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CIMMYT meets farmers at the ICAMEX fair

On October 4, Javier Peña, head of CIMMYT’s cereal quality laboratory, and Fernando Delgado, superintendent of the Toluca research station, talked to farmers in Jilotepec, near Toluca, at an agricultural fair hosted by ICAMEX, the agricultural research institute for the state of Mexico. “Farmers were very receptive to information on conservation agriculture and eager to learn about fertilizers and weed control to improve their crops,” says Peña. Many asked about buying seed and the characteristics of the improved wheat varieties of ICAMEX, such as yield, sowing time, and end-use quality.

Over 1,000 farmers and small business owners attended the annual fair, which showcased ICAMEX products and services, such as varieties of several crops, types of fertilizers and pesticides, and technical assistance for machinery. Pedro Mijares, the director general of ICAMEX, was also at the fair, as this year marks 20 years since the creation of the Institute. CIMMYT has provided improved, experimental wheat germplasm to ICAMEX for close to 15 years. “Accepting the invitation of ICAMEX to have a display at the fair enables us to show our commitment to local Mexican initiatives,” adds Peña. As part of a federal wheat partnership, CIMMYT is also working with INIFAP and the Colegio de Postgraduados to develop new and improved wheat varieties in Mexico. Delgado and Peña give special thanks to the CIMMYT design team for the eye-catching, informative posters they prepared.