TASAI Spotlights


Maize farmers in Haut-Katanga and other neighbouring provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will soon benefit from maize hybrid varieties that have been developed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT). On 8th April 2019, CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program signed a maize commercial license agreement with the University of Lubumbashi (UNILU) based in Haut-Katanga province. Only one of two universities in the DRC with an active plant breeding program, UNILU has developed and released several open-pollinated varieties (OPV) of maize, such as ZM623 and ZM721. Originally from CIMMYT, both OPV varieties were introduced in 2008. More recently in 2017, UNILU introduced three other CIMMYT-derived OPV maize varieties, namely ZM625, ZM725 and ZM525 (also called Bukidi Bukidi) under the New Seed Initiative for Maize in Africa (NSIMA) program. The newly signed agreement grants UNILU the license to maintain and commercialize three maize hybrid varieties.