Lucio Reinoso is an agronomist with a master’s degree in
agricultural sciences from the National Southern University, Argentina. Lucio
and his team at the National University of Rio Negro and the INTA Lower Valley
Experimental Station developed a new seeder that allows farmers to sow their
maize using the same furrow from the year before and leaving behind crop
residue on the surface, helping them to implement conservation agriculture
practices and minimize impacts on the environment. He was recently awarded the
MAIZE Youth Innovators Award 2019 – Latin America in the category of researcher
for his involvement in this work.
The awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on
Maize (MAIZE), seek to recognize the contributions of young women and men who
are implementing innovations in Latin American maize-based agri-food systems. This
is the third instalment of the awards, following Asia in October 2018 and
Africa in May 2019. The awards ceremony took place at the 23rd Latin American
Maize Reunion in Monteria, Colombia on October 9, 2019.
Women and youth help lead efforts to adopt climate-friendly farming and safeguard indigenous maize yields
Farmers walk through a field that has been cleared by slash and burn agriculture in the Yucatan peninsula. Photo: Maria Boa/ CIMMYT
The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has been hard hit by drought and extreme weather events related to climate change in recent years, exacerbating local poverty and food insecurity. In addition, slash-and-burn agriculture techniques have led to environmental degradation and contribute to climate change. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is working to help indigenous Mayan farming families in the Yucatan peninsula adapt to and mitigate climate change, increasing maize yields and food security while minimizing negative environmental impact. This comes as world leaders mull a crucial decision on agriculture at the UN Climate talks in Bonn, a decision that could support farmers everywhere to take similar actions.
In the densely populated areas of South Asia on the Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), climate change threatens to pose an enormous risk to food security. By the year 2050 both regions are expected to suffer crop yield decreases of at least 20%, with a 40% chance of crop failure for maize in a given season in much of Southern Africa, making a sustainable increase of food production critical in the near future.