Profitable is sustainable

By: Asle Skredderberget

When Mexican maize farmer Diego Gil increases his yield and profitability by 25 percent, he is also saving the environment.

There is probably no other crop so strongly associated with Mexico as maize, or corn as it is commonly called in North America and many other countries.  It is the most important crop in the country, and Mexico is the world’s sixth largest producer.  

However, in Mexico as in many other countries, farmers are struggling continuously to stay profitable. We tend to think about profitability as something linked to extracting or depleting resources, but in farming it is the other way around:  Only by nurturing the soil can the farmer become profitable – depleting the soil will have the opposite effect.

“I consider myself a new kind of farmer, a farmer who is open to new ideas”

Diego Gil, Mexican farmer

Mexican maize farmer Diego Gil

Climate smart agriculture

By enabling farmers to increase their yield on existing arable land, we prevent deforestation, which has a positive impact on the environment and indirectly reduces emissions.

Increased yields and farmer income also has a another benefit: It contributes to rural development.

So, when Yara started working with Mexican farmer Diego Gil, we started with the soil, analyzing the nutrient content. The results of this partnership between him and us have been overwhelming.

“I have increased my performance by 25 percent,” Gil says.

Which is good for him, for the environment and for his community.