AAA Maize crosses the Bay of Bengal
Affordable, Accessible, Asian (“AAA”) Maize is making strong progress in India. This drought-tolerant hybrid has now also been registered in Myanmar. Farmers in both countries stand to gain. A short film explains how.
«The AAA initiative is a rare example of a public-private partnership delivering products to smallholders in central India», says Hervé Thieblemont. He leads Seeds2B work in Asia and our team in the Mekong region.
As our recently updated info sheet shows, the new maize has got off to a good start. «Our Indian colleagues put a lot of effort into training the local seed companies», comments Hervé. «That helped them to increase sales markedly each year.» In 2018, smallholders bought 18 tons of AAA Maize. That figure rose to 50 tons in 2019. «What is really impressive is that despite all the special challenges last year, AAA sales more than doubled again, to 120 tons». That enabled some 8000 farmers to plant about 6000 hectares.
A film on our YouTube channel explains the Indian set-up in more detail.
As the word ‘Asian’ in its name suggests, however, this maize is also designed to benefit smallholders outside India. «I’m delighted to report that the second country to introduce AAA is Myanmar», says Hervé. «Our local seed partner Ayeyarwady Seed recently completed the registration of variety TA5084, the one already commercialized in India.» Ayeyarwady is part of the Myanma AWBA Group. The variety will be sold as ‘ASC 108’.
«Our partners will be offering ASC 108 in the central dry zones», announces Hervé. «The focus will be on Shan, Sagaing and Chin states. So far, smallholders there have had no access to hybrid maize. Their yields have therefore been much lower than would be possible.»
Ayeyarwady Seed aims to launch ASC 108 from June onwards.
«The first seed shipments will come from India», Hervé explains. «However, Ayeyarwady has already established a seed production pilot on two acres. The March harvest brought in a yield of 1.2t/acre, which is a great achievement for the first round.»
Our photo shows a farmer and her AAA Maize in Gujarat, India. Thanks go to A.M. Rao.