.... 25 Years of Improvement

Part I. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is an informal association of 49 public and private sector donors that supports a network of 16 international agricultural research centers. The Group was established in 1971. It is cosponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The international centers supported by the CGIAR are part of a global agricultural research system. The CGIAR functions as a guarantor to developing countries, ensuring that international scientific capacity is brought to bear on the problems of the world's disadvantaged peoples.

Programs carried out by CGIAR-supported centers fall into six broad categories:

  • Productivity Research
    Creating or adopting new technologies (such as the "dwarf"
    varieties of wheat and rice that brought about Asia's and Latin
    America's Green Revolution) to increase productivity on farmers'
  • Management of Natural Resources
    Protecting and preserving the productivity of natural resources
    on which agriculture depends
  • Improving the Policy Environment
    Assisting developing countries to formulate and carry out
    effective food, agriculture, and research policy
  • Institution Building
    Strengthening national agricultural research systems in developing
  • Germplasm Conservation
    Conserving germplasm and making it available to all regions
    and countries
  • Building Linkages
    Facilitating cooperation and technology transfer between advanced
    research institutions in developed countries and national research
    programs in developing countries.

    Helping to create or strengthen linkages between developing country institutions and other components of the global agricultural research system

    Food productivity in developing countries has increased through the combined efforts of the CGIAR Centers and their partners in developing countries. The same efforts have brought about a range of other benefits, such as increased farm income, reduced food prices, better food distribution systems, better nutrition, more rational policies, and stronger institutions.

    CGIAR Centers have trained more than 45,000 agricultural scientists during the past 25 years. The types of training provided ranged from mid-level regional courses to post-doctoral programs at CGIAR Centers. Many scientists from developing countries who were also trained at CGIAR Centers form the nucleus of and provide leadership to national agricultural research systems in their own countries.

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