MEXICO CITY, Sept. 9 (UPI) — Maize, an iconic product and Mexico’s staple food, can adapt to climate change without any need for genetically modified seeds, agricultural scientists say.
Mexico has at least 59 species and 209 varieties of corn, experts said, and this large number suggests maize is well-equipped to deal with climate change.
“We have enough diversity to be able to introduce adaptation methods without the need for transgenics,” Carolina Ureta, a researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, told Inter Press Service.
“Climate change will have different impacts, because corn varieties are adapted to very specific conditions,” Ureta said. “While some varieties will benefit, others will be harmed.”
Maize is reportedly cultivated by 3.2 million Mexican farmers, and more than 2 million of them grow it for family consumption.
“The potential to face up to climate change lies in producing seeds in situ, the way it has always been done in traditional environmentally-friendly agriculture,” Aleida Lara, coordinator of Greenpeace Mexico’s sustainable agriculture campaign, said.