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Introducing more nutritious maize in Ethiopia

Maize, which you may know as corn, is the third most important cereal crop for direct consumption (after rice and wheat), and is one of the most popular staple crops in Ethiopia. Yet conventional maize alone doesn’t include all nutrients needed for a healthy diet.

In fact, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) reports that, when household diets depend on maize and lack variety, childhood growth is often stunted and malnutrition is persistent.

To address this problem, CIMMYT used conventional crop improvement methods to develop maize that offers a complete protein to the children and livestock that eat it. Called “quality protein maize” (QPM), this non-transgenic, biofortified cereal has been proven to reduce problems of stunted growth and malnutrition among children.

With funding from the Government of Canada, CIMMYT is implementing a major five-year initiative in Ethiopia designed to help maize farmers learn about and produce this high-protein food crop to enrich their household diets. Farm Radio International is contributing to the success of this project by working with Ethiopian radio stations to develop programs in maize-growing regions about nutrition, the benefits of a diversified diet and the option of growing QPM. Learn more.

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