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.
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
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%.
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,
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.
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