“The two tycoons participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for new laboratories at the headquarters of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT.
The new complex will double the center’s capacity to develop better seeds and more productive farmers in the developing world, officials said.
Slim’s charitable foundation donated $25 million to build the new complex, while the Gates foundation has given more than $90 million for ongoing CIMMYT projects, including an $18 million grant also announced Wednesday to help boost small-farm yields in South Asia.
Mexico’s agriculture minister, Enrique Martinez, told the assembled dignitaries that new advances in seeds developed by CIMMYT will help Mexico lessen its reliance on imported grains, especially corn.
Mexico currently imports about a third of the corn it needs each year.