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Golden maize varieties (High provitamin A)

Nutrition-boosting, income-enhancing maize.

These maize varieties have distinctive orange kernels, a result of high beta-carotene content. They are developed through advanced breeding techniques, combining naturally provitamin A enriched lines from Central and South America with elite land races and hybrid lines with improved agronomic traits.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 7/9; level of use 7/9

Cost: $$$ 0.8—1.2 USD

per kg


Open source / open access


  • Widespread Vitamin A Deficiency: A significant portion of the population, particularly children and adults, suffer from inadequate vitamin A levels. This leads to preventable cases of blindness and compromises immune system function, increasing susceptibility to diseases like measles, diarrhea, and respiratory infections.
  • Malnutrition and Weak Immunity: Common maize varieties lack essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to widespread malnutrition and weakened immunity. This puts 50% of children aged 0.5 to 5 years at risk of vitamin A deficiency, leading to serious health complications and reduced quality of life.


Addressing Vitamin A Deficiency:

  • Provitamin A enriched maize varieties provide a stable source of essential nutrients, combating deficiencies.
  • Preservation of beta-carotene ensures a consistent supply of vitamin A.
  • Genomic modification maintains nutrient content without compromising yield.

Combatting Malnutrition and Weak Immunity:

  • Cost-effective approach for regions heavily reliant on maize.
  • Tailored to meet nutritional needs, providing a significant portion of daily vitamin A requirement.
  • Accessible and adaptable for diverse farming systems.

Key points to design your business plan

For Seed multipliers: 

Producing Golden Maize technology provides a cost-effective and sustainable solution, addressing vitamin A deficiency, empowers diverse farming communities, contributing to enhanced health and wellbeing on a global scale.

To efficiently multiply the seed, you need to source Foundation or Registered seed according to your position in the seed development process. The multiplication of the technology does not require purchasing a license.

Your potential customers are : wholesale distributors of seed to retailers, and to development projects, government agencies, and NGOs. 

Building strong partnerships with wholesale distributor networks is key to the success of your business.


For Resellers:

Selling Golden Maize not only provides a valuable product but also fosters closer engagement with users while simultaneously enhancing health and wellbeing on a global scale.

To successfully navigate this market, you need to know where to source golden maize in bulk, identify efficient transportation methods, and explore suitable storage facilities 

Your potential customer base is: small, local retailers, development projects, producers, and producer cooperatives or associations.


For Users:

Using Provitamin A enriched maize technology offers a cost-effective, sustainable solution to combat vitamin A deficiency, ensures consistent nutrient supply, and empowers diverse farming communities for enhanced health and wellbeing.

As key partners you need sellers of  Golden Maize.

The cost structure, one Kg price of Golden Maize, is set at $0.8-1.2 USD. 

You need to estimate the profit realized with the use of the the product.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive high
Under 18
Positive high
Positive high

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts somewhat well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It doesn't hurt them
Carbon footprint
It reduces emissions a little
It makes a little difference
Soil quality
It doesn't harm the soil's health and fertility
Water usage
It uses a little less water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Cameroon Not tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Not tested Adopted
Ghana Not tested Adopted
Kenya Not tested Adopted
Malawi Not tested Adopted
Mali Not tested Adopted
Nigeria Not tested Adopted
Rwanda Not tested Adopted
Tanzania Not tested Adopted
Zambia Not tested Adopted
Zimbabwe Not tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 3: good health and well-being
Goal 3: good health and well-being

  1. Variety Selection: Choose the specific Provitamin A Enriched Golden Maize variety best suited for your region. Refer to local agricultural guidelines for recommended planting practices.

  2. Soil and Fertilizer Management: Conduct a soil test to assess nutrient levels and pH balance. Adjust fertilization based on the requirements of the chosen maize variety.

  3. Consider Intercropping or Rotation: In areas with low soil fertility, consider intercropping Provitamin A Enriched Golden Maize with legumes or rotating with other crops. This practice enhances nutrient availability and water retention, benefiting the specific characteristics of this maize variety.

  4. Monitor Growth and Pest Control: Regularly monitor the growth of Provitamin A Enriched Golden Maize, paying close attention to signs of pests or diseases that may affect this specific variety. Apply recommended pest control measures as needed.

  5. Harvesting: Time the harvest for when kernels of the specific Provitamin A Enriched Golden Maize variety are fully mature and dry. This is typically indicated by a change in color and texture.

  6. Storage and Processing: Store harvested maize in dry, well-ventilated conditions to prevent moisture-induced spoilage while ensuring the specific provitamin A content of this maize variety is retained. Use processing methods that minimize oxidation.

Last updated on 22 May 2024