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CIMMYT holds the first workshop for seed multiplication specialists as part of the MasAgro program

August 30, 2011

Researchers from CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program held the first workshop on “Evaluating Maize Germplasm for Biotic and Abiotic Stress” for more than 20 specialists who are already actively involved in the International Maize Yield Improvement Strategy of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) initiative.

On 22-26 August, research assistants from specialized centers and field technicians from medium- and small-scale seed companies received training on biotic and abiotic stress evaluation, sampling, use of computer tools to manage field trials, statistics, and data interpretation, among other subjects relating to maize improvement and phenotyping.

In this way, MasAgro is promoting the professional development of technicians responsible for key seed production processes that lead to the adoption of improved materials among medium- and small-scale farmers in Mexico. This is the first of several workshops by MasAgro which will focus on technology transfer and capacity strengthening for technicians participating in seed multiplication processes. The goal is to produce and distribute 70,000 tons of high yielding maize varieties and hybrids adapted to rainfed areas, so that Mexico will be able to produce between 5 and 9 million additional tons of maize grain by 2020.

This first workshop was attended by technicians from companies that operate in more than 10 Mexican states and in different agroecological zones. Also in attendance were representatives of major public research centers such as Mexico’s National Forestry, Agricultural, and Livestock Research Institute (INIFAP) and the autonomous universities of the states of Nayarit, Morelos, and State of Mexico. This time, the workshop also included representatives from public sector organizations in Colombia and Nicaragua.