WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), along with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), MAIZAR, representing Argentina producers and the maize supply chain and ABRAMILHO (Brazilian Association of Corn Producers) on May 14 signed a memorandum of understanding to form an alliance of North and South American maize (corn) producers to collaborate on a global basis to address key issues concerning food security, biotechnology, stewardship, trade and producer image.  The organizations will function under the name, MAIZALL—The International Maize Alliance.

Signatories to the memorandum representing the producer organizations included: Don Fast, Chairman, USGC; Pam Johnson, President, NCGA; Alberto Morelli, Chairman, MAIZAR; and Sergio Luiz Bortolozzo, 2nd Vice President, ABRAMILHO. The MAIZALL alliance was launched as part of the MAIZAR 2013 Congress meeting in Buenos Aires. Argentina

“As both populations and economies continue to grow, the global middle class in expanding rapidly. World population is expected to increase more than 30% in the next 40 years, from 7 billion in 2012 to more than 9 billion in 2050,” said Don Fast, USGC chairman. “The increase in population and buying power has led to an ever-growing demand for maize and other food and feed ingredients as diets are improving globally.”

“Food Security is a priority for every country,” said Pam Johnson, NCGA president. “Countries can be food secure without being self-sufficient by establishing relationships and building trust with exporting countries to be long-term, reliable suppliers of quality feed and food supplies.”

“As the world’s population increases, farmers in exporting countries are challenged to grow more with less while improving stewardship and sustainability,” said Alberto Morelli, MAIZAR chairman. “In the three countries where it is embraced, biotechnology has boosted yields and grain quality, reduced the intensity of chemical and fertilizer application, conserved soil, organic content and moisture, and enhanced returns to producers. Agricultural biotechnology is a critical component of the larger bio-economy that is necessary to sustainably provide for the needs of the growing global population and mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

“We are at a time when the growth of the middle class is exerting sustained pressure on input and food prices,” said Sergio Luiz Bortollozo, ABRAMILHO second vice-president. “The lack of predictable, functional, practical and science-based regulatory and trade policies in reviewing and approving new crop technologies by governments worldwide are imposing a crippling burden on innovation. For growers, the delays in introducing new technologies mean lost opportunities for higher yields and lower input costs. For consumers facing ever-rising food prices, the consequences are more acute.”

The primary focus of this new alliance is emphasize the need for better consumer understanding of production agriculture, including the benefits of biotechnology and advancing the global acceptance on the capacity to produce maize for feed, food and fuel. MAIZALL will also conduct outreach to governments and stakeholders on the need for trade-enabling biotechnology policies and regulatory procedures.