About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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WEMA Project Partners Honored with ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Award Featured Article

By Jesus Madrazo
Vice President, Corporate Engagement

Improving lives of resource-poor farmers is one of Monsanto’s commitments to agriculture. Six years ago, with that commitment in mind, we partnered with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (or AATF) on the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project to share pest-resistant and drought-tolerant maize seed varieties with Sub-Saharan African farmers.

Along with the AATF, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and five National Agricultural Research Systems Sub-Saharan Africa have joined us in … Full Article »

Background WEMA Sustainability

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Featured Article

What if we could stop using Africa as an example of food scarcity and a non-existent agriculture infrastructure? This question is at the heart of our commitment to Africa.  That’s why Monsanto has been working to develop new technologies and seed that will help African farmers manage risk and ensure a more secure food supply.

The current food supply crisis in Africa has been well documented. But forecasters see something even more troubling on the horizon. As the population increases and climate change becomes a greater factor in food security, risk of hunger could increase up to 20 percent by … Full Article »

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WEMA Partnership Celebrates 5th Anniversary Featured Article

By Mark Edge
Monsanto WEMA Project Lead

Maize continues to be the most widely grown staple crop in Africa, with more than 300 million people depending on it as their main food source.

Maize farming in Africa, however, is not without its risks – especially for millions of smallholder farmers who have limited resources and technologies to take on agricultural challenges presented by droughts and insect pests. Food security is constantly at risk with the potential of maize production ending with low yields or even crop failures, which contribute to hunger and poverty. Fortunately, Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)Full Article »

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Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Update Featured Article

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project is a public/private partnership, initiated in 2008, dedicated to improving lives through the development of products that help smallholder farmers mitigate drought risk and manage insect pressure. 

Led by the Kenya-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett foundations, WEMA key partners include the National Agricultural Research Institutes in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT ) and Monsanto. 

Since its inception, the WEMA partnership has successfully developed a robust pipeline of new drought-tolerant hybrids … Full Article »

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Helping Farmers Recover From Catastrophic Frost in Sinaloa, Mexico Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

Located east of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, between the Gulf of California and the mountain spurs of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the fertile Sinaloa valley in Mexico produces 25 percent of Mexico’s annual corn crop, which is 50 percent of the corn used for tortillas, Mexico’s main food source.

In February 2010, freezing temperatures in Sinaloa wiped out 90 percent of this corn crop, an overwhelming loss to the Mexican economy that potentially would impact local food resources and the international corn market.

This untimely weather event shocked Sinaloa farmers.

Initially irrigation farmers flooded … Full Article »

We’re all in this together…

Editor’s note: Rory Herron is one of two UK interns spending their summer at Monsanto’s global headquarters, under a program with Scotland’s Saltire Foundation. The Saltire Foundation is an independent charitable organization representing a new vision for Scotland, providing invaluable opportunities through experience, learning and business networking. Its undergraduate internship programme offers Scotland’s students the chance to spend 8 weeks working at a top multinational company with the aim of encouraging candidates to develop their confidence, skills and capacity to succeed.


By Rory Herron

I’m the youngest of seven children. Before I was born in Ireland, my parents and … Full Article »

Maize Production and South Africa

I’m Kobus Lindeque, the business lead for Africa. As some of you have heard, a few weeks ago we started hearing from some of our farmer customers about a pollen issue with three white maize hybrids grown in South Africa. In some instances, farmers experienced reduced yield. We’ve committed to reimburse the farmers for their lost yield.

This is an issue involving seed production that we will correct.

Yesterday, we posted a news release on our South Africa Monsanto Web site that provides an update. I’ve included a copy of that news release here for those who might be interested.… Full Article »