Catalyzing smallholder farming in Mexico
- Impact Area
Scientists from CIMMYT, founded in Mexico in 1966, have pursued decades of participatory research with Mexico’s smallholder maize farmers to improve their local varieties for traits like yield and insect resistance, while preserving their special grain quality, as well as testing and promoting zero-tillage and other resource-conserving farming practices.
Smallholder farm operations account for more than 80% of all farms worldwide and produce roughly 35% of the world’s food, according to FAO census data and follow-up studies.
An estimated two-thirds of the Mexico’s farmers are smallholders, typically working challenging agroecologies scattered across the country’s mountainous terrain and applying generations-old subsistence practices to grow low-yielding local maize varieties.