After finishing a course they started in April 2014 and obtaining their official certification, 39 extension agents from the states of Sonora and Sinaloa in Mexico’s northern Pacific region had their graduation ceremony and joined MasAgro’s innovation and extension network as certified technicians in sustainable agriculture. The ceremony took place on 9-10 September during the International Sustainable Agriculture Forum in Ciudad Obregón, an event that seeks to drive the region’s efforts and resources and which in 2015 is focusing on climate change and water management related issues.
To become a certified technician in sustainable agriculture, candidates must take an intensive one-year course that includes regular theoretical and practical instruction given by national and international experts. The goal is to develop the future technicians’ abilities and skills in preparation for their role as agents of change as part of MasAgro’s extension strategy, which includes delivering to farmers practices that increase their income, help improve their food security, and protect the environment.
During the ceremony Bram Govaerts, Associate Director of CIMMYT’s Sustainable Intensification Program, said he was very proud of the technicians’ efforts and work, and highlighted the crucial role Mexico is playing in the development of a more sustainable agriculture. “If there is a country that is an example of the agricultural sector driving the economy, if there is a country that can incorporate the different actors into the production chain in order to foster sustainable production, it’s Mexico. And that’s because Mexico has the talent needed to achieve this.” The graduates were given their certificates by representatives of the Mexican Government who presided at the event.
The newly certified extension agents in Sonora and Sinaloa will become promoters of the hub participative model, which aims at establishing links with public and private actors, and will work in the affected areas of the northern Pacific region, which in 2014 totaled 1,821 ha.