Blue maize is all the rage, but are consumers willing to pay?

By Jennifer Johnson

Freshly made blue maize tortillas in a market in Texcoco, Mexico. Photo: Carolyn Cowan.

Step into supermarkets or restaurants in many parts of Mexico City and surrounding towns and you might see products made from blue maize – products which would not have been available just a few years ago. From blue corn chips to maize-based Mexican dishes such as blue tortillas and blue tamales, a beloved staple crop has taken on a new hue. But should breeders, millers, processors or farmer organizations invest in expanding the production of blue maize and blue maize products? Are consumers really interested, and are they willing to pay more?

These are some of the questions asked by researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico. They set up a choice experiment study on blue maize tortillas to test consumer preferences and willingness to pay for this product.

Climate change expected to hit northern Central American countries disproportionately

By Natasha Nagarajan

A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute estimates that rainfed maize yields in countries in northern Central America are at the highest risk of crop loss as a result of climate change in the region.

Maize crops occupy more than 36% of total cultivated land in Central America and almost 19% in the Andean countries. IFPRI’s study examined potential impacts of climate change through the year 2050. According to the results, Costa Rica is expected to suffer the hardest blow to maize yields, at an almost 17% loss, with Honduras following behind at around 12%.

2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Latin America Winners Announced

The CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Latin America. This is the third instalment of the awards, following Asia in October 2018 and Africa in May 2019. These awards recognize the contributions of young women and men under 35 who are implementing innovations in Latin American maize-based agri-food systems, including research-for-development, seed systems, agribusiness, and sustainable intensification.

New zinc-biofortified maize hybrid provides improved nutrition for Colombian farmers

By Natasha Nagarajan

Colombian maize farmer inspects his zinc-enriched biofortified maize plants. Photo: HarvestPlus LAC.

A new zinc-enriched maize hybrid developed for Colombia by HarvestPlus with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) will provide added nutrition and financial security to rural farming families in the coffee-growing region of Colombia.