CGIAR research is development:

We are catalyzing transformations to create better food systems, which will require an infusion of new knowledge, tools and policies.

Global challenges

Food – the way we grow, catch, transport, process, trade, and consume it – is central to the main challenges facing humanity.

We are at crossroads in the world’s food system. Global hunger is on the rise and planetary boundaries are being exceeded. We cannot continue our current trajectory of consuming too little, too much, or the wrong types of food at an unsustainable cost to natural resources, the environment, and human health. We must change course.

  • We must change course!

    This will require a new relationship between food, landscapes and people, backed by science and based on an infusion of knowledge, tools, policies and business models. The global food system can be harnessed to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

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    Food security

    Yield increases of staple crops have flatlined, struggling to keep pace with growing demand. Agricultural output must increase in harmony with the natural environment by improving access to quality inputs, extension services and innovations along the value chain

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    Water, land and forests are precious, yet finite, natural resources. Agriculture accounts for about 70% of global water withdrawals and is the biggest cause of forest loss. Additionally, a third of the world’s soil is classified as degraded.

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    2016 saw this decade’s first increase in the number of chronically undernourished, now more than 800 million people. Two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, an equal number are overweight or obese.

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    Climate change and climate shocks put the most vulnerable people at risk. Heat, drought, flood, and unpredictable growing seasons harm farmers and production systems.

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    Many of the world’s poor rely on agriculture and natural resources for food and livelihood. More than 85% of the world’s 1.2 billion youth live in developing countries where meaningful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities are limited – contributing to migration and political insecurity.

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CGIAR Harnessing Innovations

To solve these complex challenges, CGIAR partners with governments, national research institutes, civil society and the private sector on 5 global transformations.

  • CGIAR research is development

    Catalyzing these transformations to create better food systems will require an infusion of new knowledge, tools and policies.

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    Nutrition Transformation

    To tackle chronic malnutrition, hidden hunger and the availability of safe, healthy and diverse foods by harnessing the political, technological, and market potential of food systems

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    Environmental Transformation

    To drastically cut the environmental cost of agriculture and reverse land degradation by scaling up climate-smart agriculture, and improving soil health, agroforestry practices, natural resource management and water use efficiency.

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    Information Revolution

    To deliver impact-at-scale by harnessing the power of agriculturally relevant data and analytics for farmers, businesses and governments, and to facilitate two-way information sharing for learning and decision support

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    Genomics Revolution

    To accelerate development of a new generation of crops and animals, to improve yield, as well as increase nutrient content and market value – while increasing resilience to climate challenges, pests and diseases.

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    Economics Transformation

    To revitalize rural economies, bring value to consumers, and leverage the power of economic growth to reduce poverty – targeting equity and the key role of women in production, post-harvest processing and across the value chain.

Discover our Research centers and portfolio

Research Centers

The 15 CGIAR Research Centers are independent, non-profit research organizations, conducting innovative research. Home to more than 8,000 scientists, researchers, technicians, and staff, CGIAR Research works to create a better future for the world’s poor. Each Center has its own charter, board of trustees, director general, and staff. CGIAR Research Centers are responsible for hands-on research programs and operations guided by policies and research directions set by the System Management Board.

Research Portfolio 2017-2022

The CGIAR Research Portfolio 2017-2022 is structured around two linked clusters of challenge-led research. The first of these is the innovation in Agri-Food Systems which involves adopting an integrated, agricultural systems approach to advancing productivity, sustainability, nutrition and resilience outcomes at scale.

CGIAR System Annual Reports

CGIAR research is made possible by our funders. They contribute to a research partnership with direct impact on the livelihoods of the poor.

Featured publications

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Meet our Scientists

Our scientists are at the forefront of our research providing evidence to policy makers, innovation to partners and new tools to transform the global food system.