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Biotechnology and Developing Country Agriculture: Maize in Mexico

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  • Jaime A. Matus Gardea
  • Puente Gonzalez
  • Cristina López Peralta
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    Abstract

    Maize has been a staple food in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times and is still an important source of calories and protein in daily consumption, especially for poor families. The pattern of consumption is nevertheless changing; with the share of food consumption declining and feed utilisation expanding. The agro-climatic conditions of production are highly diverse, with wide ranges in yields and rainfed areas accounting for the major share of total maize area and of total production. Mexico has become an important importer of both maize grain and seed. Reduction of these high levels of grain imports and growth in domestic production are priority policy objectives. Improved seeds are sown in only one-fifth of the total area cultivated, but half the irrigated area. Despite the wide genetic variability of maize in Mexico only five improved varieties accounted for almost half the improved seed used during the spring/summer growing season. There is a pressing need in Mexico for a wider ... Aliment de base au Mexique avant la conquête espagnole, le maïs reste une importante source de calories et de protéines dans l'alimentation quotidienne, surtout pour les familles pauvres. Ses modes d'utilisation évoluent cependant, caractérisés par le déclin de la consommation humaine et l'augmentation de son emploi pour l'élevage. Les conditions agro-climatiques de la culture du maïs sont extrêmement diverses, avec de considérables différences de rendement. Les zones de culture pluviale représentent la majorité des terres ensemencées en maïs et fournissent la plus grande partie de la récolte. Le Mexique est devenu un importateur conséquent de maïs en grains et de semences. De ce fait, les priorités politiques portent sur une réduction de ces hauts niveaux d'importation de grains et sur la croissance de la production domestique. A peine 20 % de l'ensemble des terres, mais la moitié des surfaces irriguées, bénéficient de semences améliorées. Et malgré la grande variabilité génétique ...

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/575384725580
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 19.

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    Date of creation: Jun 1990
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:19-en

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