The Swiss company Nestlé will seek to meet its demand for grains produced 100 percent in Mexico by 2022, signing an agreement with the International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat (CIMMYT, for its acronym in Spanish), in order to launch a program to support farmers.
According to the company, through the CIMMYT, and with an investment of over $5 million dollars provided by the firm, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Government of Guanajuato and international bodies, the project will start in the Bajio region.
He pointed out that this will generate an economic spill for the country of up to $1 billion pesos a year, benefiting 2,200 producers, who will increase their income by improving productivity and lower production costs, as well as having resources for the purchase of seed, technical assistance and marketing infrastructure.
Nestlé Mexico’s CEO, Marcelo Melchior, said that as part of the company’s intention to contribute to developing more prosperous communities, and in line with the objective of the National Agricultural Plan 2017-2030 recently announced by SAGARPA (for its acronym in Spanish), they have decided to create the Maize Plan.
“Today we import more than 90 percent of the corn and 100 percent of the wheat we use for the production of our cereals and pet food. We know that Mexico has the potential to produce these grains locally and also that we have the experience to support the development of national agriculture, as we have done with Nescafé Plan, Cacao Plan and Milk Commitment,” he said.
CIMMYT regional director for Latin America, Bram Govaerts, emphasized that the Maize Plan is a responsible supply strategy to boost the productive potential and wellbeing of the maize and wheat producers in Guanajuato, through intensive practices projects promoted by MasAgro.
“We also want this grain to be produced with agricultural practices that prevent environmental degradation and depletion of resources, and which reduce the vulnerability of Mexican producers to the effects of climate change,” he added.
The Nestlé Maize Plan also includes integrated management of biodiversity, which includes agricultural innovation for less water use, good pest management practices, and nutrient fixation on land, in order to achieve a minimum environmental impact inherent in agricultural activities.
Approximately 70 percent of the corn that Nestlé uses to supply itself is used in the production of pet foods such as Pro Plan, Dog Chow or Beneful, and 30 percent in cereals such as Corn Flakes, Fitness and Nesquik Cereal.