Since 2013, the Syngenta Foundation has worked with CIMMYT and Syngenta in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Its aim is to develop drought-tolerant, low-cost hybrid maize (corn) for low-rainfall areas of South Asia. This partnership integrates African drought-tolerance traits from CIMMYT’s germplasm collection into elite parental lines from Syngenta.
The resulting affordable, accessible, Asian (AAA) triple-cross varieties are being licensed to small, local seed producers. These companies will ensure seed multiplication and availability to farmers in drought-prone areas, initially in India. As well as research, the PPP therefore covers aspects such as shared IP between the owners of the parental lines, and third-party licensing deals with seed multipliers.
The first variety from this PPP is now on sale. It is in strong demand from smallholders in three dry Indian states who have conventionally grown non-hybrid maize. Further products from the partnership are planned, with improved biotic and abiotic resilience traits.