A recent BBC news story has explained that scientific analysis of a cob of corn dating back 5,000 years shows how maize became one of our most popular cereals and that farming by early civilisations started a process of domestication that produced the sweet yellow corn we use today for food or fuel.

Yet the challenge in 2017 for scientists and growers alike is that maize yields need to increase by an estimated 60% by 2050 to meet growing demand. How can this dramatic increase be achieved?

A major two-volume publication, Achieving sustainable cultivation of maize Volume 1: From improved varieties to local applications and Volume 2: Cultivation techniques, pest and disease control, shows just how this huge challenge can be met.

Maize production is currently held back by factors such as: lack of available improved cultivars or failure to take up new improved varieties, inadequate crop management and storage, poor soil quality, the impact of pests and diseases, and more extreme weather related to climate change“, said Francis Dodds, Editorial Director of Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing who have published the new research.

Research needs to focus on supporting more productive, sustainable and nutritionally-valuable maize cultivation, particularly for smallholders in the developing world if the demand is to be met”.

The two volumes are edited Dr Dave Watson, Programme Manager for the CGIAR Research Program on Maize, the most important research project of its kind on maize. Dr Watson is based at the world-famous International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico.

This publication promises to be a path-breaking contribution to agricultural research and development” said Professor Mankombu (M. S.) Swaminathan, Recipient of the first World Food Prize in 1987 and listed by Time magazine as one of the 20 most influential Asian people of the twentieth century.


REFERENCE

Achieving sustainable cultivation of maize Vol.1 and 2
Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited
In print and digital formats: Vol.1. £150/$190/€180; Vol2. £190/$240/€230
www.bdspublishing.com

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19103/AS.2016.0001 and https://doi.org/10.19103/AS.2016.0002