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Trainees become the trainers

In early March 2010, CIMMYT gathered 33 farmers and agricultural leaders for a course on science and technology transfer. Less than two months later, several of the participants have already embraced their role as technology disseminators. Between 28 April and 14 May, information from the original March course, held in Toluca, trickled down to 118 additional farmers through 6 different training events. The training activities took place in different locations with different strategies, but had a single purpose: to take theoretical and practical knowledge to Mexican wheat producers.

Much of the training was spearheaded by the technical staff of AGROCIME, a private agricultural service provider that specializes in technical assistance, credit management, and agricultural promotion. Based in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas, AGROCIME members, who had attended the Toluca training, hosted five events throughout the state. The days included training on soil analysis, estimating proper fertilizer doses, identifying crop plagues and diseases, weed control, and sprinkler calibration. Also, another service team from Rinconcito Norteño with offices in Río Grande, which had also been trained in Toluca, joined the training team.

The sixth event was organized by the State Committee of the Wheat Production System (Comité Estatal del Sistema Producto Trigo Zacatecas, CESPTZAC) on 14 May. Its 10 participants consisted of large-scale wheat producers, representatives of wheat producer organizations, and other wheat officers. The event was held jointly with the Zacatecas State Council of Wheat Producers, and was attended by its president (standing back left). The event was combined with the opening of new CESPTZAC offices and the introduction of the 2010 state governing plan for wheat production in Zacatecas. The meeting was led by Jorge A. Acevedo, president of CESPTZAC, who attended CIMMYT’s course in Toluca. Acevedo continued to work with Fernando Delgado, Toluca station superintendent, for several weeks after the course to learn more about tractor operation, land preparation, and crop practices. In addition to these topics, the event also included a plan to establish demonstration plots for bed planting. This multi-organization collaboration ensures that CIMMYTprovided information will be widely disseminated, which is one of the important agreements between the center and SAGARPA.

CIMMYT’s Pedro Aquino, principal researcher, and Federico Carrión, database administrator for the Socieconomics Program, attended four of the six courses. In addition to being introduced to wheat farmers and producers, they conducted surveys that will enable them to analyze the current status of wheat in Zacatecas.

Congratulations and thanks to the staff of AGROCIME Consultores, Rinconcito Norteño, Zacatecas State Committee of the Wheat Production System, and the Zacatecas State Council of Wheat Producers for all their hard work this month!