Question 248584

The desert plant Welwitschia mirabilis (Figure 1) is an extraordinary plant, that can survive in the hot, desert where other plants can’t survive. On the other hand, food crops have little to no drought resistance or tolerance. The majority of food crops are annuals. In nature, such plants grow only in the rainy seasons, when temperatures are appropriate for vegetative growth; in agriculture, it’s called the “growing season”. The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry has hypothesized that putting Welwitschia mirabilis plant’s survival skills into maize will make it drought tolerant and expand cultivation of maize to marginal arid areas of Namibia.

Imagine, you have been engaged by the Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry as a scientist to make use of the Welwitschia mirabilis surviving skills to develop a maize variety that is drought tolerant, kindly detail all the steps to the Minister on how you would intend to come up with such a maize variety.