The CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics, referred to as Humidtropics, seeks to transform the lives of rural poor in the humid lowlands, moist savannas, and tropical highlands in tropical Americas, Asia, and Africa. Humidtropics provides a new integrated agricultural systems approach, a single research-for-development plan, and a unique partnerships platform for better impact on poverty and ecosystems integrity.
The humid and subhumid tropics with 2.9 billion people on about 3 billion hectares of land are critical to global food supplies, central to the maintenance of global biodiversity, and vital to the mitigation of greenhouse gasses. Intensification of agricultural systems in these areas offers the best potential for poverty reduction, especially for women and other vulnerable groups, and meeting world food demand. The bulk of the rural poor reside in the humid and subhumid tropics, areas also associated with poor household nutrition and soil fertility depletion. Humidtropics focuses directly on rainfed smallholder farming systems and their opportunities for sustainable intensification.
- They are representative and capture diversity. Action Areas are selected that contain widespread poverty and poor natural resource integrity that are representative of the humid tropics diversity.
- Urgent need exists for large-scale impacts. These Action Areas have relatively high population densities where intensification, production systems diversification and integration, and rural transformation are urgently needed and have the best potential for massive impact.
- They advance earlier investments and existing and potential partnerships. Earlier research investments in the Action Areas will benefit from planned interventions based on collaboration to generate better synergies between existing expertise of the members of the CGIAR Consortium and their partners and develop new partnerships and expertise to achieve better impact.
Over the next 15 years, Humidtropics will advance the CGIAR system level outcomes within the action areas by increasing staple food yields by 60 per cent, increasing average farm income by 50 per cent, lifting 25 per cent of poor households above the poverty line, reducing the number of malnourished children by 30 per cent and restoring 40 per cent of these farms to sustainable resource management. In this way, Humidtropics will serve as a model to other agencies seeking to link agricultural systems research to developmental impact.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), with headquarters in Nigeria and a network of hubs and stations in sub-Saharan Africa, will lead Humidtropics in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the International Potato Center (CIP), Bioversity International, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), and the Wageningen UR.