Message from the Director General

At CIMMYT, we are committed to finding innovative solutions to global issues, such as poverty, climate change and gender inequality.

As you read this report, I hope that you will find inspiration in it. Research on food systems is addressing some of today’s biggest challenges. At CIMMYT we are committed to finding innovative solutions to global issues, such as poverty, climate change and gender inequality.

COVID-19 is still with us, even if parts of the world are recovering. However, in 2022 the struggle of the poor to buy bread has made world headlines. Research at CIMMYT is helping to ease this suffering.

CIMMYT’s mandate is as relevant today as it ever was. It is important to acknowledge that CIMMYT continues to achieve many of our goals. For example, in most of the world, rural livelihoods are steadily improving, even as we also rise to challenges such as climate change, and environmental degradation.

CIMMYT is now developing a new strategy, based on three strategic pillars: Discovery, SystemDev, and Inc.

  1. Discovery includes our core strengths in scientific research and innovation.
  2. SystemDev tackles today’s challenges with a systems perspective.
  3. Inc. calls upon CIMMYT’s ability to generate alternative sources of revenue and innovative ways of working by strengthening public-private partnerships.

The Discovery pillar is highlighted in our long-term experimentation with ecological intensification. CIMMYT researchers are demonstrating that organic fertilizer, crop rotation and other practices mitigate climate change, while improving yields in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We also include an update on our activities on dryland cereals and legumes (sorghum, the millets, groundnut, pigeon pea and chickpea) to further strengthen our mandate.

The SystemDev pillar is featured in the successful strategies and business models for selling maize in Nepal. As smallholder farmers are integrated into modern value chains, women and wage laborers are becoming maize entrepreneurs.
The Inc. pillar (still a working title as we further codevelop and brainstorm on what this pillar could mean), is portrayed in our exploration of the voluntary carbon markets (VCM) allowing farming communities to sell carbon credits as they improve their soil health through sustainable agriculture.

With its creativity, talent and capacity, CIMMYT is at the forefront of efforts to avert a global food crisis, and the climate change disaster.

At CIMMYT, as we implement our 2030 Strategy, we are impact driven, but also humble and respectful of the local context and people’s needs. Our work is collaborative by nature. We strive to be generous in spirit and we hold ourselves accountable for our actions.

With them, individual actions must always show that we care for each other, our fellow team members. We always bear in mind our final stakeholders, the farmers. With them in mind, we seek to share our excellence while we attract our needed investments to benefit them. We support all our partners, who work closely with farm communities.

Our seven collective steps for a successful 2030 Strategy to realize our 2100 vision of CIMMYT as a global thought leader and change agent for climate resilience, sustainability and inclusive agricultural development for a food-and-nutrition-secure future are to:

  1. Address critical issues facing agriculture and wider society
  2. Work for the collective benefit
  3. Advance knowledge of genetics and agrifood systems
  4. Ensure continuing integration of technical advances
  5. Target the drivers of demand
  6. Build multi-actor, multi-disciplinary platforms to integrate components, and
  7. Focus on a broader legacy.

CIMMYT’s efforts are helping to lift families out of poverty and hunger, empower women, safeguard the environment and address climate change. This would not be possible without our generous funders, and the collaboration we enjoy with our excellent partners across the world.

Bram Govaerts