Nutritious maize tortillas: from field to plate
Support in Morelos, Mexico of maize value chain with enhanced protein quality and zinc maize for better nutrition and income opportunities
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
CIMMYT International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement
Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Texcoco, Edo de Mexico
Location(s) of impact
Mexico: Tepalcingo, Cuernavaca
Masagro, our sustainable agriculture platform in Mexico to bring nutrition and gender to the State of Morelos
Technology that we will use to improve maize productivity in the farmers field
Nutritious maize for consumers
Legacy of Quality protein maize from a Mexican researcher
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Double burden of nutrition is present in Mexico households. With maize playing a large role in the diet, its traditional cooking and use of nutritionally enhanced maize can bring health and nutrition benefits to consumers and income opportunities to value chain actors. Building on current efforts for biofortification and sustainable agriculture we aim to further promote the cultivation of quality protein and enhanced kernel-zinc maize, its use by nixtamalization industry and its consumption by vulnerable consumers group
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Previous efforts using quality protein maize in Mexico have failed due to the lack of seed availability and the disintegration of the value chain. However, work in other countries like Ethiopia and Guatemala has shown the nutritional benefits and the income generation opportunity for the value chain. Current work in Mexico is successfully integrating and strengthening the maize value chain from farmers to consumers, from seed sector to food industry. We will build on such effort bringing nutritional maize to contribute alleviate the malnutrition in the target region. Partnering with BASF will allow us to use agronomic technologies to enhance grain productivity, expand farmer capacity building in good agronomic practices, business and leadership. By encouraging the use and consumption of nutritious maize and promote the consumption of traditional maize tortilla we aim to enhance nutrition of vulnerable population and increase income opportunities for youth and women in the area
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
The impact of CIMMYT and partners projects in Mexico follow a shared vision of increasing production and productivity together with farming systems’ resilience while favoring rural development enabling factors (such as the strengthening of local agricultural input value chains). To date, CIMMYT alone reaches through its projects in the country at least 300,000 farmers which in the case of rainfed maize see an average increase in yield of 30%. The Sustainable Intensification strategy in place promotes conservation agriculture and other management practices to better adapt to and mitigate GHG emissions which will be aligned with interventions from BASF that contribute to enhance productivity in the field while ensuring clean environment by appropriate training. Many other actors and partners contribute with aligned efforts, substantially adding up to the referred figure. Consumption of quality protein maize by vulnerable population leads to an 8% increase in height and 9% in weight.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
About 20% of the pilot work will be “in kind” support of participating organizations including CIMMYT, BASF, local seed companies, farmers associations and processors associations throughout their different projects and work in the region. The remaining cost of the pilot will be covered by this grant. Future scale-up work plan will be included in fund raising activities in the subsequent years with public and private sector.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
We are working with the different actors of the maize value chain which have been strengthened through current projects and we are bringing a menu of technologies and training to farmers, processors and consumers. We aim to contribute alleviating the double burden of malnutrition in Mexico by encouraging the consumption of a traditional and extensively consumed product, the tortilla but prepared using nutritionally enhanced maize.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
We’ve got inspired by looking at the high rates of malnutrition and obesity in Mexico and the decrease in nixtamalized maize tortilla, a nutritious and traditional food in the country. Rescuing the consumption of maize tortilla but using nutritionally enhanced maize for its preparation and working together with the actors responsible to bring them from field to plate; we aim to impact all household members. Maize value chain is being strengthened through current efforts but not enough nutrition and gender inclusivity focus has been given yet. We want to empower small farmers and foster a healthy environment through sustainable agricultural measures.
Our driving question is “Why cannot we improve nutrition in the center of origin of Maize, Mexico, and the birth country of the mother of quality protein maize, Evangelina Villegas?”
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?
Upon recommendation from others