By Miriam Shindler/CIMMYT
Representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Strategic Project for Food Security (PESA) visited CIMMYT’s headquarters in El Batán to discuss collaborative opportunities and tour the Germplasm Bank and the Conservation Agriculture trial plots on 12 September.
Thomas A. Lumpkin, director general of CIMMYT, and representatives of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) program met with Nuria Urquía, FAO representative in Mexico, and Julio César Rosette Castro, director general of PESA. The leaders shared information on their work in Mexico and expressed an interest in making concerted efforts to contribute to Sin Hambre – the National Crusade Against Hunger program. The aim of this cooperation is to strengthen synergies between the two institutions to increase the productivity of subsistence farmers in Mexico.
To find out more about MasAgro in either English or Spanish, visit MasAgro. Sin Hambre – the National Crusade Against Hunger – is a national strategy to guarantee food security and better nutrition for 7.4 million Mexicans who live in conditions of extreme poverty.
Urquía welcomed the meeting as an opportunity “to strengthen the collaboration between CIMMYT and the FAO and to form future partnerships that will strengthen the work for farmers in marginalized areas.” According to Lumpkin, “CIMMYT, the FAO and PESA are working towards a collective goal of increasing agricultural production, reducing hunger and extreme poverty in Mexico. Working together as part of the National Crusade Against Hunger will lead to a greater exchange of technologies and information that will benefit Mexican famers.” CIMMYT maintains one of the largest wheat and maize germplasm bank in the world, with 28,000 accessions of maize and more than 140,000 accessions of wheat.
Funded by the Japanese government, the state-of-the-art center has a storage capacity of more 450,000 seed samples and is one of only three germplasm banks globally to achieve ISO certification (and the first outside of Europe). MasAgro is financially supported by Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA).