INIFAP Celebrates 35th AnniversaryBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 12/14/2020 - 18:27
Víctor Villalobos, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, called on the country’s institutions to join forces and make this sector more sustainable and productive during the 35th anniversary of the National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP) celebrated on Dec. 8.
Villalobos highlighted there needs to be greater support in the sanitary conditions of agricultural production, as well as in livestock nutrition and the use of water and natural resources. This would ease product marketing and access of producers to various markets while avoiding food waste at different points in the production process. He also mentioned that an area that needs more development is scientific research and innovation. Without these elements, generating a real change or impact on Mexican agriculture becomes limited, reported Agronoticias.
There have been certain initiatives to help with some of the points made before, one of them being the Precision Agriculture Infrastructure project, which uses satellite technology to increase agricultural productivity. The goal is to increase agricultural productivity through strictly enforced practices of observation, measurement and response to crop variations, as mentioned in a previous MBN article. This methodology is still in a pilot stage, however.
"In three and a half decades, the institute has proven to be a highly profitable organization for the Mexican government, since for each peso invested, an economic spill of more than MX$50 is generated for the benefit of Mexican producers," said Luis Ángel Rodríguez del Bosque, General Director of INIFAP, according to Agronoticias.
Jesús Moncada de la Fuente, INIFAP’s first head in 1985, said the industry has gone through many changes, including climate change and the current pandemic that has not made it easy for agriculture to be a priority sector to invest in. Still, he said that industries must seize the opportunities that come to Mexico, taking advantage of its biodiversity and climate. By supporting the agriculture sector, there would be more jobs and opportunities that could help rural families improve their economic situation.
Agriculture is one of the drivers toward economic recovery, says Villalobos. He expects the country to reach self-sufficiency, which means domestic production of basic crops will cover full national demand, reports MBN.