Building a Sustainable Food Future: CIAT in Review 2017-2018
Over the course of 50 years, CIAT had distinguished itself for its contributions to development through innovative agricultural research across the tropics. Building on this track record, we move forward into the next half century committed to better understanding and conserving agro-biodiversity, enabling farmers to produce and earn more, and increasing access to nutritious and affordable food — all while reducing the footprint of agriculture on the world’s natural resources and climate.
Officially unveiled today, our annual report, “Building a Sustainable Food Future: CIAT in Review 2017-2018,” features our primary actions and achievements over the past year. In addition to highlighting many of the pioneering efforts we have launched, the report examines future directions for years to come.
2017 was momentous for us. Our 50th anniversary celebrations – #CIAT50 – saw the visit of a sitting Colombian president, and served to reaffirm that CIAT has always been a strong development ally for Colombia. We will continue to play this role, supporting the country as it moves forward with its peace-building process following a landmark accord that brought an end to more than five decades of armed conflict.
We also launched the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, together with International Food Policy Research Institute. This history-making global public-private partnership brings together all 15 CGIAR research centers, 12 research programs and 70 external thought partners from the academic, corporate and development communities, in a bid to democratize decades of agricultural data to revolutionize farming around the world.
Likewise, we outlined our vision for Africa through 2020. The “CIAT in Africa Roadmap 2017-2020” draws on decades of scientific know-how to improve crops and promote sustainable agriculture, along with breakthrough approaches to enhance food systems and landscapes in the continent. Its four themes are: leveraging markets through improved productivity and competitiveness; agriculture for improved nutrition and health; transforming farms and landscapes for sustainability; and investment planning for resilient agriculture.
Moving forward, CIAT will continue to adapt and innovate its research agenda. Employing a sustainable food systems lens, we will develop solutions that can deliver food security and healthy diets to world’s growing population, while reducing negative impacts on the environment, stimulating entrepreneurship, and producing socio-economic benefits for all. Stay tuned, as in coming months we roll out our approach to creating sustainable food systems across the tropics.