Message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees

All of the stories featured in this report highlight CIMMYT’s values: Excellence, Integrity, and Teamwork. The CIMMYT team practices crucial behaviors, such as listening, creating, and delivering research results.

Looking back on 2022, the world is facing unprecedented challenges, which are placing new demands on innovation in agrifood systems, and on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Most of the global issues confronting us a year ago are still with us, and in many ways, they have become more serious. Over the next year, our individual and collective limits will be tested by emerging challenges, such as geopolitical tensions (including migration issues), inflation, accelerated climate change, and a changing food security situation. Governance systems once taken for granted across the globe are now facing greater scrutiny. As the cracks widen and deepen, CIMMYT’s capacity to respond must continue to accelerate. We must also improve our ability to anticipate forthcoming challenges and pivot swiftly as needed.

As the COVID-19 crisis loosens its grip, it is important to recognize that scientific research and development contributed to alleviating the suffering caused by the pandemic.

Climate change is robbing the Global South of its potential, and the burden is especially heavy on smallholder farmers. However, there are promising innovations from research, including in the private sector, to adapt to climate change.

The war in Ukraine has lasted for a full year, ending our hopes that peace would prevail quickly. This has cut back on the supply of food, especially grains, to poorer countries, making it clear that global trade is a crucial, if vulnerable part of the world’s food security.

Peace and democracy rest on a foundation of food security. The source and quality of food today will help to shape the world that our children inherit.

At CIMMYT, I am delighted and honored to be associated with some of the world’s finest agricultural scientists, whose cutting- edge research contributes to solving the challenges of today, while continuing to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods, especially of smallholder farmers.

Just to give some examples from the report you are reading, a review released in 2022 shows that CIMMYT scientists are successfully integrating food systems innovations with climate change adaptation and mitigation. CIMMYT’s work on blending flours from different crops demonstrates a way to ease sub-Saharan Africa’s dependence on food imports. New maize varieties, which are resistant to heat and drought, are crucial for helping South Asian farmers adapt to a changing climate while improving food security.

All of the stories featured in this report highlight CIMMYT’s values: Excellence, Integrity and Teamwork. The CIMMYT team practices crucial behaviors. They listen to farmers, to partners and to each other. They leap forward, with bold, new initiatives. They lead by example, with the high caliber of their work and they learn by doing.

I wish to acknowledge the generosity of CIMMYT’s funders. We also continue to streamline our administration and to ensure that efficient operations maximize the amount spent on research, to benefit the world’s smallholder farmers.

In January 2022, 31 new CGIAR initiatives were launched to radically realign food, land, and water systems. These initiatives were designed by multidisciplinary teams of scientists from across CGIAR to bring lasting and positive change across five Impact Areas: 1) Nutrition, Health, and Food Security; 2) Poverty Reduction, Livelihoods, and Jobs; 3) Gender Equality, Youth, and Social Inclusion; 4) Climate Adaptation and Mitigation; and 5) Environmental Health and Biodiversity. CIMMYT participates in most of these new initiatives, co-leads several of them, and is now creating new tools and innovations to address the five CGIAR impact areas. With CGIAR research and innovation providing a 10:1 return on investment, supporting the new initiatives provides funders with a clear path to impact for people, climate, and nature.

I also want to thank my colleagues on the Board of Trustees, the leadership at CIMMYT, our talented staff and our valued collaborators for their commitment and insights that make this work a rewarding experience.

The challenges ahead are great, but so is our determination to meet them head-on. These complex global challenges confronting us are systemically rooted. Many are interconnected and interdependent, requiring that we work together. At CIMMYT we welcome your thoughts and partnership in making food security a human right for all. In turn, please count on us to seek to understand (listen more), and to humbly deliver on our commitments and partnerships.

Margaret Bath