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Donors push for sustainable agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean

April 26, 2016
Intelligent and precise mechanization, presented by Víctor López. Photo: Margaret Zeigle/GHI

Smart, precise mechanization, presented by Víctor López. Photo: Margaret Zeigle/GHI

CALI, Colombia (CIMMYT) — Investment in agricultural research for development provides extraordinary returns and benefits for stakeholders, said the director general of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), expressing support for a new multi-donor funding platform.

AgroLAC 2025, coordinated by the Inter-American Development Bank in partnership with Dow Chemical Company and The Nature Conservancy, aims to stimulate investment in rural areas, encouraging profitable and sustainable agriculture by supporting pilot projects, funding initiatives and technologies that strengthen agricultural research and promote the sustainable agricultural innovation and development agenda of the Latin America-Caribbean (LAC) region. CIMMYT recently joined the initiative.

“With the looming challenge of feeding 9 billion people in 2050, CIMMYT fully supports the clear recommendations put forward by the AgroLAC 2025 Initiative for policies to help Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) sustainably realize the potential of its outstanding natural resources,” said Martin Kropff, CIMMYT director general, in a recent blog post.

“Local governments, development agencies, foundations and higher education and research institutions must invest heavily in agricultural research and development. If they do so, the return on their investment will be profound,” he added. “In Mexico alone, this amounts to a network of over 150 partners, 50 research platforms, 233 demonstration modules and several thousands of extension plots, reaching over 200,000 farmers.”

The application of knowledge and technology at scale has the potential to raise national maize and wheat productivity by 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, by working with some of the most marginalized farmers in resource-poor areas of Mexico, Kropff wrote.

AgroLac 2025 conference participants in Cali, Colombia. Photo: AgroLAC 2025

AgroLac 2025 conference participants in Cali, Colombia. Photo: AgroLAC 2025

With support from Colombia’s Presidential Agency on International Cooperation, AgroLAC 2025 recently hosted its second partnership conference sponsored by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia.

At the event, CIMMYT’s sustainable intensification for Latin America team led a meeting on “Accessible mechanization for climate-smart agriculture in Latin America.”

Bram Govaerts, strategy lead for Latin America with CIMMYT’s Sustainable Intensification Unit and Víctor López, MasAgro’s manager of institutional relations, described CIMMYT’s experience designing mechanized solutions for conservation agriculture –  farming practices that involve minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and the use of crop rotation to simultaneously maintain and boost yields, increase profits and protect the environment – through the MasAgro (Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture) program and other regional programs.

Read the original AgroLAC 2025 Spanish press release here

Read CIMMYT Director General Martin Kropff’s blog on AgroLac2025 here.


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