MONTERREY, Mexico – The Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) project of Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, in close collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), was recognized by Universidad Tecnológico y Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) as being one of “10 projects that are transforming Mexico.”
“This project is transforming Mexico and, four years after its launch, it has benefited more than 200,000 farmers,” said Silverio García Lara, professor at ITESM’s School of Engineering and Science, Monterrey campus. “The project focuses on the base of the productive and economic pyramid,” explained the researcher, who favors “developing cutting-edge technologies to regenerate and renew Mexican farming.”
ITESM is involved in a project focusing on biotechnology for food security that applies cutting-edge technologies to analyze MasAgro’s new maize varieties and ensure they meet the nutrition and processing quality parameters of the Mexican market, explained Natalia Palacios, the person responsible for CIMMYT’s Maize Quality Laboratory, in an information bulletin that was broadcast when the winning project was presented at the 46th Research and Development Congress held on 20-22 January at ITESM’s Student Center, Monterrey campus.
“We are very proud of MasAgro because its results in the lab and especially in farmers’ fields have been widely recognized both nationally and internationally; today ITESM, a research partner that has collaborated with us since the beginning, also recognizes the project,” said Bram Govaerts, Leader of CIMMYT’s Sustainable Intensification Strategy for Latin America.
Among MasAgro’s main achievements, Govaerts highlighted the adoption of sustainable intensification of basic grain production on half a million hectares. He also emphasized the development of 20 high yielding maize hybrids which, combined with MasAgro’s sustainable agronomic practices, have increased rainfed maize farmers’ income by 9-31%. According to Govaerts, 16 precision machines for use in different production situations, from subsistence to intensive or commercial farming, and different postharvest storage solutions are among the technologies that MasAgro offers.
“Our farmers out in the fields are very interested in innovating and obtaining new technologies coming from the labs and from international research institutions such as CIMMYT,” stated García Lara when presenting ITESM’s award for the work done by MasAgro.