Semilla Nueva

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Our total investment:

$250K unrestricted grants

Funded since 2017

Fellow: Curt Bowen

Why we invest

Hundreds of millions of people depend on maize as a staple food. With current seeds, their maize consumption too often leads to malnutrition and stunting. It’s really hard to change diets, though, so Semilla Nueva set out to change the food. Semilla Nueva develops, produces, and sells seeds to grow maize with twice the protein and 50% more zinc than varieties currently on the market. Moreover, they’re clever about marketing; consumers buy for taste and farmers buy for yield, so those are the traits they emphasize and deliver on. They’ve established a seed company to demonstrate that these seeds can be sold at a competitive price on the basis of better taste and increased yield. They started in Guatemala, which has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world, and will move to other maize-dependent countries from there.

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