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New facility opens in Agua Fría, Mexico

Nemesia Achacollo, Bolivia’s Minister of Land and Rural Development, and B.M. Prasanna (center left front with tan hat), director of the Global Maize Program, inaugurate a new facility. Photo: Guillermina Sosa Mendoza

By Guillermina Sosa Mendoza/CIMMYT

A new building at the Ernest W. Sprague Experimental Station in Agua Fría, Puebla, was inaugurated on 8 April during a visit from Nemesia Achacollo, Bolivia’s Minister of Land and Rural Development.

With the new facilities, CIMMYT scientists will be able to generate and evaluate maize germplasm as well as expand offerings in doubled haploid (DH) services, seed production and training courses. Ciro Sánchez, the station superintendent, welcomed the group and explained how the station is managed. Achacollo cut the ribbon to inaugurate the building and start the tour.

Vijay Chaikam, CIMMYT DH specialist, explained the benefits of DH seed and the production-to-planting process. “The quality of the parents is most important and can ensure the type of seed that will be obtained,” he said. Achacollo toured the test plots to see the growth and performance of the DH program as well as work by the low tropics team and the hybrid seed production process. She was accompanied by B.M. Prasanna, director of the Global Maize Program, CIMMYT scientists and members of the Bolivian and Ecuadorian governments.

Representatives from Bolivia, Ecuador and CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program visit the Ernest W. Sprague station in Agua Fría, Mexico. Photo: Guillermina Sosa Mendoza

Visitors exchanged viewpoints on the struggles of farmers in their respective countries and how the technology could improve sustainable production in Latin America. Arturo Silva, leader of MasAgro-Maize, and Achacollo agreed on the importance of increasing collaboration for improving maize productivity.