Corn Competitors Express Shared Commitment To New Technologies Through MAIZALL

U.S. farmer-leaders met with their counterparts from Argentina and Brazil to discuss the upcoming priorities for MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, during meetings this July in Brazil.

MAIZALL members discussed agricultural policies and the status of biotech approvals in each of their respective countries, agreeing to reinforce MAIZALL’s efforts to promote safety assessment sharing. The alliance also discussed delays of biotech approvals in corn-importing countries, including China and the European Union, in addition to new market access obstacles associated with maximum residue levels (MRLs) on crop protection products.

Pam Johnson, farmer from Iowa, turned over the chairmanship of MAIZALL to Cesario Ramalho, representing Abramilho, the Brazilian corn growers association, during a recent meeting in Brazil. 

Following the meeting, Pam Johnson, farmer from Iowa, turned over the chairmanship of MAIZALL to Cesario Ramalho, representing Abramilho, the Brazilian corn growers association. The formal handover was conducted during a ceremony as part of the 2018 Global Agribusiness Forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil, earlier this month.

In her keynote speech at the forum, Johnson highlighted the crucial role corn growers of the Americas have in meeting the challenges of feeding a growing world population and sustaining their global renewable energy needs. She also expressed that growers will succeed in this effort with the help of innovation and science-based policies that allow commodities to move freely around the globe.

“In my lifetime, I have seen and been able to use technologies that would have been unimaginable a generation ago,” Johnson said. “And while GPS navigation, precision agriculture, drones and big data might be more common on farms in the developed world, other technologies such as tensiometers to control water irrigation and biotechnology to improve seeds and reduce chemical use can be scale-neutral thus allowing even small farmers to benefit.”

MAIZALL was formed in January 2013 by the corn growers associations in Argentina, Brazil and the United States to collaborate on how to address global market access barriers related to the introduction of new technologies in agriculture, particularly biotechnology. The organization is committed to three areas of focus: communicating the benefits of modern agricultural production methods and technologies, addressing asynchronous approval of biotech products and promoting regulatory harmonization.

“Farmers like me need access to the best tools and technologies if we are to meet ag challenges,” Johnson said. “Farmers everywhere, across every generation, have always looked to new and safe ways to improve their operations – grow better crops and livestock, improve soil quality and make better use of natural resources.”

“Advancing technologies enable us to build and integrate energy agriculture and food agriculture, as a means to increase food security, bring more stability to food prices, to stimulate and implement technological improvements in all areas of agriculture.”

While the members of MAIZALL represent competitors for market share of global corn exports, they share a common commitment to providing consumers with enhanced diets, food security, food safety and increased quality, variety and consumer choice. MAIZALL members also believe modern agricultural techniques and an open, transparent, fair international trading system are essential to meeting these objectives.

“The role of farmers in the Americas is especially critical,” Johnson said. “Global food security depends upon us being the safety net to regions of the world with less land and water available for agricultural production. That means we need trading systems that allow farmers in our regions to access new innovations and markets so we may sell our grain wherever it is needed in the world.

“Addressing our challenges requires collaboration and ongoing communication by farmers and all people in the agribusiness value chain across the various segments of our society.”

Learn more about MAIZALL here.

MAIZALL is an equal partnership of four organizations in three countries: the U.S. Grains Council and the National Corn Growers Association in the United States, ABRAMHILO in Brazil, and MAIZAR in Argentina. While the three countries are vigorous competitors in world markets, their producers are jointly committed to trade, modern agricultural technology and improved market access.