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26 varieties of native corn are being recovered in Campeche

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Veronica Garibay
Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

Researchers in Campeche have recovered 26 previously lost varieties of native corn in three years.

Researcher Noel Valdivia of the Instituto Tecnológico y Agropecuario de Chiná (Itach) revealed that, additionally, they are researching six native corn varieties of the entity. Some of the species recovered are the Dzib Baakal, Naal Te’en, Xnook na’al, and Xmanhana.

Through a recovery program in Chiná, Campeche, 26 native corn species have been recovered. Photo: Courtesy

The main characteristic of these varieties is that they have a higher nutritional value than the commercial corn known in Campeche, the white and yellow grains, and some even have greater resistance to water scarcity and high temperatures than transgenic corn.

“We are badly used to production being easy,” says Noel Valdivia. “What we are allowing today with the use of agrochemicals and modified seeds will have a negative impact on our health. Today people die of chronic diseases, cancer, diabetes, kidney ailments, among others, and it is because of the use of these substances.”

The program aims to train its students to champion the use of native seeds. Photo: Courtesy

He acknowledged that native corn crops require greater care, but the process can be done through environmentally friendly measures which and allow the crop and harvest cycles to be as the Mayan heritage dictates: according to climatological, solar, and astrological phenomena.

These varieties don’t have greater diffusion because they do not comply with the necessary factors for commercialization regarding their care and production cycle. 

Native varieties have a higher nutritional value than the commercial corn known in Campeche. Photo: Courtesy

But the program aims to train their students so that they champion the use of native seeds. Noel notes that 40% of the Itach students are young people from rural communities and already have plots and permission to generate seeds of these species to practice.

In Yucatán Magazine: Yucatán highlights the value of corn with three fairs in September

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