CIMMYT will explore potential partnership opportunities with the research centers of Mexico’s National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT), which specialize in exact and natural sciences and technological development. At least six of these centers focus on areas of interest to CIMMYT, explained Inocencio Higuera, Associate Director of CONACYT’s 27 research centers, during a visit to CIMMYT Headquarters on 30 August 2013. Of the 27 centers, the Food and Development Research Center (CIAD), the Scientific Research Institute of Yucatan (CICY), the Center for Innovative Applied Research on Competitive Technologies (CIATEC), and the Ecology Institute (INECOL) have projects on crop pathology, production and nutrition systems, and other areas of agricultural research. Higuera also pointed out MasAgro activities could contribute to Mexico’s National Food Initiative (INSAM), which seeks to increase the production and availability of basic food staples through natural resource conservation and sustainable agriculture.
“In principle, CONACYT and CIMMYT could work together to design a postgraduate course that would place Mexico on the cutting edge of training and research targeting the exploration and use of crop genetic resources,” said Marianne Bänziger, CIMMYT’s Deputy Director General for Research and Partnerships. “CIMMYT could also develop collaborative research projects for assessing maize grain quality and nutritional value with CONACYT centers working on enhancing grain productivity.” In this way, CIMMYT has set the stage for establishing a partnership that would allow it to pursue these and other opportunities with CONACYT