Guatemala. Guatemala City. The Institute of Science and Technology (ICTA) of Villa Nueva, will be site of the meeting of international and national researchers of the V Annual Meeting of the Network of Researchers in quality protein corn. They analyze the improvement of species of corn in the countries of Central America Mexico and Haiti.
The reunion is being coordinated by experts in the field and members of the Research Center of Corn and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT). One of the renowned researchers that will participate is Hugo Cordova, creator of the corn QPM -ICTA-MAYA, resistant to different diseases and fungi that usually attack these crops.
Gary Atlin, a seed - improvement specialist of the center and one of the coordinators of the reunion, noted that he is working with Guatemalan colleagues for the improvement of corn. "We work with research institutes in Central America and Mexico in a breeding program, which is developing corn with higher nutritional quality then the normal corn. It provides an improvement in the quality of proteins of corn for food consumption for humans and animals. This group is sponsored by FIDA - Canada, "said the Canadian expert.
Other qualities of the grain which were highlighted by Atlin, are tolerance to stress caused by drought, when the temperatures affects the crops. It improves both the quantity and quality of the grain to make it appealing to producers.
Atlin said that there is no similarity between the grain they promote and the transgenic species, because the process is totally different, since they are using traditional plant breeding, not genetic engineering.
At a news conference Córdova said that The Ministry of Agriculture, MAGA, has the commitment to promote the cultivation of this kind of corn for Guatemalan farmers. They have the commitment to start the first seeding in thirteen thousand experimental plots in a large area of land. MAGA also will provide funding for the promotion of the new corn.
Source: Presidential Press Office