By Guillermina Sosa Mendoza/CIMMYT
Supporting seed producers will help MasAgro to make a bigger impact, one of its leaders said last month. Experts from MasAgro’s maize component hosted a seed business management workshop for 22 representatives of small- and medium-sized Mexican enterprises from 9-13 September. The workshop took place at El Batán and included presentations and practical activities.
Félix San Vicente, leader of the International Maize Yield Consortium – MasAgro’s maize component – highlighted the importance of maintaining close communication with seed companies to learn their needs and expectations. “What we are looking for is impact. That’s what we all want, and the better-focused the impact, the greater it will be,” San Vicente said. “We know we need to support the national seed producers and look ahead.”
The workshop fostered teamwork among companies that sometimes compete in the market. One activity asked seed producers to simulate the establishment of new enterprises and design marketing strategies to foster growth under optimal conditions. Manuel Velázquez, CIMMYT external consultant, presented on the background and development of the seed sector; Alfonso Hernández, general manager of Semillas Ceres, spoke about marketing strategies, seed sale and customer service; and Beda Anghern, from Empresa Unisem, gave a talk on seed enterprise management.
John MacRobert, CIMMYT maize expert, offered advice on strategic planning, product development, seed production and business management. MacRobert focused on seed production cycles, main production challenges and the distribution process. Participants also visited companies including the Celaya branch of BIDASEM Productora y Comercializadora de Semillas and Monsanto’s Villagrán branch.