Executive representatives of more than 30 Mexican smallscale seed companies who belong to the International Maize Yield Consortium (IMIC) of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) program attended a workshop titled “Planning the MasAgro-IMIC network of seed sector members and partners.”
Initially workshop participants were given general information on progress achieved by MasAgro. Félix San Vicente, IMIC leader at CIMMYT, then presented a list of basic and pre-commercial materials that IMIC has developed for Mexico’s main agro-ecological environments. San Vicente also described several training and capacity building activities that IMIC has prepared and which should contribute to increasing the productivity of Mexico’s seed industry.
Laura Donnet, IMIC’s Socioeconomic Studies coordinator, estimated that the companies represented at the workshop currently hold close to an 18% share of the market. For this reason, the challenge for IMIC is to collaborate with Mexican seed companies and help them to work together to sustainably increase their market share.
With this goal in mind, workshop discussions centered on identifying market information that seed companies require to successfully market IMIC’s new products. Seed producers also focused on designing commercialization and marketing strategies that would contribute to developing the improved seed market in MasAgro’s target areas. As a result, action plans were established for each agro-ecological area with the aim of promoting the adoption of improved seed by IMIC network members and partners.
Also attending the workshop were experts in plant breeding, seed markets and Mexico’s agroindustrial maize chain. During the general meetings workshop organizers were able to gather information on what the seed sector expects from MasAgro. The participants expressed great interest in having IMIC foster very close coordination between public sector development programs and their seed production activities.