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Maize – DT Maize for Asia

Asian Maize Drought-Tolerance Project (AMDROUT) (G4008.56)

Maize is on the rise in Asia: acreage in South and Southeast Asia has been expanding by 2.2 percent annually (from 16.5m ha in 2001 to 18m ha in 2006.

More than 80 percent of the maize is grown under rainfed conditions and is therefore vulnerable to drought. It is estimated that R&D investments addressing drought would provide the highest technical returns to rainfed maize in Asia.

This project focuses on the development – through marker-assisted breeding (MAB) technologies – of new drought-tolerant maize adapted to many countries in Asia. It builds on the experience acquired in maize in the private sector, and also on a similar project that was initiated for Africa by CIMMYT.

The project is a partnership between CIMMYT, country programmes in Asia and private companies in some countries in Asia. This sharing of material and information among this wide range of partners will lead to an optimum dissemination of MAB technologies throughout the maize-growing areas of South and Southeast Asia.

Involving the private sector injects focus in tackling a trait that has direct relevance along the entire product development chain, leading up to the farmer and markets.


  1. Effectively transfer highest expression of drought tolerance in maize into elite well-adapted Asian lines targeted at drought or water-constrained environments.
  2. Make germplasm and associated marker information available as international public goods and foster the engagement of a wide range of public and private breeders in applied and relevant marker assisted breeding (MAB) projects.
  3. Collaborate with Asian public and private sector breeders on germplasm selection, project implementation, effective uptake and dissemination of germplasm, molecular information and knowhow generated from the project.