As their meetings in El Batán came to a close on Tuesday, after hearing from all program heads at CIMMYT and signing off on the 2017 financial statements, the Board was invited on a field trip.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Trustees along with members of CIMMYT’s Management Committee, left in a caravan of mini-buses towards the city of Celaya, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.
Over the next two days, the Board met with stakeholders from Guanajuato at a MasAgro field station as well as a several farmers' fields. The group heard from students and scientists working in breeding and agronomy, technicians who further the work of CIMMYT by working to help farmers implement sustainable intensification techniques, the farmers who are reaping the benefits of this support, and private partners such as small-scale seed companies, who benefit from CIMMYT's locally adapted lines.
Collage of CIMMYT BoT field trip to meet stakeholders in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. Photos: K.Pixley, CIMMYT.
They learned about the work CIMMYT does in the area, including the importance of local farming networks established. The goal is for innovations from CIMMYT to be passed along by network connections, and create a network in which innovations and knowledge will be passed between farmers, with minimal interference by CIMMYT.
"The different projects in the Guanajuato area, like MasAgro Guanajuato, permit the development of a self-sustaining network to generate AgriFood Systems for nutrition, nature conservation, national and international security through innovation systems." - Bram Govaerts, Regional Representative for the Americas, CIMMYT.