latin america project

MasAgro Maize

MasAgro Maize, a component of CIMMYT’s Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture project, promotes the sustainable development of both maize grain and seed producers by breeding maize hybrids with conventional technologies and improving native maize seed in collaborative breeding projects with participant farmers. MasAgro’s improved maize seeds are tested in collaboration with the local seed sector that, in turn, commercializes the best adapted materials in Mexico’s growing regions. In 2015, MasAgro Maize’s main results were:

  • 16 collaborative breeding trials of native maize were established with participant farmers in eight communities in the state of Oaxaca in southwest Mexico.
  • 48 small and medium-sized Mexican seed companies collaborated with MasAgro Maize. Together, they produced 1.2 million 20 kilogram bags containing 60,000 seeds of hybrid maize.
  • Participating companies increased sales of MasAgro hybrid seed by 44 percent from 2014 to 2015.
  • Local seed companies sold 26 MasAgro hybrids branded under 100 commercial names in 19 states, 78 regions and 257 municipalities of Mexico.
  • Subtropical hybrid maize developed by MasAgro
  • Maize workshop in Oaxaca
  • Hybrid seed production workshop
  • MasAgro hybrid maize samples

Funding Institutions

  • Mexico's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food

Principal coordinator

Bram Govaerts

project website


To have the technology and genetic materials needed to raise average rainfed maize production in Mexico from 2.2 to 3.7 tons per hectare over a 10 year period.

To increase the use of high-yielding, improved maize seed in Mexico over an area of between 1.5 and 3 million hectares.

To raise Mexico’s production of rainfed maize between 5 and 9 million tons in 10 years.

To promote the development of the maize seed industry in Mexico.

To strengthen food security in Mexico and in the rest of the world.