OPEC Fund supports international research with US$770,000 in grant aid

Originally published

June 11, 2003, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - The OPEC Fund for International Development today extended grant assistance in the total amount of US$770,000 in support of agricultural research projects at seven research centers sponsored by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Founded in 1971, CGIAR is dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of food production in developing countries through research, training and technical assistance to national agricultural research systems.

CGIAR sponsors a total of 16 agricultural research centers whose projects and activities are spread over some 60 developing countries. Since 1979, the OPEC Fund has approved grant assistance to 11 of these establishments in excess of US$15 million. The Fund's grant assistance is directed at eight current schemes, all of which address priority research activities. These include:

1. A research project designed to strengthen resistance to the maize streak virus affecting crops in East Africa, a scheme launched by the International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Germplasm (CIMMYT);

2. A barley research development project implemented by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), which seeks to raise productivity and maximize crop yields among poor farmers in the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region;

3. A two-year community-based project established by ICARDA that aims to raise the efficiency of water-management technologies for agriculture in Afghanistan;

4. A continuing project being carried out by the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) for improving groundnut production and establishing sustainable farming systems in Asia;

5. A project implemented by the International Potato Center (CIP) to help resource-poor potato farmers in Latin America develop integrated crop management strategies;

6. A research project that will introduce legume cover crops for improving soil fertility in Eastern Africa, a scheme established by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT);

7. An ongoing project created by the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) to establish a radio network among countries in sub-Saharan Africa to enable agriculture research institutes, scientists, NGOs and farmers to share information and technologies; and

8. The creation of a knowledge base for establishing sustainable groundwater management systems in Asia and Africa; to be carried out by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

All CGIAR-sponsored research centers collaborate with national institutions and aim to provide intensive training for local agriculturists, while working to achieve the widest possible dissemination of useful information.


Sector: Agriculture

Beneficiaries: CGIAR-Sponsored International Agricultural Research Centers: CIMMYT, ICARDA, ICRISAT, CIP, CIAT, ISNAR and IWMI


  • Improving the resistance to streak virus of lowland tropical maize in Eastern Africa (CIMMYT)

  • Decentralization of barley breeding with farmers' participation in the WANA region (ICARDA)

  • Community-based research for agricultural development and sustainable resource management in Afghanistan (ICARDA)

  • Harnessing technology for sustainable development: economic empowerment of poor groundnut farmers in Asia (ICRISAT)

  • Integrated crop management (ICM) for improving food security and competitiveness of resource poor potato growers in Latin America (CIP)

  • Increasing efficiency of legume cover crops' use in selected benchmark sites in Eastern Africa (CIAT)

  • Tuned in to farmers: linking agricultural research and rural radio in sub-Saharan Africa (ISNAR)

  • Sustainable use of groundwater for agricultural production in Asia and Africa (IWMI)

    OPEC Fund grants: CIMMYT: US$100,000

    ICARDA: US$200,000 (two grants of US$100,000 each)

    ICRISAT: US$100,000

    CIP: US$100,000

    CIAT: US$70,000

    ISNAR: US$100,000

    IWMI: US$100,000

    Grant total: US$770,000

    Grant administrator: OPEC Fund

    Project duration: Variable.