Every year, CIMMYT’s Seed Inspection and Distribution Unit (SIDU) ships more than 1,000 sets of seed for international wheat trials and 300 sets of maize to collaborators in over 100 countries. Seed to be shipped must undergo rigorous selection, cleaning, treatment, and packaging by SIDU-seed preparation personnel. A consignment for 36 tons of seed from Mexicali for trials for the 2009 cycle arrived on Tuesday 1 July 2008.
Before preparing the shipment, in June, Antonio Luna, David González, Andrés Guerrero, and four temporary workers performed maintenance on the seed-preparation facilities. “We wanted to renovate the appearance of our workplace, so we can be more comfortable working there, while taking into account the phytosanitary requirement of the facilities for proper seed handling,” said González. His program bought the paint and some other material and he and his co-workers painted the walls, the floor stands, and the seed treatment machines in the warehouse. “It took us took weeks to paint the floor stands because we used oil-based paint to avoid having toxic fumes, and we had to take them apart, move them to La Redonda, and paint them there. All the ceiling lights were also changed,” says González. On 27 June, personnel from the Mexican Agriculture Secretariat (SAGARPA) of Texcoco inspected the warehouse of 99 m2 to check that it had been properly washed with bleach.