The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and CIMMYT laid the groundwork for strengthened, joint research-for-development in Latin America, signing a new Cooperation Framework Agreement at CIMMYT’s offices in El Batán on 17 March.
“This agreement allows both organizations to reach more people and carry out more effective projects,” said Marianne Bänziger, CIMMYT’s Deputy Director General for Research and Partnerships. “We’re all working to increase food security and profitability, while reducing migration and building capacity in farmers and extension workers.”
Bänziger extended special thanks to Dr. Victor M. Villalobos, Director General of IICA, who played a crucial role in the creation of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) program in Mexico, with the help of the Mexican government.
During the signing ceremony, Gloria Abraham Peralta, Mexico’s IICA Representative, said the agreement addresses the challenge of doubling food production in the next 30 years and mitigating climate change effects. “The implementation and appropriate use of agricultural technology must rely on an efficient transfer of knowledge to farmers,” said Abraham, who is from Costa Rica. “Taking such preventive measures will strengthen resilience should a serious new crop disease, such as wheat rust, arise again.”
A meeting to create a common work agenda followed the signing, with a focus on capacity building, strengthened extension networks, joint design of information technologies and expert exchange, among others areas of relevance.
The Cooperation Framework Agreement is seen as setting the stage for additional, wide-reaching CIMMYT-IICA initiatives in the future.