New association formed to support smallholder native maize farmers in Mexico

Expert Mexican scientists and farmer cooperatives have formed a non-profit organization to support small-scale landrace maize farmers who continue to conserve and plant seeds of their own native heirloom varieties.

The civil association, known as ProMaíz Nativo, intends to work collaboratively on projects to improve the lives of native maize and milpa farm families. Group members include national and internationally recognized maize experts, ethnobotanists, socioeconomists, food and nutrition scientists, marketing experts, maize farmers and farmer groups.

The civil association has also created a collective trademark, Milpaiz, which can be used by farmers to demonstrate the authenticity of the native maize varieties they grow and sell. This trademark will certify that a farmer’s maize is native to their community and derived from their continuous selection of seed.