Local dynamics of native maize value chains in a peri-urban zone in Mexico: The case of San Juan Atzacualoya in the state of Mexico uri icon

abstract

  • In Mexico, maize forms of production range from industrial scale with hybrid maize, to smallholder farmers who mainly grow local varieties, contributing significantly to the national provision for human consumption. The objective of this study was to describe the local value chains of native maize in a peri-urban community in the east of the Valley of Mexico, exploring its contribution to the livelihoods of the families living within 50 km of Mexico City. Through a mixed quantitative (320 surveys) and qualitative (53 interviews) analysis, we found that more than 60% (250 tons) of the annual production of native maize in San Juan is locally consumed as tortillas: firstly, manually transformed by the women of the village for auto-consumption and local sale, and secondly, mixed by tortillerias with hybrid maize from other regions. More than 400 families in this locality (approximately one third) are directly involved in the production transformation-consumption chain of native maize. Of the maize producing families, half consume their own product. There are 70 women involved in transformation that thereby obtain 75% more value for the native maize grain. More than a quarter of the tortillas consumed by the population originate in this local production and transformation. Based on this study, in the national current context of food supply and agricultural development, the development of these local markets that are economically equitable is a viable economic model that limits the number of intermediaries and favors diversity of the raw materials, products and actors involved in transformation and distribution.

publication date

  • 2018
  • 2018