CIMMYT Annual Report 2013: agricultural research for development to improve food and nutritional security

The global agriculture environment has been changing before our eyes. Climate change, natural resource degradation and micronutrient defi ciencies pose enormous challenges to food production and human health; markets and food prices are becoming increasingly volatile; and the world’s population is set to exceed 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet these challenges we must be responding now. Improved crop varieties are among the vital components needed to meet current and future food security challenges, and advances in genetics and plant breeding off er exciting potential. With the MLN screening facility and the DH facility that opened in Kenya in 2013 we can signifi cantly shorten the breeding process, simplify logistics, enhance genetic gains in maize breeding programs and develop cultivars with resistance to diseases like MLN or abiotic stresses like drought. CIMMYT continues to work with a multitude of partners to achieve other advances in plant science. In 2013, the Wheat Yield Consortium (which became the International Wheat Yield Partnership, or IWYP, in 2014) was coordinating global research eff orts in wheat. With 20 percent of all calories consumed by humankind coming from wheat, improvements in its yield are critical. CIMMYT is working with partners to grow more wheat on the same amount of land or less, while also using less water and fertilizer. In addition, CIMMYT is working with HarvestPlus and others on eff orts to biofortify wheat with needed micronutrients. The impacts that these eff orts will have on farmers’ fields, the environment and human health are tremendous. It is clear that tomorrow’s seed needs to be more eff ective and effi cient. We need new climate change-adapted seed that provides people with aff ordable and more nutritious food while simultaneously safeguarding valuable natural resources. As a result, the scope of CIMMYT’s work is expanding. In recent years agronomy has become a major research area. Farmers are playing a central role in this transformation. CIMMYT works with farmers across the developing world, as well as national and regional farmers’ groups and researchers to promote location-specifi c technologies and agricultural know-how on agronomic management, including improved water and soil conservation practices and post-harvest management. In 2013, approximately 200,000 farmers in South Asia were trained in sustainable intensifi cation technologies, and 24,000 farmers in Mexico participated in conservation agriculture fi eld days. Our vision is to bring the information age to farmers. New technological innovations have the potential to revolutionize the lives of resource-poor farmers and consumers. CIMMYT is fi nding eff ective ways to adapt and apply existing technologies to the needs of smallholder farmers. Examples including geographic information system (GIS)- adjusted direct seeding and fertilizing implements, aerial mapping of fi elds to better utilize water and nutrients and information and communications technology (ICT)-based services are already showing tremendous impact. It has been inspiring and gratifying to see the amazing work that the ‘new’ CIMMYT accomplished during 2013. Our achievements bode well for future successes, but the job is not yet done. There are still 2.5 billion wheat consumers and 900 million maize consumers who face a food-insecure future. This is not a time for complacency. The challenges ahead are daunting, and it is clear that we must maintain our innovative research eff orts and partner with the best institutions around the world. More than simply showcasing our work in 2013, this annual report is a tribute and testament to the passion and values of CIMMYT’s staff , partners and donors.

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Bibliographic Details
Other Authors: Mall, S.
Format: Annual Report biblioteca
Published: CIMMYT 2014
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