
the costs of that inability can be catastrophic."
In working to improve the prospects of hillside maize farmers, Dur6n emphasizes the
importance of CIMMYT's relationship with the nine Central American and Caribbean
nations that participate in the PRM. "One key to the PRM's effectiveness is CIMMYT's
willingness to serve as a true partner rather than as a dictatorial big brother," says Dur6n.
"CIMMYT provides germplasm, technical expertise, and financial support, but all the
participating countries have an equal voice in determining our research focus and
directions. That kind of approach keeps us focused on the real-world problems faced by
national programs."
CIMMYT's support is essential, Dur6n says, because many countries in the network
have neither the funds nor the human resources to address food production and natural
resource management problems on their own. "The network enables us to pool our
efforts and attack problems systematically," Dur6n adds. "That way participants don't
waste time and money rediscovering what someone else has already learned."
Dur6n points out that the PRM has a particularly valuable ally in Jorge Bolahos,
CIMMYT's technical advisor to the network and a member of CIMMYT's Maize Program.
"Without Jorge this network couldn't function at anywhere near the level of efficiency it
does," says Dur6n. "In addition to his invaluable work as a maize agronomist, he also
serves an important role as a facilitator, helping network members to consider problems
in their full complexity and encouraging researchers to work toward a consensus that
best serves our common interests one of which is improving the plight of hillside
"Farmers don't climb hillsides for the view," Dur6n says. "They do it because they
have nowhere else to go. With CIMMYT's assistance, the PRM is helping these farmers
establish a foothold so that they can increase and sustain productivity while avoiding on-
and off-site damage to the natural resource base."

results. The planning exercises are
notably democratic; network members
come away with a strong sense of
having "bought into" the research
agenda, which is laid out in a matrix
comprising detailed objectives,
verifiable progress indicators, and
specific activities. Activities are
assigned to individual countries based
on comparative advantage or overriding
interest, so there is no duplication of
effort. Outputs germplasm and
information are shared regionwide.
More recently, SDC has encouraged
the PRM to reach out to key NGOs and
other networks in the region, and
representatives of these organizations
now share in PRM research and priority
In the words of Walter Fust,
Director General, SDC: "Quality
partnerships with national programs,
good collaboration with other regional
programs, and strong linkages to
development are evident characteristics
of the PRM." These outstanding
features and PRM impacts have led
CIMMYT to enter into comparable
arrangements in recent years in Asia
(such as the rice-wheat consortium
described in the section "Natural

Resource Initiatives") and Africa, one
example of which is outlined below.

The CIMMYT-Zimbabwe
Research Program
Without diminishing the
significance of PRM accomplishments,
it can be mentioned that its members

hold a common language and culture,
and that production environments in
Central America and the Caribbean are
relatively more alike than those of, say,
Asia or Africa. Can a similar
networking approach function in places
where none of the proceeding

circumstances applies? An answer to
that question from one region -
southern Africa may not be long in
coming, based on the experiences of the
CIMMYT-Zimbabwe Research
CIMMYT established a research

station at Harare, Zimbabwe, in the
mid-1980s to collaborate with national
systems in developing and
disseminating improved maize
technology, including varieties and
hybrids that resist several major
cropping constraints of midaltitude

maize areas in the region. Among the
impacts of that effort are the more than
150 varieties and hybrids based on
CIMMYT maize that have been
released by national programs and are
sown on some 2 million hectares.
As CIMMYT has brought greater
resources to bear on the problems
assailing maize and wheat farmers in
sub-Saharan Africa, the Zimbabwe
station seemed a logical base for several
collaborative research networks the
Center has helped establish in the last
two years.

The Maize and Wheat
Improvement Research Network for
the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) Initiated in
1994 and financed by the European
Union, this network is promoting the
free exchange of improved seed
throughout the region, helping provide
training opportunities and access to
relevant information for maize and
wheat professionals, and administering
a small-grants program to support
research by local maize and wheat
scientists on regional priorities. It
operates under the auspices of SADC
and the Southern African Centre for
Cooperation in Agricultural Research
and Training (SACCAR). Regional
collaboration is particularly important
for the small grants, which are allocated
by a steering committee of national
program commodity coordinators.

Soil Fertility Research and
Extension Network Initiated in
1994 with funding from the Rockefeller
Foundation, this project combines the

talents of soil scientists, agronomists,
on-farm researchers, extensionists,

socioeconomists, and applied modelers
from Malawi and Zimbabwe to define
local soil fertility problems, map
problem areas and improve the
targeting of fertilizer recommendations,
conduct long-term studies on regional
fertility trends in maize-based cropping
systems, and identify and document
technical and socioeconomic
constraints to improved soil
management. "We're also working to
establish relationships among
researchers, extension workers, NGOs,
and policy-makers," says Stephen
Waddington, CIMMYT agronomist
posted to southern Africa and technical
advisor to the network.

The Southern African Drought
and Low Fertility Project Initiated
in 1996 and funded by Swiss
Development Cooperation (SDC), this
network will apply new selection
methodologies to increase the drought
and low soil fertility tolerance of maize
for SADC countries and help national
systems to develop viable breeding

programs for these traits. Funds are
available for national programs to
upgrade existing facilities for use in
selection and testing.

All three networks involve a
CIMMYT technical advisor, a steering
committee comprising specialists from
national systems in the region, and
serious efforts to interface with NGOs
and other networks to reach goals more
quickly and efficiently. In addition, a
portion of the budget administered by
the steering committee is allocated to
small grants for local research.
Given the research potential
represented by this array of networks,
the challenge may be to see that, where
feasible, they operate as a sort of
"mega-network," according to
Zimbabwe station team leader, David
Jewell. "We have a critical mass of
people with a range of skills in maize
and wheat: breeding, cropping systems,
and socioeconomics. Now we must
build a team approach and integrate
additional human resources through
collaborative research." To help
integrate the networks, he sees his role
as one of facilitating relationships

Average maize yield (t/ha)



0.5 l1

0 i
No Inorganic Manure Inorganic +
fertilizer alone alone manure

among national systems and
regionwide organizations.
"Fortunately, we are on excellent
terms with national systems, NGOs,
and SACCAR," Jewell says. "If inter-
network collaboration saves resources
and gets better products to farmers
faster, I am sure the idea will be
received enthusiastically." He points
out, for example, that agronomists in
the region already have experience
working with improved maize
varieties in their trials. "This
complements our maize testing
network," Jewell says. Breeders as
well routinely resort to on-farm
evaluations as an acid test for
experimental germplasm, a process
that can involve cropping systems
Finally, Jewell expects that further
opportunities for collaboration will be
explored by a socioeconomist whom
CIMMYT will post to the region in
early 1997. "Among other things, we
would like this person to study factors
that influence technology adoption,
help design and apply farm-level
surveys, assess impacts, and assist in
implementing matrix planning and
management systems for the
networks," Jewell says. "We also hope
the socioeconomist can help develop
linkages with the seed industry and
NGOs. If the networks are to be
judged on impacts, then we must be
more pro-active about disseminating
useful products."

Southern Africa soil fertility network
studies show that combined
organic-inorganic fertilizer
treatments are the best option.

Family Training Six Bangladeshi farm families-men, women, and children-are gathered for a training session in a room at the

in Bangladesh: local rural development office. A woman in full burka raises her hand and begins to speak. She hesitates, but with

An Innovative her husband's encouragement, shyly continues and asks how to keep insects away from the wheat seed she has

Approach selected.

"Something as simple as a woman speaking in front of a mixed gender group tells us these sessions are totally different

from how training is conducted in most developing countries, especially in this part of the world," points out Craig Meisner,

CIMMYT agronomist stationed in Bangladesh. He is acting as advisor to the Whole Family Training Project (WFTP), a pilot

project funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) that aims to teach farmers how to handle and

store wheat seed after harvest in several wheat producing districts of Bangladesh.

Typically, NGO and government programs in Bangladesh target either males or females and, in fact, this pilot project,

implemented through the Bangladesh-Australia Wheat Improvement Project and Bangladesh's Wheat Research Centre, was

originally conceived as a training program for women involved in wheat production. "Before starting the project we did a survey

and found that in Bangladesh wheat production is a family affair," relates Maria Smith O'Donoghue, a consultant hired to help

find an effective means of reaching and training women. "This gave us the idea that it was probably better to train the whole

family, instead of just the women."

Although largely unrecognized, women's contribution to agricultural production at both the household and national

levels is significant in the developing world. However, for the most part women farmers have little access to the training and

information that are so basic for improving crop production. Furthermore, in countries where, for cultural reasons, women do

not speak to men outside their families, reaching them through mostly male extension workers is virtually impossible. The

WFTP arose from the perceived need to address these issues and give women access to wheat production technologies.

Wheat is currently the second most important staple cereal crop in Bangladesh, where production is projected to reach

1.4 million tons in 1996. As the country's population increases and land pressures intensify, farmers will have to learn new

ways of increasing yields while protecting natural resources. Marginal farmers, however, have remained largely beyond the

reach of extension services. "An additional payoff of this project is that, in seeking to benefit rural women, it will contribute to

increasing wheat yields in the poorer districts of Bangladesh," says Meisner.

Local women with previous experience in rural development work and training were hired to organize and conduct the

training sessions. They delivered to each family (defined for the purposes of the project as husband, wife, plus two other family

members) a written invitation for the sessions. This was particularly important in getting people to attend; though many of

those invited cannot read, they considered it a great honor to receive a written invitation. Instructors used demonstration

techniques and visual aids to convey simple but essential seed storage procedures. A total of 2,370 people belonging to 508
mostly marginal and small landholding families attended the training

sessions, which recorded almost 100% attendance.

"Some time after harvest, we visited the families and found that

except in one district where it was too late in the season to apply what

they learned, between 90 and 100% were using the technologies,"
observes O'Donoghue. "All of them said they would gladly attend

training sessions again."

S In view of this success, the next phase of the project will also

focus on whole families in sessions on wheat cultivation. Although a

departure from tradition, this innovative approach may prove useful

for teaching modern technologies to farmers who grow wheat and

other crops in similar cultures in developing countries.



I" 4
he CIMMYTf;''';

. .. .




*.~C Y. ~.
*, *- *. (i.

b it. Trial and
Error Conjecture.
Too often, these are the
bases on which farmers,
agricultural researchers, and
policy-makers must make
decisions. How do we break
that pattern? This is the
challenge being met by the
CIMMYT Economics Program (CEP).
The CEP doesn't generate germplasm and crop
management practices. It generates information about
how germplasm and management practices are being
used and about how they can be used more efficiently.
Consider the following applications of our work.

An Asian research director studies a shrinking
budget: How do the potential payoffs from wheat
research compare with other alternatives?
A subsistence farmer in the Andes worries that a
new high-yielding maize variety will prove more
vulnerable to diseases and stress than traditional
varieties: How can breeding programs address that
An African agricultural minister wonders why a
new maize hybrid is not being adopted: How can
policy changes break this bottleneck?
Donor agencies are apprehensive that scientific
plant breeding is eroding crop genetic diversity:
How do we measure that diversity? Do recent
trends suggest that it is eroding? What impact has
plant breeding had on those trends?
A development assistance agency wants to redirect
research funding from irrigated to rainfed
environments: How is this shift likely to affect
farm-level incomes, employment, food prices, and
the environment?

CIMMYT's Economics Program helps to answer
these kinds of questions. It provides researchers and
policy-makers with information and analytical tools to
evaluate complex options and to assess difficult
tradeoffs. Carefully reasoned criteria thus replace habit,
trial and error, and conjecture as the foundation for
research and policy decisions.

*I "

fJiM New Directions in
Under the leadership of
new Program Director Prabhu
L. Pingali, the CEP has
recently outlined an exciting
list of research initiatives.

Genetic Diversity

Long-term food security requires that we
safeguard genetic diversity. CEP researchers are
helping to clarify what we mean by diversity, where
it comes from, and how we measure and value it.
One project is clarifying global trends in the use of
wheat diversity and international flows of genetic
resources (described below). Another project is
exploring the prospects of on-farm improvement of
maize landraces as a strategy to conserve maize
diversity in situ.

Long-Term Supply and Demand
Effective agricultural policies and research
strategies have a clear prerequisite: reliable estimates
of supply and demand. CIMMYT helps establish
such estimates by clarifying macroeconomic trends
in world maize and wheat production; incorporating
specific supply and demand information into
established models; developing supply scenarios by
region and crop; and evaluating and modifying
global projection models developed by experts in
advanced research institutions.

Technology Assessment and Forecasting
What impact is a new technology likely to have
in the years ahead? How will that impact vary across
regions? How do projected payoffs from germplasm
research compare to those for crop management
research? The CEP is helping to answer these kinds
of questions so that funds can be wisely allocated
and problems efficiently addressed. Future work will
develop a world-wide technology inventory for
maize and wheat, extending to the years 2000, 2010,
and 2020. Researchers will also assess the potential

impact of those technologies across
similar ecological, agricultural, and
social environments.

Adoption and Impact Studies
The CEP monitors the diffusion of
improved germplasm and clarifies its
impact with respect to the poor, the
environment, and gender. The CEP also
analyzes factors that affect adoption,
including policy and institutional
constraints. Case studies of maize seed
industries are clarifying ways that the
public and private sectors can
complement one another (described
below). In sub-Saharan Africa,
researchers are identifying policy
changes that will increase the use of
mineral fertilizers, thus boosting food
production and avoiding environmental

Research Priority Setting
By integrating information from the
research topics outlined above, the CEP
develops procedures for efficiently
allocating maize and wheat resources,
both on a global and a regional basis.
Future efforts will develop models for
setting research priorities at the
institutional, program, and problem
levels. Exploratory efforts will be made
in understanding priority setting for
more difficult areas, such as social
science, policy, and natural resources

Ongoing Projects
Understanding Wheat Diversity
and International Flows of
Wheat Genetic Resources
Microsoft Word's spell-check
doesn't recognize the word genome, but
helpfully offers the following
alternative-genie. Such flights-from
hard fact to airy fancy-occur all too
often in discussions about plant genetic
resources. CIMMYT's 1995/96 World
Wheat Facts and Trends counteracts
that tendency, providing detailed
information about the use of wheat
diversity and international flows of

wheat genetic resources. That report is
part of an ongoing initiative between

CIMMYT's Wheat and Economics
CIMMYT research indicates that
landraces from all the major wheat-
producing regions have contributed
germplasm to the bread wheat varieties
now being grown by farmers in the
developing world. A study of bread
wheat pedigrees reveals that all regions
are indebted to varieties from other
regions. Indeed, in almost all cases, the
largest contributor of landraces to a
given region is not the region itself. For
bread wheats, neither the distinction
"North-South" nor "developing-

developed" is useful for characterizing
germplasm flows.

Yield stability of all wheats grown from 1955 to 1994 in regions of the developing
world-lower numbers equal greater stability.

Coefficient of yield variation adjusted for trend (%)

1955-1964 10.8 13.4 8.7 6.5 12.3 9.8 12.9
1965-1974 4.3 10.3 8.0 9.1 7.9 2.4 8.1
1975-1984 7.1 12.1 4.0 3.0 5.6 5.6 12.2
1985-1994 8.8 11.0 7.5 4.0 5.5 4.8 5.0

Note: China is excluded.

Consider, for example, the pedigree
for Sonalika, the bread wheat cultivar
planted across the largest area in the
world in 1990:

* Farmers in 17 countries contributed

landraces or selections;
* Breeders in 14 countries

contributed lines;
* Landraces and lines originated on 6

continents and in most of the major
wheat-producing nations of the

CIMMYT's findings also indicate
that for every region in the developing

world, variation in wheat yields was
greater in the decade preceding 1965
(i.e., the early years of the Green
Revolution) than in the most recent
decade. Indeed, since the 1950s, the
balance of evidence from farmers'

fields suggests that wheat yields have
become more stable even as mean
yields have increased. This holds true
for the major wheat-producing nations
of the developing world and for the
world as a whole.
Evidence on resistance to the rusts

(which are among the major diseases of
wheat) is similarly encouraging. Of the
six screening nurseries that CIMMYT
annually distributes to cooperators in
wheat-growing countries around the
world, the one with the longest history
is the International Bread Wheat

Screening Nursery (IBWSN), initiated
in 1967. The nursery contains 200-400
new advanced lines from CIMMYT's
Bread Wheat Breeding Program. As

measured by average coefficients of
infection, advanced lines have in

general proven increasingly resistant to
stem, leaf, and stripe rust.
CIMMYT's findings also suggest
that modern lines are not being drawn
from a more and more restricted genetic
base. A sample of the pedigrees from
the more than 800 wheats released in

developing countries since the early
1960s reveals that the average number
of different landraces per pedigree has
increased over time. Since the 1970s,
the upward trend suggests an average of
one new landrace per pedigree, per
year. Today, landraces tend to enter the
pedigrees through crosses of advanced
lines with different genetic
backgrounds. Among the more widely
grown CIMMYT bread wheats released
since 1950, the number of distinct
parental combinations and duL r' n
landraces occurring in the pedigrees

have both increased.
Finally, many researchers and
policy-makers assume that, since the
early years of the Green Revolution,
fewer and fewer varieties are being
planted across larger and larger areas.
Recent evidence suggests that this
assumption is invalid. "In many major
wheat-producing nations of the

developing and industrialized world, the
percentage of wheat area sown to any
single cultivar is lower that it was earlier
in this century," says CIMMYT
economist Melinda Smale.
This is not to suggest that farmers
have adequate access to the range of
cultivars they want. What limits that

access, however, is more often related to
economic policies and government
regulations than to crop breeding
strategies. "Breeders can improve the
attractiveness of varieties and the rate of

release of new varieties, but they cannot
assure that all farmers have access to
seed," says Smale. "That kind of change
will require careful attention to issues
such as input and output prices, the
proportion of released cultivars for
which seed is actually multiplied and

distributed, and the design and
functioning of seed systems."
Ongoing efforts at CIMMYT will
continue to illuminate issues related to
wheat diversity. "Our aim," says
Economics Program Director Prabhu
Pingali, "is to clarify how international

agricultural research has affected wheat
genetic diversity in the past and how it
can enhance that diversity in the future."

A Study of the Maize
Seed Industry
The terms life cycle and evolution
may prove as relevant to the growth of
maize seed industries as they are to the
growth of the seeds those industries
sell. That insight has important

implications, for if all seed industries
pass through predictable stages of
development, then nations can learn
from each other's successes and
CIMMYT researchers and their
collaborators in national programs have
helped policy-makers in this regard by
identifying key technical, economic,
and institutional issues which must be
resolved if maize seed industries are to

function effectively. Already, case
studies are suggesting that-at various
stages of industry development-
certain institutional arrangements may
be more efficient than others in
fostering rapid and equitable growth.
In developing countries, maize seed
production and distribution have been
weak rungs in the ladder of
productivity. "Investment in maize

research has been extensive, and this
investment has produced results," says
CIMMYT economist Michael Morris.
"Plant breeders have developed many
varieties and hybrids which clearly
outperform the materials being grown
by farmers. Researchers have also
identified improved management
practices capable of significantly
boosting productivity."
"Unfortunately," Morris adds,
"many of these technologies have failed
to spread beyond demonstration plots."

Why? Unlike rice and wheat, which
are self-pollinating, maize is open-
pollinating, meaning that individual
maize plants readily mate with other
nearby plants. Farmers who grow maize
thus have difficulty maintaining
genetically pure seed stocks and must
replace seed annually to avoid
contamination through natural
outcrossing. For hybrid maize
technologies to diffuse widely, farmers
must have access to reliable sources of
affordable, high-quality seed.
Public-sector organizations have not
been notably successful in meeting this
need. As a result, private companies and
non-governmental organizations are
often encouraged to play a greater role
in disseminating improved varieties and
hybrids. But not everyone is
comfortable with the idea of a global
maize seed industry that consists
exclusively of private companies.
"Thus far, moves to privatize
national maize seed industries have had
largely positive results," Morris says.
"Still, it's legitimate to ask where such
changes will ultimately lead. If current
trends continue, for example, will maize

farmers in developing countries always

be able to obtain a wide range of
germplasm and related production
technologies at affordable prices? Must
governments actively engage in maize
research and seed production in order to
protect the interests of poor producers
and consumers? Or will it be sufficient
if they merely establish and enforce the
rules of the game?"
Recognizing that organizational and
institutional change are necessary
features of seed industry development,
Morris has outlined some practical
lessons about the shifting roles of
public, private, and participatory
During the emergence and growth
stages of the industry life cycle, for
example, national public organizations
must assume a leading role in research,
seed production, and seed distribution

activities. Early on, these activities
provide few opportunities for cost
recovery. Public organizations are better
suited to carrying out inherently
unprofitable activities because they are
able to pursue non-economic

As demand for seed increases,

private companies begin to appear.

Initially, they are unlikely to recover
research costs and so tend to produce
and sell the seed of public open-

pollinated varieties and hybrids-

research costs for which have been

borne by public breeding programs.
"Because private companies respond

rapidly and efficiently to market
signals, they almost always outperform

government seed organizations by

offering better products and better

customer service at equal or lower

prices," Morris says.
As the industry develops, public

and private responsibilities gradually
shift. "When competition intensifies,

companies find that they can remain in
business only by offering proprietary

products," Morris says. "At this point,

they are compelled to launch their own
research programs."
Many companies soon find that

they can compete successfully with
public organizations in this sphere as

well. "Although examples can be cited
of instances in which private

companies have performed poorly, on

balance, the record is extremely

positive," Morris adds.
Does this mean that public

organizations can then disappear? "No,"
says Morris. "It is important to realize

that private seed industries are unlikely

to provide all things to all people. For

the system to work most efficiently,
public organizations must gradually
assume new roles involving the
production of goods and services that do
not provide attractive profit

opportunities." Such activities include

basic research, research targeted at

marginal environments, and the
production of seed for subsistence
Where does CIMMYT fit in? "In

accordance with its global mandate,
CIMMYT focuses on research activities

that national public organizations are

unable or unwilling to perform," Morris
says. He points out, however, that these
activities are not static either.

"As the adoption of hybrids has

increased in many developing countries,
CIMMYT has reduced its work on

open-pollinated varieties and placed


* ** x'1"

greater emphasis on hybrid

development. And as private companies
have become more visible in global
germplasm improvement efforts,
CIMMYT has formed new links with

the private sector."
Morris speculates that CIMMYT's

role will change further as the global

seed industry continues to evolve. "As a
public organization, CIMMYT will be

most effective concentrating on the
production of goods and services that do

not offer clear profit opportunities and

therefore are unlikely to attract the

attention of private companies," he says.
He also notes that because national

seed companies operate in limited
markets, they are often unable to mount

breeding programs of sufficient size to
compete effectively with large

transnational companies that have

access to global networks of research
and testing facilities. As a result,
national seed companies are turning to
CIMMYT as a source of the materials

and technologies they need to compete
with the transnationals.
"Large numbers of maize farmers
are well served by the systems presently
in place, but in some countries many
rural households still do not have

regular access to reliable sources of
high-quality, affordable seed," Morris

says. "Innovative strategies will have to
be introduced if these households are to
be reached."
By clarifying the comparative

advantages of various public and private

organizations at various stages of
industry development, CIMMYT and its
national program collaborators are
providing a foundation upon which
such strategies can be built.

Th trtgi mpraneo

CIMTs nomtinWr

Sustanabl Maiz andMiea

he complexity and
urgency of the
agricultural development
challenges facing the world
today demand a strong
interdisciplinary approach to
research the full participation
of plant breeders,
biotechnologists, agronomists,
social scientists, and 6
professionals from many other
disciplines. Improvements in
how research information is
managed are strengthening this essential
collaboration, leading to a new information-intensive
approach to research that, in the end, is greatly
benefiting poor farmers and consumers alike
throughout the developing world.
How is this new approach changing the way
agricultural researchers and in particular, those
working at CIMMYT do their jobs? As only one
example, our breeders are increasingly deciding
which parent plants they should cross based not only
on physical appearance and field performance, but
also on firmer knowledge about the genetic makeup
of individual plants, lines, and populations.
Crossing programs based on greater knowledge of
genetic backgrounds are enabling breeders to more
closely tailor the pedigrees of their new varieties to
specific environmental conditions, thus enabling the
broadest possible adaptation and producing end
products that are preferred both by producers and by
In addition, performance and evaluation data from
sources as diverse as international nurseries and
molecular marker laboratories are increasingly made
available globally via the Internet and in CD-ROMs,
with minimal delay after being recorded.
Complementing these efforts is the application of
new geographic information systems (GIS)
technologies to more clearly identify important
strategic targets for CIMMYT's agronomic and

natural resource research. The
Center has established a strong,
in-house GIS capacity that is
closely linked to related efforts
under way elsewhere, both in
developed and developing
Our library has evolved
Into much more than a

repository of publications and
information available to
interested researchers and
trainees. It has become instead

an electronic information center designed for the
timely and comprehensive provision of worldwide
scientific information, and it does so on a pro-active
basis, according to the needs and desires of individual
researchers and other users, whether located at
CIMMYT headquarters in Mexico or in any of more
than 100 countries around the world.
We continue to produce and distribute thousands
of copies of a wide range of CIMMYT-imprimatur
publications, of course, including field and laboratory
manuals, special reports, working papers, information
bulletins, fact sheets, and annual reports like this one.
We have added a new working paper series on natural
resource management research issues, as well as a
reprint series for journal articles on those same topics
published elsewhere by our staff. And through a
variety of public awareness materials and activities,
we have redoubled our efforts to foster support -
both political and financial for CIMMYT's work
and for international agricultural research in general.
In order to facilitate the adoption of a more
information-intensive approach to research by our
partners in developing countries, we make sure that
all trainees and visiting scientists learn how to operate
our systems, so that when they return home they can
confidently access global information databases about
maize, wheat, and other crops, as well as support the
development of appropriate information
infrastructures in their own institutions. With respect

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to the latter, we also provide

consultancies in the information area to

our research partners in developing


Finally, in October 1995 we

initiated the CIMMYT home page on

the Internet's World Wide Web

(www.cimmyt.mx). This new tool

allows easy access to a wealth of

information about our work, both in

straight text format and in Adobe

Acrobat, which allows viewing of fully

formatted text and photographs. Our

library catalog is available on-line, as

are the email addresses and other

contact information for all current staff.

In its first year of operation, we have

experienced a three-fold increase in the

number of files transmitted via this

medium each day (to an average daily

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delivery of over 300 files, or about

10,000 files per month). Importantly, a

growing number of developing

countries are now routinely accessing

our home page.

Closely linked databases for

cultivars and breeding records, cropping

systems, biophysical data, and

socioeconomic data are providing the

foundation of a new research style in

CIMMYT. Decision support tools,

including simulation models, GIS,

expert systems, and genetic analysis

software are increasingly enabling our

scientists to focus on central issues and

navigate through oceans of data,

synthesizing critical information as

they go. Electronic distribution is

further ensuring that the benefits of

this new research modality will spread

rapidly beyond CIMMYT's immediate

realm, and add to the impact we seek

- impact on science and, even more

important, impact in farmers' fields.

Coping with Information technology is now indispensable to CIMMYT researchers and those who work in support

the Information of their efforts. A variety of new and not so new information tools are enabling staff to work both

Revolution faster and smarter than ever before. But the field of information technology is evolving at an

unprecedented rate, and staying on top of new developments and adapting them to CIMMYT's particular

needs presents the Center with a difficult challenge. In response, CIMMYT created in late 1995 a new unit -

the Information Technology Unit dedicated to the evaluation and creative application of new information


Initially, the Unit's efforts were focused on establishing and refining a CIMMYT web site on the Internet's

World Wide Web. That task is now well along, though as is the case with such web sites, they are never truly

"finished"; rather, they are continually being refined as new information needs and opportunities are identified.

The Unit has also helped bring about adoption of a standard database management package for a number

of CIMMYT's internal information management needs. Working first with the Library to identify and implement a

flexible, cost-effective package to replace our 10-year old library system, the Unit experimented with DB

Textworks, a generalized text (as opposed to "data") base designed with libraries in mind but suited for a range

of uses. Our positive experience with this inexpensive and user-friendly package led us to seek other

applications in CIMMYT, and so far we have used it to develop management systems for information on our

financial backers, project proposals, and approved special projects. Other recent applications include the

implementation of strategic databases for the Visitors Services and Human Resources departments.

Currently, the Unit is researching cost effective optical storage systems, with an eye toward eliminating our

current and laborious microfiche system for archiving CIMMYT's management records, and is exploring the

development of an "intra-net" that will enable Center staff and management to more easily access a wide array

of internal databases.

Operationally, the general idea behind the formation of this new Unit was to bring more leadership,

coordination, and expertise (in the form of interdepartmental teams of specialists and users) to address

significant information-related challenges. We seek to ensure both a clear delineation and prioritization of those

challenges and the mobilization of sufficient resources to resolve them in a timely manner. To further capitalize

on the benefits of enhanced coordination and communication in this arena, CIMMYT is now folding its Systems

and Computing Services and its Software Development Group into an expanded Information Technology Unit.

Files transferred
12,000 Heavy traffic is not always bad,
especially if it indicates

10,000 widespread interest in your
home page on World Wide
Web. Access to CIMMYT's
8,000 home page was truly
"worldwide;" users from
6,000 Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil,
Chile, China, Colombia, Costa
4 000 Rica, Ecuador, Egypt,
Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia,
Nepal, South Korea, Turkey,
2,000 Uruguay, Venezuela, and
Zambia, as well as many

0 I I I I industrialized nations, logged
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug on and extracted information.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

iO f the many developments that
have affected CIMMYT
finances in the last year and a half, several promise to
exercise a strong, continued influence. First of all,
domestic budget debates in key donor countries have
brought considerable uncertainty to funding prospects.
Offsetting this somewhat, renewal in the CGIAR has
led to increased funding from several donors. Finally,
sweeping changes in the System's financing procedures
and funding classifications should provide incentives
for fundraising by individual centers. As detailed
below, CIMMYT is intensifying fundraising efforts in
response to these changing and challenging
circumstances. Among the measures being taken are
the integration of the information and donor relations
functions and the reorganization of research by

Shifting Perspectives in the CGIAR
As part of the CGIAR renewal process, starting in
1997 centers will no longer have an "approved"
budget; rather, the level of funding of each will be
based directly on donor commitments to the center. In
addition, CIMMYT has increased its funding base by
gradually consolidating all of its activities into its
agreed agenda (to be completed in 1997). Finally, as of

agreed agenda matrix, rather than being left for free
allocation by centers. Although this has improved
transparency and accountability for funding agencies
and their constituencies, a step that CIMMYT
welcomes, it also entails the gradual loss of budgeting
flexibility for the Center. Moreover, given the growing
influence that funding agencies can exercise on Center
research priorities because of this shift, CIMMYT is
actively promoting congruence between basic aims of
donors and research partners, all within the context of
our mission.

Reorganizing Research, Focusing on
External Relations
Intensive fundraising efforts begun in 1994 have
continued. About 18 new projects began operation in
1995, representing US$7.7 million in additional funds
over the next five years. On the other hand, 16 projects,
worth US$3.3 million, ended in 1995. These, along
with projects that end in 1996, will have to be replaced.
The efforts of the Director General to strengthen
ties with donors have been expanded through the
creation of an External Relations program. The move is
intended to consolidate and intensify fundraising,
responsibility for which was formerly spread across
several areas. The new program integrates the offices

1998 the World Bank will
provide centers with an
additional 12% of the funds they
obtain from other sources, rather
than filling gaps in approved
funding as previously. These
changes essentially remove past
disincentives to fundraising.
In general, there is a
growing tendency for donors to
restrict their contributions for
use in specific research
activities; that is, the money is
assigned to special projects or to
individual cells in the CGIAR

Research support 5%
Information 5%


Maize .3-7%n



Economics 4-/o
Natural resources 4%
Biotechnology 7%

of donor relations, public
awareness, project proposal
development, and other
information areas which
contribute to these
Finally, as part of the
new Medium-Term Plan
under development, the
center is redefining its
research agenda under a
dozen or so megaprojectss."
Each megaproject addresses
a major global or regional
challenge, among them food

1995 research budget allocations by area.

security, poverty alleviation, and developing and

disseminating sustainable production systems. The

issue- and output-oriented (rather than activity-

oriented) terms of the megaprojects should allow

policy-makers and funding agency representatives to

readily identify areas of CIMMYT's work that coincide

with their own key priorities.

1995-96 Highlights

Total funding for 1995 was US$33 million (31.6

from donors and 1.4 from other sources); expenditures

totaled US$27.6 million. The combined effect of

reduced operational costs, primarily through reductions

in staff, and a devaluation of the Mexican peso (60% in

1994 and an additional 50% in 1995, partially

offsetting the previous five years of significant local

inflation) allowed CIMMYT to add US$5.4 million to

operating funds in 1995. This improved the Center's

financial condition and enlarged the cushion against

potential shortfalls in 1996 and the uncertainty

foreseen for 1997. In addition, it is helping to maintain

a positive cash flow in the face of late payments by

members. In 1996 unrestricted core funding was

US$1.8 million less than anticipated, and USS9.0

million had not been received by late September (52%

of the unrestricted funds anticipated). For 1996,

anticipated funding and expenditures are slightly over

US$28 million.

CIMMYT also took advantage of special funding

to make capital improvements in areas of strategic

importance. For example, the government of Japan

helped fund the construction of a modem Crop Genetic

Resources Center, including new maize and wheat

germplasm storage, seed preparation, and shipping

facilities. In addition, the Danish government provided

crucial additional support to construct needed space for

CIMMYT's Applied Biotechnology Center, and UNDP

paid for the renovation of special greenhouses for work

on genetically transformed maize.

Sources of income from grants (US$000), 1995.

B. .Core

Asian De.ei:,prrenl Bank
Au -ria
Ca3nadan Iniernal.Onal
De.e lopimenri Agenc i
China. People s Reputblc of
Darnir Irnernaillonal
De.tlopnme-ni AQeni r
Eurpean Union
Ford Founldaionr
Global Enironmenl Fa.:.Ir,
Inler-American De.eiloplmeni Banik
Inlernaiional Funja r r
,.r.ic.ullural De.e l..pmenl
Inrernalional Tropical
4gr.culure Cenier
Islamri. Republic of Irarn
S.iuir, Korea
Le.errulme Tru t
Mr.e-co Go,.ernmeni of
Na1,uflnail "a. ,.oiain of
OIse.J an.. 'l.,real
PrduCers Bolivia IUSAID PLJ-80
Nalronal Irnsliule of Agriculiural
vNoraeg'ian .l1inimir, ol
Foreign Ailir-
OPEC Fund lor
Inrlrnarl3nal De.eulprnmenr
j3.ereas De.elopmr.,nl
Adminisira.ion UJK
R-cKefell.er Foundalion
Slanforrd Un.jersir,
TropiC31 Agricullure Re.earr.h
Center Japan
UJnld Nlalons Dtelopmneni
Unaed Stae;. Agen,, for
Inlemnalonal De.elopmenl
Unl.iE.3 Siaes Depanrrmeril
ol Ailricullure
World Bank
Other qrani-.











4 230


: i.1,6382

236 1 211 2.375
6 6
127 127










1.180 3,763
16 462
370 1,047
t. 6
3E 36
29 29
84 1,048

235 235

175 175
33 33
6 106
153 3.257
16 16

43 1.003
286 323
16 16
294 664

19 19

70 2.054

16 4,314

103 79


7,671 5,296



(as of October 1996)

Walter Falcon, Chair, Board of Trustees and of
the Executive and Finance Committee
(USA), Director, Institute for International
Studies, Stanford University

R. Bruce Hunter, Chair, Program Committee
(Canada), Manager of Research, CIBA
Seeds, Ciba-Geigy Canada Ltd.

Rodrigo A. e..i, P. I'.k .I,1I,' Director of
Agricultural Research, National Institute of
Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock

V.L. Chopra (India), National Professor,
National Research Centre for Plant
Biotechnology, Indian Agricultural
Research Institute

Abderrazak Daaloul (Tunisia), Director General
of Agricultural Production, Ministry of

Anthony Gregson (Australia), Wheat Farmer

Johan Holmberg (Sweden), Director,
Department of Natural Resources and the
Environment, Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency

Jorge Kondo L6pez (Mexico),' Executive
Director, National Institute of Forestry,
Agriculture, and Livestock Research

Francisco Labastida Ochoa (Mexico),
Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and
Rural Development

Cyrus Ndiritu (Kenya), Director, Kenya
Agricultural Research Institute

Jos6 Antonio Ocampo (Colombia), Minister of

Dolores Ramirez (Philippines), Professor of
Genetics, Institute of Plant Breeding,
College of Agriculture, University of the

Timothy G. Reeves (Australia),' Director
General, CIMMYT, Mexico

Francesco Salamini (Italy), Director,
Department of Plant Breeding and Yield
Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Plant
Breeding, Germany

Hirofumi Uchimiya (Japan), Professor, Institute
of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences,
University of Tokyo

Xin Zhiyong (China), Deputy Director, Institute
of Crop Breeding and Cultivation, Chinese
Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Office of the Director General
Timothy G. Reeves, Australia, Director General'
Roger Rowe, USA, Deputy Director General of
Claudio Cafati, Chile, Deputy Director General of
Administration and Finance
Gregorio Martinez V., Mexico, Government and
Public Affairs Officer
Norman E. Borlaug, USA, Consultant

General Administration
Linda Ainsworth, USA, Head, Visitor and
Conference Services
Krista Baldini, USA, Head, Human Resources'
Kathleen Hart, USA, Financial Officer4
Hugo Alvarez V., Mexico, Administrative
Rosario Deaquino, Mexico, Supervisor of Projects
and Budgets2
Martha Duarte, Mexico, Accounting Operations
Salvador Fragoso, Mexico, Payroll and Taxes
Maria Garay A., Mexico, Head, Food and
Gilberto Hernndez V., Mexico, Training
Hector Maciel, Mexico, Accounting Operations
Domingo Moreno, Mexico, Head,
Roberto Rodriguez, Mexico, Head, Workshop
Eduardo de la Rosa, Mexico, Head, Building
Rorika Rueda, Mexico, Accounts Payable
German Tapia, Mexico, Warehouse Supervisor
Manuel Terrazas M., Mexico, Treasury Supervisor
Miguel Zetina, Mexico, Computer Users Support

External Relations Program
Tiffin D. Harris, USA, Director
Anne Starks Acosta, USA, Donor Relations
Leslie Rose, USA, Public Awareness Officer3

Publications and Communications
Kelly A. Cassaday, USA, Writer/Editor
Eugene P. Hettel, USA, Writer/Editor2
G. Michael Listman, USA, Writer/Editor
Timothy McBride, USA, Writer/Editor3
Alma L. McNab, Honduras, Writer/Editor and
Translations Coordinator
Miguel Mellado E., Mexico, Publications

SAppointed in 1995
2 Left CIMMYT in 1995
3 Appointed in 1996
4 LeftCIMMYT n 1996

' Ex officio position

Norman Borlaug, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, and Timothy Reeves during the
30th Anniversary Celebration.

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

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

Maize Program
Delbert Hess, USA, Director
Richard Wedderburn, Barbados, Associate
David Beck, USA, Breeder
David Bergvinson, Canada, Entomologist'
Hugo C6rdova, El Salvador, Breeder
Gregory Edmeades, New Zealand, I'I, ....,.L- i'
Daniel Jeffers, USA, Pathologist
John A. Mihm, USA, Entomologist2
Shivaji Pandey, India, Breeder
Ganesan Srinivasan, India, Breeder, International
"T. -rr.-, I!,.,l.ir.i M aize
Suketoshi Taba, Japan, Breeder, Germplasm
Surinder Vasal, India, Breeder, Lowland Tropical
Martha Willcox, USA, Breeder/Applications of
Gonzalo Granados R., Mexico, Consultant

Andean Region (staff based in Colombia)
Carlos de Le6n G., Mexico, Pathologist
Luis Narro, Peru, Breeder

Asia (staff based in Thailand)
James Lothrop, USA, Breeder
Danilo Baldos, Philippines, Agronomist/
Coordinator of Crop Management Training/

Eastern Africa (staff based in Kenya)
A.F.E. Palmer, UK, Agronomist4
Joel K. Ransom, USA, Agronomist

Central America and the Caribbean (staff
based in Guatemala)
Jorge Bolafos, Nicaragua, Agronomist/NRG
Jerome Fournier, Switzerland, Agronomist/NRG

Southern Africa (staff based in Zimbabwe)
Marianne Binziger, Switzerland, Physiologist
David Jewell, Australia, Breeder

Kevin Pixley, USA, Breeder
Stephen Waddington, UK, Agronomist/NRG
Batson Zambezi, Malawi, Breeder

Cooperative Program with
IITA in West Africa
Alpha O. Diallo, Guinea, Breeder
(based in C6te d'Ivoire)

Roberto F. Soza, Chile, Agronomist

Associate Scientists
Harish Kumar, India. Entomologist
Byung-Ryeol Sung, South Korea. Breeder

Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellows
Miguel BarandiarAn, Peru, Breeder'
Javier Betran, Spain, Breeder'
Salvador Castellanos, Guatemala, Breeder3
Anne Elings, Netherlands, Physiologist'
Priscilla Henriquez, El Salvador, Entomologist'
Jan Hirabayashi, USA, Entomologist'
Scott McLean, USA, Breeder4
Harold Mickelson, USA. Breeder4
Sai Kumar Ramanujam, India, Breeder'
Felix San Vicente, Venezuela, Breeder'

Visiting Scientists
Jan Bocansky, Yugoslavia, Breeder
Jaime Carvajal, Bolivia, Breeder
Javier Eddy Flores, Bolivia, Breeder
Shambhu Nath Mishra, India, Breeder
Ricardo Mora, Mexico, Breeder
Lawrence Mshana, Tanzania, Breeder
Stephen Mugo Ngure, Kenya, Breeder
George Ombhako, Kenya, Breeder
Edison Silva, Ecuador, Breeder
Zhang Shukuan, China, Breeder
Satish K. Sudan, India, Breeder
Legesse Woulde, Ethiopia, Breeder
Habtamu Zelleke, Ethiopia, Breeder

Wheat Program
Sanjaya Rajaram, India, Director
R.A. Fischer, Australia, Director2
George Varughese, India, Associate Director
Leon Broers, Netherlands, Pathologist/Breeder2
H. Jesse Dubin, USA, Head, Crop Protection/
Seed Health Unit
Etienne Duveiller, Belgium, Pathologist
Paul Fox, Australia, Head, International
Guillermo Fuentes D., Mexico, Pathologist
Lucy Gilchrist S., Chile, t'j ,.I.,.l r L .Sc..J
Health Unit Supervisor
Maarten van Ginkel, Netherlands, Head, Bread
Wheat Breeding
Gunther Manske, Germany, Physiologist
A. Mujeeb-Kazi, USA, Head, Wide Crosses
Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio. Mexico. Agronomist
Roberto J. Pcfia, Mexico. Head, Industrial

Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer, Germany, Head, Durum/
Matthew P. Reynolds, UK, Physiologist
Kenneth D. Sayre, USA, Head, Crop
Ravi P. Singh, India, Geneticist/Pathologist
Bent Skovmand, Denmark, Head, Gennplasm
Bank, and Head, Genetic Resources
Reynaldo L. Villareal, Philippines, Head,
Gennplasm Improvement Training
Hugo Vivar, Ecuador, Head, ICARDA/CIMMYT
Barley Program
Arnoldo Amaya, Mexico, Consultant

Patrick C. Wall, Ireland, Agronomist/NRG

East Africa (staff based in Ethiopia)
Osman S. Abdalla, Sudan, Wheat Breeder
Douglas G. Tanner, Canada, Agronomist

South Asia (staff based in Nepal)
Eugene E. Saari, USA, Pathologist/Breeder

Southern Cone of South America
(staff based in Uruguay)
Man Mohan Kohli, India, Breeder

Program (staff based in Syria)
M. Miloudi Nachit, Germany, Durum Wheat
Guillermo Ortiz F., Mexico, Bread Wheat

Craig A. Meisner, USA, Agronomist/NRG

Facultative Wheat Program
(staff based in Turkey)
Hans-Joachim Braun, Germany, Breeder
Alexei Morgounov, Russia, Breeder

Thomas S. Payne, USA, Team Leader, Maize and
Wheat Improvement Research Network for

Associate Scientists
Edgar Haro, Mexico, Agronomist2
Ame Hede, Denmark, Agronomist
Monique Henry. France, Virologist3
Masanori Inagaki. Japan, Cytogeneticist
Mohamed Mergoum, Morocco, Breeder'

Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellows
Enrique Autrique, Mexico, Breeder2
Ligia Ayala, Venezuela, Virologist3
Janny van Beem, Colombia, Physiologist3

SAppointed in 1995
2 Left CIMMYT in 1995
3Appointed in 1996
4 Left CIMMYTin 1996

Premchand Bindraban, Netherlands, Wheat
Systems Analyst4
Belgin Cukadar-Olmedo, Turkey, Breeder3
Hong Ma, China, Pathologist2
Heidi Mickelson, USA, Breeder
Henning MUller, Germany, Agronomist

Visiting Scientists
James Quick, USA, Agronomist2
Nigatu Tadesse, USA, Geneticist3

Economics Program
Prabhu Pingali, India, Director3
Daniel Buckles, Canada, Anthropologist2
Paul W. Heisey, USA, Economist
Melinda Smale, USA, Economist
Mywish Maredia, India, Affiliate Economist
Gregory Traxler, USA, Affiliate Economist

Central America and the
Caribbean (staff based in Costa Rica)
Gustavo E. Sain, Argentina, Economist/NRG

Eastern and Southern Africa
Rashid Hassan, Sudan, Economist (based in
Wilfred M. Mwangi, Kenya, Economist (based in
Hugo Verkuijl, Netherlands, Economist (based in

South and Southeast Asia (staff based in
Michael Morris, USA, Economist

Research Fellow
James MacMillan, Canada, Economist3

Marianne van Dorp, Netherlands, Economist
Dominique Louette, France, Economist
Gerard J. Dempsey, UK, Economist

Research Interns
Jason Hartell, USA, Economist
Kelly Jean Nightingale, Kenya, Agronomist
Roderick Rejesus, Philippines, Economist
Elizabeth Rice, USA, Economist
Ning Yang, China, Economist

Natural Resources Group
Larry Harrington, USA, Manager
Jeff White, USA, GIS/Modeling Specialist'

Central America and the Caribbean
(staff based in Honduras)
Hector J. Barreto, Colombia, Agronomist (joint

South Asia (staff based in Nepal)
Peter R. Hobbs, UK, Agronomist

Associate Scientists
Olaf Erenstein, Netherlands, Economist
Dewi Hartkamp, Netherlands, GIS/Modeling
Eric Scopel, France, Agronomist

Applied Biotechnology Center
David Hoisington, USA, Director
Natasha Bohorova, Bulgaria, Head, Applied
Genetic Engineering Laboratory
Diego Gonzalez-de-Le6n, Mexico, Head, Applied
Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Mireille Khairallah, Lebanon, Molecular
Yves Savidan, France, Leader, Apomixis Project
Wanggen Zhang, China, Head, Applied Molecular

Associate Scientists
Robert Bird, USA, Archeobotanist
Ognian Bohorov, Bulgaria, Scientific Services
Sarah Fennell, UK, Cell Biologist
Paul Julstrom, USA, Biosafety Greenhouse
Jean Marcel Ribaut, Switzerland, Molecular
Manilal William, Sri Lanka, Molecular

Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellows
Daniel Grimanelli, France, Molecular Geneticist
Susanne Groh, Germany, Quantitative Geneticist
H&ctor Guill6n, Mexico, Molecular Geneticist
Xueyi Hu, China, Molecular Geneticist'
Enrico Perotti, Italy, Molecular Biologist'

Jose Crossa, Uruguay, Head
Chiangjian Jiang, China, Biometrician
Jorge Franco, Uruguay, Consultant
Mateo Vargas, Mexico, Consultant

Experiment Stations
Francisco Magallanes, Mexico, Field
Superintendent, El Batin
JosC A. Miranda, Mexico, Field Superintendent,
Rodrigo Rasc6n, Mexico, Field Superintendent,
Cd. Obreg6n
Abelardo Salazar, Mexico, Field Superintendent,
Poza Rica
Alejandro L6pez, Mexico, Field Superintendent,

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

SAppointed in 1995
2 Left CIMMYT in 1995
3Appointed in 1996
4 Left CIMMYT in 1996

.. .

I -

..: rary financial

support for

CIMMYT's work comes

from the 52 members of the

Consultatihe Group on

International Agricultural

Research (CGIAR). This

international consortium. which

represents developed and

developing countries. is

cosponsored hb the Food and

Agriculture Organization of the

United Nations, the \\orld

Bank, the United Nations

Development Programme, and

the United Nations

Environment Programme.

Through its support to

CIMMYT and IS other

international agricultural

research centers, the CGL- .I

promotes sustainable

agriculture for food security in

developing countries.

Sa. JIOORAi, r.u. iHQX 3059 ,. P.O. Box 9-188 .
Apdo. Poital 6-641 AddisAbaba, Ethiopia Bangkok 10900 ''
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C M MYT : .. Telex: 3036 BTi ilOH (umasi) Telex: 42994 C1MMYR TR
P. Box 6057, Guls-ami Fax: (233-2) 772562 (CIDA) ax: (90-312) 2878955 .
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