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German investment in CIMMYT helps secure the world’s most important maize and wheat collections

September 4, 2015
  • Victor Elbling, German Ambassador to Mexico, inaugurated today a solar panel infrastructure worth 750,000 Euros at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico.
  • The panels generate over 34,000 kWh per month and help secure CIMMYT’s invaluable maize and wheat genetic resources collections for the benefit of humankind.

EL BATAN, Mexico (CIMMYT) – The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mexico, Victor Elbling, inaugurated today a state of the art photovoltaic solar power system at the facilities of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Texcoco, in the outskirts of Mexico City.

920 solar panels were installed under the supervision of the German Agency for International Development (GIZ) with funding from the federal government of Germany. The panels generate up to 34,570 kWh per month from the abundant solar radiation that reaches the valley of Mexico City throughout the year.

An investment of 750,000 euros secures today a reliable and sustainable source of energy to help maintain CIMMYT’s germplasm bank, one of the only three genetic resource collections in the world that has achieved an ISO certification. CIMMYT preserves more than 28,000 unique samples of maize seeds and over 150,000 of wheat seeds in the world’s largest native biodiversity collections of both grains.

“By investing in a sustainable solar energy generating system for CIMMYT’s gene bank, Germany invests in the food security of the world for which CIMMYT works every day”, said Martin Kropff, Director General of the nonprofit international research organization for sustainable rural development.
The German Government has been a generous investor in CIMMYT’s research, development and transfer activities in drought-tolerant maize for Sub-Saharan Africa, which have resulted in the release of 180 maize varieties grown by 3 million farmers in 13 countries, Kropff added. Germany and CIMMYT also develop gender initiatives to improve livelihoods of female wheat farmers in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Pakistan.

Representatives of 26 embassies in Mexico City attended the inauguration of the solar panels at CIMMYT HQ.


CIMMYT, headquartered in El Batan, Mexico, is the global leader in research for development in wheat and maize and wheat- and maize-based farming systems. CIMMYT works throughout the developing world with hundreds of partners to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to improve food security and livelihoods.

CIMMYT is a member of the 15-member CGIAR Consortium and leads the Consortium Research Programs on Wheat and Maize. CIMMYT receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.

Media contact
Ricardo Curiel
Communications Manager for Mexico
T. 5804-7544; r.curiel@cgiar.org