On Monday 12 November CIMMYT and SAGARPA presented the first MasAgro Activities Report 2011-2012 at CIMMYT headquarters in Texcoco, State of Mexico.
In his welcome speech, Thomas Lumpkin stated that he is proud to collaborate with a country that has such a profound vision and a solid commitment to its people and to humanity. He added that he expects that other governments and foundations will follow Mexico’s example and pointed out that India, Nigeria, and Ethiopia have already taken their first steps in that direction.
Jorge Martínez Durán, who described his participation in MasAgro as a farmer, indicated that farmers do not want to be left behind as Mexico goes forward, and that MasAgro has given them the opportunity to make solid advances by providing them with information and training, which he considers to be the best tools for growth.
Participating in the ceremony were the Secretary of Agricultural and Livestock Development of the State of Mexico, Heriberto Ortega Ramírez, and the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), Francisco Mayorga Castañeda, who said that “there is no doubt that MasAgro’s impacts have paved the way for us to face the challenge of increasing production despite adverse climatic conditions, by strengthening research and technological innovation within the framework of national and international collaboration.”
On this point, Bram Govaerts, leader of MasAgro component “Take It to the Farmer,” said that although there is still much to be done, MasAgro has laid down solid bases all along the maize and wheat research, production, and marketing chains, and this will allow Mexico to advance towards having a farm sector that is more productive, prosperous, and sustainable.
To commemorate the occasion, Thomas Lumpkin presented a citation and a statuette of Dr. Norman Borlaug to Secretary Mayorga in recognition of his determined support for implementing a program that has placed Mexico in a position of international leadership in the area of research for food security and sustainable rural development in an environment of climate change.
Also attending the event were farmers, technicians, research cooperators, private sector representatives, federal and local authorities, journalists and representatives of the main international foundations and development agencies, who, all together, totaled 325 guests.