Ing. Javier Delgado, former director of the Mexican agricultural investment fund FOCIR, was awarded the distinction of Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau by Dutch ambassador Dolf Hogewoning and agricultural counsellor Gabrielle Nuijtens. Delgado receives the distinction in recognition of his excellent work in the Mexican agrosector, and for his efforts in bringing together Dutch knowledge and Mexican innovation in particular. One of the important milestones in Delgado’s work is his contribution to the development of Metropolitan Food Clusters (MFCs) in Mexico in collaboration with Alterra Wageningen UR.
In 2003, Delgado was at the birth of the development of the first Mexican high-tech greenhouse cluster in Querétaro. In 2011 he started the design of Agrósfera, the Metropolitan Food Cluster in the state of Aguascalientes, with Alterra researchers Madeleine van Mansfeld and Peter Smeets, which marked the start of a decisive role in the expansion of the vision on MFCs and agroparks in the Mexican context. The “Dutch model” has now been incorporated in the national policy on agricultural development and is being elaborated in the ‘National System of Agroparks’ and supported by a vision on Agrologistics, which is also facilitated by Wageningen UR. Currently, agroparks are being developed in the states of Aguascalientes, Nayarit and Chiapas. Other states, including Yucatán, Michoacán, Durango and Querétaro likewise demonstrate substantial interest in the concept.
Push the development of Agroparks
Reflecting on his position in FOCIR, Javier Delgado looks back at an inspirational time, thankful for the opportunities that he has had. In particular, he acknowledges the decisive role of Gabrielle Nuijtens in facilitating the work of Dutch organizations, including the productive collaboration with Wageningen UR. He emphasizes that he is not yet done: his new positions provide him more freedom and flexibility to push the development of agroparks from the perspective of the private sector. In this perspective, Delgado will continue to promote the concept of agropark development. What is more, he is pushing ahead with plans for a national innovation and research center in the agricultural field, for which he likewise seeks collaboration with Wageningen UR.