By Seifu Mahifere
For community health extension workers (CHWs) in Ethiopia as elsewhere, educating smallholder farmers on the importance of protein is a continuous task year in year out. And it is not that the farmers do not know of its importance. The big problem has been affordable protein within the reach and means of smallholder farmers. Now, however, life is getting easier for CHWs in Ethiopia thanks to quality protein maize (QPM), a pioneering technology developed several decades ago by CIMMYT scientists (see here and here). QPM is the first biofortified crop improved for its protein quality. Biofortified crops are particularly appropriate for combating under-nutrition in rural households that mostly consume their own produce and prepare traditional foods using these staples. QPM is now being widely promoted in the country by CIMMYT’s Nutritious Maize for Ethiopia (NuME) project in collaboration with many national partners.