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Weekly Roundups

Mexican Students Create Agricultural Biodegradable Device

By MBN Staff | Thu, 12/17/2020 - 11:20

Three Mexican students from Tecnológico de Monterrey created a biodegradable device made from food waste that functions as "the soil in traditional agriculture.” The goal is to practice vertical agriculture within large cities, Tecno Agro reported this week. Monserrath Martínez, Annie Rosas, Daniela Sánches and Arena Serrano are the creators of MADU, which works with a hydroponic technique and allows the harvesting of lettuce, strawberries or cucumbers, among other foods. 

"We take the food waste and turn it into a biodegradable film that performs the land-work in traditional agriculture," said Arena. This allows us to bring food production into a vertical urban environment. "Bioplastic is made from food waste. Our raw material is waste, which is the leftover from this huge agricultural industry,” she added. According to the UN, about 70 percent of people will be living in cities by 2050. "World hunger is not necessarily a lack of food but a lack of logistics. So having these food factories in the city can reduce the problem," explained Monserrath Martínez.

Due to the pandemic, students could not access the laboratories to develop the device and had to do it at home with the materials they had available. In the medium term, however, they plan to raise capital and participate in various calls for social ventures in 2021. 

More news below:

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) is set to receive a 3.6 percent increase in operating budget in 2021 compared to 2020. While the budget has seen a slight increase, it is approximately 25 percent less than the 2019 budget. The Agricultural Markets Consulting Group (GCMA) reports that the budget has allocated more resources to certain areas while leaving others with almost no support.

  • The Mexican cannabis industry is already well-established, although not on firm ground. Its regulation can bring great opportunities. “On Dec. 15, Congress will deliver the missing piece, giving the green light and detonating the Mexican cannabis industry with the approval of its regulation. It does not need to be perfect, at least at this starting point. The important thing is to have it and modify it as we go”. In this MBN piece, Vincent Speranza, Mexico's Managing Director and LatAm Regional Advisor of Endeavor, discusses the reason behind the urgency to do so.

  • Insects have been part of the diet of pre-Hispanic people for hundreds of years. How has insect consumption changed in today's society? “Crickets are sustainable protein because they pollute less than any protein of animal origin in terms of the use of space, water and CO2 emissions. Thus, they are a healthy alternative for developing muscle mass and for digestion”, writes this week for MBN Francisca Castellanos, CEO and Co-Founder of Crick Superfoods. 

  • Mexican entrepreneurs, Daniel Sánchez and Rafael Álvarez created Ganu Alimentos to create healthier alternatives to instant ramen. Their instant soup provides consumers with nine grams of protein, seven grams of dietary fiber, essential amino acids and 70 percent less sodium, no trans fats and no MSG, according to Ganu Alimentos’ website. Read the full story here.

  • Víctor Villalobos, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, called on the country’s institutions to join forces and make this sector more sustainable and productive during the 35th anniversary of the National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP), celebrated on Dec. 8.

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