Genetically Modified Maize, Biodiversity, and Subsistence Farming in Mexico
Concern over the loss of genetic diversity in the world’s field crops has increased due to the commercial introduction of genetically modified crops. Mexico is particularly sensitive to this issue, as it is the center of genetic diversity for maize and home to a large number of indigenous farmers who propagate this diversity. This paper analyzes to what extent the biodiversity of maize may be endangered as subsistence farmers are forced off their land. Off-farm migration is suggested as a potential rational response of farmers to the large and rapidly growing imports of maize from the U.S., a large share of which consists of genetically modified maize. The maize imports from the U.S. are seen not only as worsening the terms of trade of subsistence farmers but also as raising the risk of lower yields as indigenous varieties of maize may lose their resilience to environmental stress through contamination with genetically modified maize.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2006|
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