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Malnutrition is the biggest global contributor to childhood death. It is one of the world’s most serious but least-addressed development challenges. Its human and economic costs disproportionately affect the poor, women, and children, causing irreversible damage to cognitive development and lifelong consequences. In Guatemala, malnutrition costs over 9% of GDP in health expenses and lost productivity. 

Although malnutrition rates are decreasing globally, the number of malnourished children is still increasing in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, where corn consumption is high. Unfortunately, while corn has a low nutritional value, it is a cheap and productive crop and the foundation of hundreds or thousands of years of culture. 


We work with partners to develop biofortified corn seeds that have been naturally bred to have higher levels of nutrients. Our biofortified corn contains higher levels of the most important nutrients missing in the diet: 39% more zinc, 19% more iron, and between 30-80% more lysine and tryptophan (protein quality) than normal corn.


  • In 2022, Semilla Nueva and its partners :

    • improved the nutrition of more than 600,000 people around the country

    • reached 20,500 farmer families with biofortified corn seeds.

  • Our studies have shown that our seed is nutritious enough to:

    • eliminate zinc deficiencies for women and children in rural, maize-growing families. 

    • cut iron deficiency by 50% for children and 100% for women.