Agricultural development and maize diversity in Mexico

Stephen B. Brush, Mauricio Bellon Corrales, Ella Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Mexico is within the center of origin of Zea mays and has among the highest levels of maize genetic diversity in the world. This diversity is traced to factors at the regional and farm levels. Loss of crop genetic diversity has been related to economic and agricultural development, although opposed views of this exist for the Mexican case. Agricultural development appears to be affecting virtually all types of farms in Mexico. A case study in Chiapas suggests that the adoption of some improved varieties has enhanced genetic diversity in maize, but one improved type competes with landraces in the most favorable land. The adoption of this improved type is associated with greater access to capital and with lower risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-328
Number of pages22
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Mexico
  • development
  • diversity
  • maize

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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