COB Editor’s Note: The Domenici Institute sponsored a forum at KRWG on Sept. 9. Featured as guests were three Aggie alums including Mexico’s agriculture secretary, Jose Calzada Rovirosa. Calzada is a former governor of the state of Queretaro and a graduate of the NMSU MBA program.
Published on Sep 9, 2016. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says by the year 2050, the world will have to produce 70% more food in order to feed the growing population and combat hunger.
New Mexico State University, Mexico’s Agricultural department and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities are hoping to work together to find new innovative ways to produce food
Jose Calzada Rovisrosa, Mexico’s minister of agriculture, livestock, rural development, fisheries and food returned to his alma mater New Mexico State University to discuss more ways the two countries can collaborate to increase food production in North America.
“We cannot increase the amount of crop able land,” Calzada Rovirosa. “We have to have better technology, to innovate, to mechanize the fields, but especially incorporate science into the matter, into the equation.”
Calzada Rovirosa signed a memorandum of understanding with Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities committing to strengthening communication, sharing knowledge, and promoting scientific research.
“In the context of the climate change,” McPherson said. “The water scarcity, and the energy requirement. We don’t have to technology, and I think with these countries working together, and I appreciate the North American view because crops don’t know borders.
Calzada Rovirosa says they’ve already begun discussions on ways the will be able to collaborate with NMSU.
“One is irrigation,” Calzada Rovirosa said. “Irrigation systems is very important for production, producing more. We’d like to identify better opportunities in terms of production in organics. Organics is a big thing worldwide. It helps people because they consume better products, healthier products, and it also helps producers because they make more money.”
Other areas they identified for collaboration include meat production, milk production, climate change, and international trade.
NMSU Chancellor Dr. Garrey Carruthers says they also discussed participating in student and faculty exchange programs.
“We’re nearby,” Carruthers said. “It’s going to be very easy for our students to study a semester or a year in Mexico. We have a number of students from Mexico study at New Mexico State University. The most valuable thing we can do is have our students engaged in studying somewhere else, but actually studying agriculture somewhere else in a different environment.”
Peter McPherson says it’s important students get an international view.
“They need that in this world they’re going into,” McPherson said. “Also some of the joint research projects that are under consideration no doubt will provide students with some experience in research work.”