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A new strategy
to help reduce poverty and hunger by 2020
Developed through extensive consultation with CIMMYT's stakeholders, this strategy
initiates a more proactive, inclusive approach to planning and priority setting for CIMMYT.
This approach is reflected in a new mission, in a confirmed focus on people and livelihoods,
and in organizational and cultural changes that will foster collaboration, learning, and
knowledge sharing for innovation.
CIMMYT's new mission is to act as a catalyst and leader in a global maize and wheat
innovation network that serves the poor in developing countries. Drawing on strong
science and effective partnerships, we create, share, and use knowledge and
technology to increase food security, improve the productivity and profitability of
farming systems, and sustain natural resources.
To achieve this mission, CIMMYT will rely on four sources or "seeds" of innovation:
The heart of the strategy: A focus on sustainable livelihoods for the world's poor maize
and wheat producers and consumers-putting the needs of people first.
The mind of the strategy: A new innovation agenda that emphasizes global and
The muscle of the strategy: A broad and growing set of partnerships and networks that
will enable us to stay attuned and responsive to the needs of poor people and ensure the
impact of all partners' efforts to promote sustainable human development.
The spirit of the strategy: Careful attention to the full cycle of innovation and the
sharing and use of knowledge across scientific, institutional, and national boundaries.
People and their needs define and motivate
The heart of the strategy:
Science to empower people
With its partners, CIMMYT will reduce farm households' vulnerability to
poverty by offering science-based alternatives that fit their mix of livelihood strategies:
* Strategies in which maize and wheat production offer food and nutritional security.
* Strategies in which maize and wheat production generate income, foster economic
growth, and alleviate poverty.
Poor people often have little choice about the course of action they must take. Our
research empowers people to choose: to remain in maize and wheat production and
make it more profitable; to incorporate more stable maize and wheat production into
other, increasingly important livelihood strategies; or to diversify out of maize and
wheat entirely if this makes the most socioeconomic sense.
Our science has yielded and will continue to yield exciting innovations that change
* The wheat varieties that started the Green Revolution have met the needs of a
rapidly growing population in developing countries (Nobel Peace Prize, 1970)
* Maize with higher quality protein offers more nutrition and better income-earning
alternatives (World Food Prize, 2000)
Community seed production empowers women to
expand income-earning opportunities.
An agenda for innovation
The research agenda will be based on six initiatives:
* Harnessing maize and wheat genetic diversity for humanity
* Strengthening the global maize and wheat innovation network through policies and
institutions, capacity building, and analysis of strategic global issues
* Reducing vulnerability in dryland, stress-prone, food-grain systems by managing risk
* Improving livelihoods and conserving natural resources in tropical agro-ecosystems
* Safeguarding food security in densely populated areas through sustainable intensification
* Increasing food security in Africa through better technology and improved markets
Within 10 years, CIMMYT and its partners will deliver:
* An expanded, more useful, and far more accessible collection of maize and wheat
* Reduced vulnerability of poor households to drought, infertile soils, diseases, and other
stresses, through the use of new varieties and improved crop management
* Expanded crop rotations and greater crop diversification to improve agricultural
productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability
* Reduced use of water, fuel, and other inputs in agriculture through the use of resource-
conserving technologies and varieties
* Improved nutrition through maize and wheat varieties with superior nutritional quality
* Improved access to markets through varieties with value-added traits
* New tools and methods for public agricultural research
* Policies to strengthen technology delivery and remove constraints to adoption
* A strong learning and mentoring service, supported by a global portal to knowledge on
maize and wheat livelihood systems in the developing world
Environmentally sustainable practices will have a
tremendous impact on the nearly 200 million hectares
planted to maize and wheat in developing countries.
The muscle of the strategy:
Partnerships and networks
CIMMYT's intention is to be a true partner in innovation, providing products,
services, information, and technical expertise. Principles for partnering include:
* Engage in strategic partnerships for specific purposes.
* Engage in collective priority setting and shared implementation.
* Emphasize equality in sharing resources, contributions, accountability, and credit.
* Work where CIMMYT has a comparative strength and devolve other activities wherever
* Strengthen the capacity of partners so others can take on new roles and create
* Strengthen work with national agricultural research and extension systems in
broad alliances of diverse partners.
* Actively harmonize and integrate CIMMYT's efforts with those of other CGIAR Centers.
* Establish more strategic and productive relationships with the private sector and
advanced research institutes to strengthen research capacity and extend research
results to areas with less attractive markets.
* Expand relationships with non-governmental and civil society organizations,
especially in seed production and delivery systems, seed relief, and health initiatives.
* Maintain strong links with other international development agencies and global
and regional development fora, especially with a view to advocating policies and
institutions that favor sustainable development.
* Improve flexibility to form new partnerships by increasing decision-making
authority across all CIMMYT locations.
Long-term collaboration with multiple partners
in the lab and in the field yielded more nutritious
"quality protein maize" for this community.
The spirit of the strategy:
Sharing and using knowledge for innovation
A foremost mechanism for adding value to networks and partnerships is to
support knowledge sharing and information flows. To serve as the catalyst and
leader in a global maize and wheat innovation network, CIMMYT will attend to
the whole cycle of knowledge management:
* Diagnose needs: Listen to farmers and other partners.
* Provide access to essential knowledge for research.
* Develop new technologies with partners.
* Share new technologies widely with other users.
* Carefully monitor adaptation and use of technologies, with an emphasis on
learning for future efforts.
* Understand that knowledge is created and used through a complex system
of multiple interacting players and forces.
CIMMYT will further an organizational culture, structure, management style,
and performance incentives to stimulate the acquisition, sharing, and
evaluation of knowledge.
Farmers and researchers
participate in the selection of
varieties suited to local needs.
L I i
and sense of commitment
In carrying this strategy forward, CIMMYT will build on:
* Its stewardship of the world's largest collections of maize and wheat
* Its knowledge, expertise, and effectiveness in international plant breeding.
* Its understanding of the complex biophysical and socioeconomic dynamics
of agricultural systems.
* Its extensive network of partners, which transcends borders and economic
* Its commitment to seek out and evaluate new research tools and methods.
* Its commitment to the renewal process in the CGIAR.
Strategic planning has already initiated considerable change within CIMMYT.
In the coming year, CIMMYT and its partners will continue the change
process. They will define the research agenda in detail, set priorities, and
foster the organizational transformation that will put this plan into practice.
Research draws on multiple sources of information, from
the genetic history encoded in a seed to the knowledge
developed in a farming community.
Maize and wheat matter
for sustainable development
Maize and wheat are among the developing world's most
important staples (see chart). CIMMYT has a global mandate
for research on these crops. The international maize and
wheat improvement network formed by CIMMYT and its
partners spans the developing world, including areas where
poverty is severe and where maize and wheat account for as
much as half of the calories consumed every day in poor
households (see map). This network, built on decades of
germplasm exchange, information sharing, and collaborative
research, is a strong foundation for innovation that links local,
regional, and global perspectives.
Human poverty distribution and the international maize and
wheat improvement network. I *
11% Cassava 3%
i Jj Potatoes 2%
S Sweet Potatoes 2%
B n SMillet 2%
Beans 1% Soybeans 2%
Daily per capital caloric intake of
the 10 most important food
crops in developing countries,
Source: FAOSTAT online database,
M' 4 oil P
OL- F Wa
UNDP Human Poverty Index
S ;15 2 011 (higher
S3J 0 numbers
i 41 5 indicate
i O r al greater
* Wheat partner locations Maize partner locations
* B i