WEMA maize shows resistance to destructive fall armyworm pest
Scientists have observed unexpected benefits in Mozambique’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) field trials that could well be a game changer in efforts to ensure Africa’s food security.
Though the maize varieties were genetically modified to withstand drought and the vicious stem borer pest, they’re also showing promising resistance to the destructive fall armyworm pest, which arrived on the African continent in 2016 and continues its devastating advance.
Early results from Mozambique indicate the genetically modified WEMA seeds can offer significant protection against insect pests — without the use of pesticides. This has positive implications for the other nations that are developing WEMA varieties, including Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia.