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MasAgro takes the spotlight

Ruiz-FunesAt the launch of the MAIZE and WHEAT CRPs, Undersecretary Mariano Ruiz-Funes Macedo of the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) spoke of the challenges being faced by agriculture worldwide. Before the international audience, he highlighted MasAgro as Mexico’s strategy to strengthen food security, combat negative effects of climate change, and promote agricultural in a sustainable and productive way. SAGARPA and CIMMYT are key partners of the MasAgro initiative, which “is a project of Mexico, to the world,” said Karen García, MasAgro’s Executive Director.

“MasAgro is working to increase maize and wheat production and yields in rainfed zones, to benefit small-scale farmers,” said Ruiz-Funes, emphasizing that so far, 21 experimental platforms have been established, with 132 demonstration modules, and 20,790 hectares or extension areas with sustainable technology in the Mexican Highlands, Bajío, Lowland Tropics, and North Pacific regions. CIMMYT’s certified conservation agriculture technician course now has 28 graduates, with a further 180 people registered for future courses, and a collaborative project with the Program of Support to the Productive Chain of Maize and Bean Producers (PROMAF), has trained more than 2000 Mexican technicians.

Ruiz-Funes reminded the audience that Mexico will host the G-20 this year. At this international forum, the Mexican Government will propose four strategic axes for agriculture: Research and technology development and transfer; public and private investment; sustainability and adaptation to climate change; and risk management. This will be an important platform for Mexico and MasAgro, as the G-20 recognizes the need to transfer research and technology to farmers, and has a commitment to strengthening international cooperation.