Maize Fund

Thousand Currents hosted the Mexico Maize Solidarity Collaborative Fund in 2016 to support:

  1. Demanda Colectiva del Maíz (Collective Action of Maize), an alliance of 53 members including farmers, local and national civil society organizations, activists, environmentalists, and artists. The Collective is fiercely combating genetically-modified (GM) maize intrusion in Mexico by filing a collective action (like a class-action lawsuit) to permanently deny the release and planting of GM maize in Mexico. Download more background reading to learn about the history and the progress of the collective action lawsuit.
  2. Indigenous-based organizations, including Thousand Currents Partners DESMI and EduPaz, who are protecting indigenous varieties of maize cultivation using sound agroecological practices.

 

“To defend maize is to defend the right to food, the right to remain owners of the seeds that ancestral people have inherited.”
- María Estela Barco Huerta, Desarrollo Económico Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas (Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans, DESMI)

Through this Fund, Thousand Currents learned the importance of defending maize in its own country of origin, where maize is not only a main crop, but one that has build the foundation for Mexican culture and cuisine. Also, maize is sacred to many indigenous groups in the Americas and beyond.

Thousand Currents also learned more the value of supporting legal strategies and actions as a tool to defend and protect indigenous varieties and biodiversity. BioWatch, a Thousand Currents Partner in South Africa, won a case against Monsanto and the government of South Africa, after a nine-year legal fight, defending its right to request information on GMO permit applications.

Legal actions, taken as part of a holistic approach inclusive of long-term strategies, is good practice. Legal actions can be more effective when in this case it was paired with other activities such as public awareness campaigns and support to the practitioners of maize cultivation.

As such, Thousand Currents will be following up on the Mexico Maize Solidarity Collaborative Fund in the following ways:

  • Explore a long-term relationship with the Collective Action of Maize in Mexico;
  • Continue to support Thousand Currents’ partners in Mexico that are cultivating maize with sound agroecological practices; and
  • Share reflections and learnings around defending indigenous varieties of crops, such as maize, including resourcing legal actions, in the philanthropic sector.

Questions? Contact Katherine Zavala, Latin America Regional Director, at: katherinez(at)thousandcurrents(dot)org .

 

Grassroots Brilliance

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Defending maize, defending food

“This is our continued battle to defend the integrity and diversity of Mexico’s corn and its connection with an entire culture.”

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Food Sovereignty | Latin America

Defending maize, defending food

“This is our continued battle to defend the integrity and diversity of Mexico’s corn and its connection with an entire culture.”

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