A project of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), NuME is implemented in collaboration with Ethiopian research institutions, international non-governmental organizations, universities and public and private seed companies in Ethiopia (main partners).
Through the development and dissemination of new maize varieties, including quality protein maize (QPM), and the deployment of improved agronomic practices, NuME is helping to reduce food insecurity by strengthening Ethiopia’s capacity to feed itself.
NuME stands on the shoulders of a previous multi-country seven-year regional project – Quality Protein Maize Development (QPMD) – which was implemented by CIMMYT with partners in Ethiopia Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda between 2003 and 2010. Both NuME and the QPMD project implemented more than two decades worth of research done by CIMMYT and partners on quality protein maize, which earned the CIMMYT scientists behind it the World Food Prize in 2000.
The NuME Project will bring QPM to rural maize producers in the Ethiopian maize belt and beyond, where consumers – especially young children and women – are at risk of lysine deficiency. In the preceding QPMD project, QPM adoption in Ethiopia was limited only to agro-ecological niches suitable for the variety then available at project inception. Since then (2003), the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and CIMMYT have made good progress in breeding. This has resulted in new QPM hybrids and open-pollinated varieties adapted to all major maize-producing agro-ecologies in Ethiopia, including the high-potential mid-altitude and highland zones, as well as adapted to drought-prone zones.
NuME was launched in March 2012 with a five-year timeframe. It is being implemented in three major maize-growing agro-ecological zones (drought-prone, moist mid-altitude and highlands) in 36 focal project Weredas (districts) across four regions – Amhara, Oromia, Southern nations, nationalities and people (SNNP) and Tigray. Project activities include creating awareness, utilization, and designing training materials, among others.
Funding is by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD, formerly known as the Canadian International Development Agency [CIDA]), which also funded the preceding QPMD project.
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