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Syngenta and CIMMYT partner to sustainably increase maize farmers’ productivity and income in southern Mexico

September 30th, 2016 16:19

For Immediate Release

Valter Brunner, Syngenta's Corporate Affairs Director for Latin America. Photo: CIMMYT

Valter Brunner, Syngenta’s Corporate Affairs Director for Latin America. Photo: CIMMYT

For Syngenta and CIMMYT, improving smallholder farmers’ productivity implies that lives will be changed. Our objective is to help smallholder farmers in developing countries innovate by developing flexible technologies that are sustainable and will optimize their productivity.

Our partnership is based on three premises: improve maize and wheat productivity, generate higher income for farmers, protect the natural resource base and provide training on the use and adequate management of crops. Our goal is not only to sustainably increase farm production, but also to contribute to rural development and combat poverty.

Our objective is to support farmers in their work as pillars of food security in a world with a rapidly growing population. We also aim to promote standards that are both socially and environmentally sustainable. Our strategy is to develop systems that will link farmers with sustainable agricultural technologies and methods.

The maize hybrids that CIMMYT has developed through MasAgro, a program funded by Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), have doubled the average yields in the rainfed areas for which they were developed.

In addition, maize cropping efficiency in plots sown within the framework of the Good Growth Plan increased 89 percent, compared to the average established by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and 300 percent compared to the check plots.

Productivity increases thanks to technology adoption and technical support in the field. Based on this premise, maintaining an active agenda to drive research and extension is essential.

For this reason, the proposal that CIMMYT has put forth in collaboration with INIFAP includes actions that will allow generating economic returns on short- and medium-term investments:

  1. Replacing maize hybrids and varieties that are less competitive with new MasAgro materials that are adapted to current and expected climatic conditions, and tolerant to biotic (pests and diseases) and abiotic (drought and heat) factors.
  2. Breeding and pre-breeding of maize landraces (criollos) for specific regions.
  • Provide training for researchers and promote the formation of a new relay generation that will ensure the continuity of the sustainable intensification strategy.

According to a recently published study by the Sustainable Markets Intelligence Center (CIMS) in which 400 maize smallholder farmers in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca were consulted, the group that had the highest technology adoption increased its income an average of 200 percent and produced yields that were 75 percent higher, on average, than those of farmers who received no training and did not use crop protection products. The study also showed an average 40 percent reduction in production costs per unit produced on the small farms with the highest technology adoption.

Smallholder farmers play an essential role in Mexico’s food security and, therefore, they should have access to high quality inputs and technical advice. To date, and after three years, we have jointly trained more than 4000 maize smallholder farmers in Mexico’s central and southern regions to use the best agronomic practices.

In this manner, we are working on collaborative research, partnerships and training with a long-term perspective, as well as on issues of critical importance for sustainable food production in Mexico. We built a successful partnership with long-term vision that could potentially be scaled out to other countries where it could contribute to food security and sustainability.

About Syngenta

Syngenta is a leading agricultural company that helps improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through innovative and world class crop solutions, 28,000 people in more than 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to preventing soil degradation, improving biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more, visit  http://www.syngenta.com.mx/ y www.goodgrowthplan.com.


CIMMYT, headquartered in El Batan, Mexico, is the global leader in research for development in wheat and maize and wheat- and maize-based farming systems. CIMMYT works throughout the developing world with hundreds of partners to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to improve food security and livelihoods. CIMMYT is a member of the 15-member CGIAR and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Wheat and Maize. CIMMYT receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.www.cimmyt.org


Ricardo Curiel

Communications Officer


For Immediate Release


The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), headquartered in Mexico, works throughout the developing world to improve livelihoods and foster more productive, sustainable maize and wheat farming. Our portfolio squarely targets critical challenges, including food insecurity and malnutrition, climate change and environmental degradation. Through collaborative research, partnerships, and training, the center helps to build and strengthen a new generation of national agricultural research and extension services in maize- and wheat-growing nations. As a member of the CGIAR consortium of 15 agricultural research centers, CIMMYT leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat, which align and add value to the efforts of more than 500 partners.

Syngenta and CIMMYT partner to sustainably increase maize farmers’ productivity and income in southern Mexico.

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