Restaurant chain targets food connoisseurs to save native Mexican crop varieties.

Aga Productora (AGA) developed the franchise brand Itanoni Flor del Maiz to sell gourmet corn products in order to protect heritage corn seeds that are dying out in Mexico. Due to economic pricing, Mexico has seen a steady decline in corn biodiversity as vendors often prefer the ‘white corn' over traditional black, red and multicolored variations, because of its cheaper price. This has also led to a drop of farmers growing the other native varieties.

AGA hopes to protect ancestral crop varieties with Itanoni as it will create a new demand for premium tortillas that aren't made using the standard white corn. AGA is part of a network of five groups of farming associations and can grow 150 tons of the specialty corn, including dozens of new varieties.

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