Newswise — Aug. 24, 2017— Maize is one of the three most important crops in the world.  CIMMYT (International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement) and its international research partners have developed hybrids that will expand production even further.

The lectureship, entitled “Partitioning and Passion, Pothole and Partnerships: A Journey with Tropical Maize,” will address this topic at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL. The lecture will be held Monday, October 23, 2017, at 8:40 AM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Today, 368 drought tolerant hybrids producing 65,000 tons of certified maize seed per year are deployed in sub-Saharan Africa. Key factors leading to the success of this program are the vision of founding CIMMYT staff; continuity of support by program leaders and donors for over 40 years; an array of talented young scientists who believed passionately they could make a difference; and excellent partnerships with national research programs and seed companies who are increasingly leading initiatives in product development and adoption. Additional lessons learned and implications for temperate maize will be discussed during the presentation.

Presenters are Gregory O. Edmeades, New Zealand; Marianne Banziger, CIMMYT, Mexico; Kenneth Fischer, CGIAR, Australia; and, Tsedeke Abate, CIMMYT, Kenya. The lecture is part of the Betty Klepper Endowed Lectureship.

“CIMMYT is the global leader in developing tropical maize germplasm,” says Mark Westgate, Iowa State University. “Dr. Edmeades and his colleagues at CIMMYT have been at the forefront of discovering drought tolerant traits and applying that knowledge to advance maize hybrids for dry-land production. Their successes are having a dramatic impact on the transition from OPV to hybrid maize in sub-Saharan Africa.”  Westgate is the incoming-president of the Crop Science Society of America.

For more information about the 2017 meeting, visit Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 10, 2017 is required. Visit for registration information. For information about the “Partitioning and Passion, Pothole and Partnerships: A Journey with Tropical Maize” lecture, visit

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, [email protected] to arrange an interview. 

Meeting Link: