Socioeconomics will play a vital role in ensuring the success of MasAgro. To this end, a socio-economic inter-institutional group has been formed, with the first meeting held at CIMMYT on 27 July 2011.
The group currently consists of nine key Mexican socio-economists who will work closely with CIMMYT in developing and implementing socioeconomic research proposals that contribute directly to MasAgro. They will also be responsible for bringing in other key researchers and identifying PhD and MSc students to work on the socio-economic components of MasAgro, as well as evaluating research proposals.
The experts are: Javier Becerril García (Autonomous University of Yucatán, Economics Faculty), Antonio Yúnez-Naude (Center of Economic Studies, COLMEX), Luz Alicia Jiménez Portugal (University of Guadalajara, Economics Department), Gildardo Espinosa Sánchez, Jaime Arturo Matus Gardea, and Oliverio Hernández Romero (Colegio de Postgraduados), José de Jesús Espinoza Arellano (INIFAP), Roberto Escalante Semerena (University Union of Latin America and the Caribbean), and Vicente Javier Aguirre Moreno (Autonomous Agricultural University of Antonio Narro). In the meeting they were joined by Jonathan Hellin, Tina Beuchelt, Laura Donnet, Karen García, Marc Rojas, and Bram Govaerts, all from CIMMYT.
Two priority research projects for the agro-ecological zones of Bajío, the highlands, and lowland tropics were identified in the meeting. The first will focus on a socio-economic diagnostic study encompassing farmers’ socio-economic characteristics and farming practices. The second research project will focus on identifying key actors (seed suppliers, farmers, tortilla producers, for example) in the maize value chains, the relationship between these actors, and how to make the value chains work more effectively and efficiently.