New high-yielding hybrid maize variety revolutionising farming for prosperity in Somalia

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A new ground-breaking hybrid maize variety is already registering a staggering 30 to 50% increase in yield potential as compared to local varieties since its introduction late last year further revolutionising farming for prosperity in Somalia.

Dubbed Siman, the high-yielding variety has been termed as a significant breakthrough for Somalia’s agriculture.

introduced by Filsan Seed Company in a fruitful partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the new variety has been nurtured through years of rigorous testing for adaptation to local conditions in Somalia.

Siman was officially registered in October 2023, heralding a new era for variety release in the country and it is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in agriculture.

The registration by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (FMoAI) marked the beginning of Siman’s journey, and the results have been nothing short of remarkable.

Early maturity

The hybrid not only exhibits uniformity in the field but also matures a week earlier than local varieties and performs better under moisture and nutrient stress.

It owes its origins to CIMMYT’s Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) program, generously supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and USAID.

Filsan secured exclusive rights to Siman’s parental lines in 2020, paving the way for a transformative impact on maize farming in Somalia.

Out of the 20 MT seeds produced by Filsan during 2023 planting season, 50 per cent were directly sold to farmers while the remaining half was sold through a promotional program.

looking into the future, Filsan foresees an expansion in both the production and promotion of Siman hybrid seed among farmers.

The initial phase involved limited seed marketing in 2023, and the next steps include a deliberate expansion into new geographic regions and reaching out to a greater number of farmers.

This forward-thinking strategy guarantees the ongoing transformative influence of Siman, paving the way for a more promising and prosperous future for communities engaged in maize farming.