Maize productivity in Indonesia is relatively low (3.66 t/ha), yet in some provinces it rises above 4.0 t/ha. This higher productivity is due to farmers' adoption of production technology, including the use of improved maize varieties. This paper describes the progress of the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development's breeding program to develop several improved maize varieties in Indonesia. The research compares the characteristics and yield potential of nine open pollinated maize varieties (OPVs) and 13 hybrid maize varieties that have been released by the government since 1992. Findings show that B11-209 and Nei 9008—female parents of hybrids Bima-2 and Bima-3—gave better combining ability with Mr14 than Mr4 and could replace Mr4 as testers in the hybrid breeding program. The Modified Reciprocal Recurrent Selection breeding method effectively improved grain yield of the MSJ2 population. The authors conclude that OPVs are still needed, especially in areas outside Java with high soil acidity, low soil fertility and drought stress. Furthermore, development of quality protein maize varieties is needed to improve the low nutrition value of children in some parts of Indonesia, especially in drought prone areas.

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