The CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform is the newest Platform arrival, starting up in August 2017 with the recruitment of the director. It aims to modernize breeding programs, targeting the developing world for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation, and development. The Platform draws from innovations in the public and private sectors to provide access to cutting-edge tools, services and best practices, application-oriented training and practical advice, with the aim of increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of breeding.

In its first few months, the Platform:

  • Forged partnerships across CGIAR breeding programs, as well as with external bodies such as Monsanto, Diversity Arrays Technology, Cornell University, Corteva Agriscience, the University of Queensland, Hiphen, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique -Avignon, CSIRO, and Kansas State University.
  • Held a successful series of workshops to bring breeders together to address practical problems of product development and breeding program management, including overcoming bottlenecks and identifying lower-cost
    and more rapid approaches to common breeding processes.
  • Conducted two surveys of member programs to assess needs for genotyping and breeding informatics support for CGIAR breeding programs.
  • Worked closely with the Breeding Program Assessment Tool team1 to identify priority improvements for participating breeding programs.


1 An initiative led by the University of Queensland with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Photo by M. Major/Crop Trust.