Maize is a staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa, but yields remain sub-optimal. Improved breeding and seed systems are vital to increase productivity. We describe a novel hybrid seed production technology that will benefit seed companies and farmers. This technology reduces the cost of seed production by preventing the need for detasseling. The resulting hybrids segregate 1:1 for pollen production, conserving resources for grain production and conferring a 200 kg ha-1 benefit across a range of yield levels. This represents a 10% increase for farmers operating at national average yield levels in sub-Saharan Africa. The yield benefit of fifty-percent non-pollen producing hybrids is equivalent to approximately six years of progress in plant breeding. Benefits to seed companies in the form of reduced production cost and improved seed purity will provide incentives to improve smallholder farmer access to higher quality seed of climate-smart hybrids. Demonstrated farmer preference for these hybrids will help drive their adoption.