Zaka district, Zimbabwe — Aplonia Marutsvaka looks triumphant as she shows off one of her three bags of gleaming white maize. She harvested the grain in the midst of a drought and sapping heat that charred many other types of crop. The secret of her successful harvest is simple: A type of maize seed that has been bred to tolerate high temperatures. "It has never been this hot, but [this] variety of maize performs well in the heat," said the 62-year-old Marutsvaka. "I am preparing my maize field to plant it again." Marutsvaka is hopeful the new variety will continue to ensure her a harvest even as temperatures soar above 30°C here in Masvingo Province and across Zimbabwe. Maize is the key ingredient for sadza, a stiff porridge that is the national staple food. Worried about the projected impact of increasing heat on maize as a result of climate change, researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and the research programme on maize of CGIAR, a global a...

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