I07 International land use systems research WS 2008/2009
Prof. Dr. E. Schlecht, Dr. C. Hülsebusch

Mexico - March 14th-March 28th 2009

Sustainable rural development in the light of globalisation

From March 13th to March 28th 2009, a group of 10 students from the University of Kassel (Witzenhausen) and 10 students from the University of Göttingen, accompanied by 4 lecturers went on the 2 weeks excursion to Mexico. The group consisted of students at the BSc and MSc and Diploma level. Having arrived in Mexico, the group was joined by Mr. Angel Pita-Duque, a lecturer in agroecology at the Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo.

The first few excursion days were spent in and around Mexico City and Texcoco. The group met with students of agroecology of the Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo, who had organised a day trip to the "Chinampa floating garden systems" near Texcoco. The excursion then went south into the dry Oaxaca region to visit agricultural systems and dryland reforestation projects. The way led on westward to San Cristobal de las Casas, where coffee farming, small scale agriculture and practical forestry where on the programme. From there, the group ventured down again into the tropical rainforest area with small scale farming and also to the old Maya settlements of Palenque and Bonampak. From there, the path led towards the Yucatan peninsula with livestock operations of varied intensity, as well as integrated horticulture and fruiticulture systems.

A warm welcome was extended by the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan in Merida, where they joined Mexican students and lecturers and were introduced to the research and training programme of UADY. UADY students joined the group for a two day trip to the university's experimental station Hobonil Ranch further south on the peninsula. From Merida, the group went northwards along the coastline to Veracruz, where the aquaculture association of Veracruz had organized for a programme on fish, crocodile and wildlife farming. From Veracruz, the way led via Puebla back to Texcoco where a visit of the Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo was on the agenda for the last excursion day.

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