Abstract

Science and technology constitute the most
important bridge between prosperity and poverty. During the
last quarter of the century, the introduction of modern
technology based on science, has assisted developed countries
to reach a favorable balance between food production and
population growth. In Central America, corn breeding has
contributed to the release of near a hundred varieties that have
been multiplied and distributed by a dynamic and progressive
seed industry. These new maize hybrids associated with the
proper agronomy practices have increased maize productivity
in the region by 60% yield in the past 15 years. This is
certainly a fact in El Salvador and Guatemala that duplicated
the yields and self-sufficiency in corn. New varieties resistant
to biotic and abiotic stresses are playing a very important role
in the sustainability of maize production. The future release
of new modern hybrids resistant to such stresses will
contribute to reduce the post-harvest losses. The better
understanding of some physiological aspects correlated with
yield and more effective methods of selection in maize
breeding have contributed to improve the selection
techniques, however, the weakness of the national research
and extension programs, the lack of economic resources to
agricultural production and seed industry and the
deterioration of the natural resources call for a new integrated
regional effort. This new effort should be focussed in the
sustainable production that guarantees the increase in
productivity in the next two decades.