International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center

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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo, CIMMYT
CIMMYT.jpg
Front gates of CIMMYT in El Batán. Maize and wheat test fields seen far-center.
Formation 1943 [1] and 1966
Type Non-profit research and training center [1]
Purpose To develop improved varieties of wheat and maize [1]
Location
Director general
Martin Kropff
Parent organization
CGIAR, formerly Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Staff
1,200 staff members working in offices in 15 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, and projects in over 40 countries [1]
Website cimmyt.org

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT for Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo) is a non-profit research and training institution dedicated to both the development of improved varieties of wheat and maize with the aim of contributing to food security, and the introduction of improved agricultural practices to smallholder farmers to help boost production, prevent crop disease and improve their livelihoods.[1][2][3][4] It is also one of the 15 non-profit, research and training institutions affiliated with the CGIAR, formerly known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.[5]

CIMMYT's eighth director general, Martin Kropff,[6][7] replaced agronomist Thomas Lumpkin in 2015.[8] Lumpkin served as director general from 2008.[9][10]

Origins[edit]

The first steps toward the creation of CIMMYT were taken in 1943 when cooperative efforts of the Mexican government and the Rockefeller Foundation led to the founding of the Office of Special Studies, an organization within the Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture, now known as the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food. SAGARPA website The goal of the office was to ensure food security in Mexico and abroad through selective plant breeding and crop improvement.

The project developed into a collaboration between Mexican and international researchers. It established global networks to test experimental crop varieties. One of its researchers, wheat breeder Norman Borlaug, developed dwarf wheat varieties that put more energy into grain production and responded better to fertilizer than older varieties, won the Nobel Peace Prize for that work in 1970.[11] "Norman Borlaug - Facts" from the Nobel Prize website The program was renamed and morphed into CIMMYT in 1963, though it was still under the Secretariat of Agriculture’s jurisdiction. As international demand grew and it became apparent CIMMYT required internal organization and increased funding, the center was reorganized and established as a non-profit scientific and educational institution in its own right in 1966.

In the early 1970s, a small cadre of development organizations, national sponsors, and private foundations organized CGIAR to further spread the impact of agricultural research to more nations. CIMMYT became one of the first international research centers to be supported through the CGIAR. Today, the CGIAR comprises 15 such centers, all dedicated to sustainable food security through scientific research.[1]

Activities[edit]

CIMMYT focuses on 1) the conservation and utilization of maize and wheat genetic resources, 2) developing and promoting improved maize and wheat varieties, 3) testing and sharing sustainable farming systems, 4) analyzing the impact of its work and researching ways for further improvement. In Mexico in the late 1980s, CIMMYT began working on better varieties of maize and wheat that helped small peasant farmers, using genetic engineering to resist pests and diseases, as well as raise the protein content of maize.[12] CIMMYT partners with national agriculture research institutions across the globe. Though its headquarters are in Mexico, the center supports 13 regional offices (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nepal, Turkey, and Zimbabwe).

CIMMYT programs and units[edit]

Global Wheat Program and Global Maize Program[edit]

The core of CIMMYT is its two main programs: the Global Wheat Program[13] and the Global Maize Program.[14] Both programs specialize in breeding varieties of their respective crop that are high yielding and adapted to withstand specific environmental constraints, such as infertile soils, drought, insects, and diseases. Center scientists use, traditional cross-breeding, molecular markers, and potentially genetic engineering to develop new varieties. Additional efforts focus on a variety of agricultural aspects such as proper seed storage, natural resource management, value chains, the benefits of using improved seed, and appropriate machine use and access.[15]

Sustainable Intensification Program[edit]

The Sustainable Intensification Program was previously the Conservation Agriculture Program,.[16][17] Research priorities within the Sustainable Intensification Program focus on methods to increase crop and agricultural productivity while maintaining the three pillars of sustainability; preservation of the environment, delivery of positive economic outcomes, adaptation to the cultural and society. With a broad mandate CIMMYT's sustainable intensification research have corresponding divers focal points. These include climate change,[18][19] natural resource management,[20][21] conservation agriculture,[22][23] soil fertility management , water resource management,[24] integration of remote sensing data,[25] and many other topics.

Socioeconomics Program[edit]

The Socioeconomics Program[26] was once part of the former Impacts Targeting and Assessment Unit, which was dissolved in 2009 to form the Conservation Agriculture Program and the Socioeconomics Program. The mission of this program is to evaluate the center’s work and to increase its positive global impacts. Areas of focus include public policy, efficient use of resources, monitoring of global maize and wheat trends, and the understanding of economic, political and institutional environments in which CIMMYT operates.

Genetic Resources Program[edit]

The Genetic Resources and Enhancement Unit (GREU) is support unit that holds the maize and wheat collections of CIMMYT in trust for humanity under UN-FAO agreements.[27] The program works on genetic traits that are identified as priorities by the eco-regional programs, such as drought tolerance. GREU units include the Crop Research Informatics Lab (CRIL),[28] the Germplasm Bank,[29] the Applied Biotechnology Center (ABC),[30] the Seed inspection and distribution unit,[31] and the Seed Health Lab.[32]

Partners and donors[edit]

Main donors include African Agricultural Technology Foundation,[33][34][35][36] Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,[37][38][39][40][41][42] the CGIAR, World Bank (through cross-cutting, theme and project-based CGIAR funding),[43][44][45] Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture,[46] and the national governments of Australia, Britain, Canada,[47][48][49][50] Germany,[51][52][53] Japan,[54][55][56][57] Mexico,[58][59][60] the United States [61][62][63][64][65][65] and Switzerland.[66][67][1][68]

Historically, CIMMYT received funding from the European Commission and the Rockefeller Foundation.[69][70][71]

Awards[edit]

CIMMYT wheat breeder, Norman Borlaug, known as the father of the Green Revolution, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.[72][73] Borlaug later established the World Food Prize [74] in 1986.[75]

CIMMYT scientists Evangelina Villegas and Surinder Vasal received the World Food Prize in 2000 [76] for their work developing quality protein maize with an adequate balance of amino acids using biofortification techniques. They provided nutritional options for people with diets dominated by maize and with no adequate alternative source of protein.

Wheat breeder Sanjaya Rajaram, who worked with both CIMMYT and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), won the World Food Prize in 2014 [77] for producing a "prodigious" 480 wheat varieties, which produce yields that are estimated to feed more than 1 billion people a year.

Scientist Bram Govaerts won the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application at the World Food Prize in 2014.[78] He was awarded for "his work developing leading-edge, sustainable programs that are transforming subsistence agriculture and unsustainable farming systems in Mexico and other regions of the world into productive and sustainable production operations." [79]

Scientist Ravi Singh, wheat breeder, won the China Friendship Award in 2015.[80][81]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "About Us". Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo. Archived from the original on 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
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  4. ^ "FAO - News Article: FAO and partners ramp up efforts to track and prevent spread of damaging wheat rusts". 
  5. ^ "Research Centers". CGIAR. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
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  8. ^ "Martin Kropff / CGIAR / About Us / Our Governance / Center Directors General". Cgiar.org. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  9. ^ "Dr. Thomas Lumpkin Receives the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Hawaii". Wsm.wsu.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  10. ^ "Thomas Lumpkin of AVRDC new CIMMYT DG | CIMMYT. International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center". Cimmyt.org. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  11. ^ "Norman Borlaug - Facts". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  12. ^ Joseph Cotter, Troubled Harvest: Agronomy and Revolution in Mexico, 1880-2002. Contributions in Latin American Studies, No. 22. Westport CT: Prager 2003, p. 290.
  13. ^ [1] Archived July 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ [2] Archived August 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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  17. ^ [3] Archived September 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Ortiz, Rodomiro; Sayre, Kenneth D.; Govaerts, Bram; Gupta, Raj; Subbarao, G. V.; Ban, Tomohiro; Hodson, David; Dixon, John M.; Iván Ortiz-Monasterio, J. (2008-06-01). "Climate change: Can wheat beat the heat?". Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. International Agricultural Research and Climate Change: A Focus on Tropical Systems. 126 (1–2): 46–58. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2008.01.019. 
  19. ^ Thierfelder, C.; Wall, P. C. (2010-04-29). "Investigating Conservation Agriculture (CA) Systems in Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mitigate Future Effects of Climate Change". Journal of Crop Improvement. 24 (2): 113–121. doi:10.1080/15427520903558484. ISSN 1542-7528. 
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  21. ^ Tittonell, Pablo; Klerkx, Laurens; Baudron, Frederic; Félix, Georges F.; Ruggia, Andrea; van Apeldoorn, Dirk; Dogliotti, Santiago; Mapfumo, Paul; Rossing, Walter AH (2016-01-01). Sustainable Agriculture Reviews. Springer International Publishing. pp. 1–34. 
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  23. ^ Andersson, Jens A.; D'Souza, Shereen (2014-04-01). "From adoption claims to understanding farmers and contexts: A literature review of Conservation Agriculture (CA) adoption among smallholder farmers in southern Africa". Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Evaluating conservation agriculture for small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 187: 116–132. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2013.08.008. 
  24. ^ Krupnik, Timothy J.; Schulthess, Urs; Ahmed, Zia Uddin; McDonald, Andrew J. (2017-01-01). "Sustainable crop intensification through surface water irrigation in Bangladesh? A geospatial assessment of landscape-scale production potential". Land Use Policy. 60: 206–222. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2016.10.001. PMC 5142720Freely accessible. PMID 28050058. 
  25. ^ Jain, Meha; Srivastava, Amit K.; Balwinder-Singh; Joon, Rajiv K.; McDonald, Andrew; Royal, Keitasha; Lisaius, Madeline C.; Lobell, David B. (2016-10-20). "Mapping Smallholder Wheat Yields and Sowing Dates Using Micro-Satellite Data". Remote Sensing. 8 (10): 860. doi:10.3390/rs8100860. 
  26. ^ [4] Archived September 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ "Agreement Between the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN" (PDF). October 16, 2006. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Crop Research Informatics Laboratory". Cropinfo.org. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  29. ^ [5] Archived December 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ [6] Archived November 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  31. ^ [7] Archived November 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ [8] Archived December 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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  41. ^ jb755 (25 January 2017). "Cornell receives UK support to aid scientists fighting threats to global wheat supply". 
  42. ^ "$24M grant aims to combat global wheat crop threats - Cornell Chronicle". 
  43. ^ "World Bank continues CGIAR funding only after U.S. push to maintain it - TSLN.com". 
  44. ^ "CGIAR: A Global Research Partnership for a Food Secure Future". 
  45. ^ "Our Programs". 
  46. ^ "International Wheat Yield Partnership". 17 November 2016. 
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  50. ^ Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada;Government of. "The Making of Wheat Warriors: Canadian Wheat Stands Out". 
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  54. ^ "農林水産省/平成28年度ODA予算等の事業概要". 
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  70. ^ "Our History - A Powerful Legacy :: The Rockefeller Foundation". 1 January 2013. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. 
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  77. ^ "2014 - Rajaram - The World Food Prize - Improving the Quality, Quantity and Availability of Food in the World". The World Food Prize. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  78. ^ "The World Food Prize Recognizes Agricultural Scientist Under 40 for Sustainable Agriculture with 2014 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application". Worldfoodprize.org. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  79. ^ for his work developing leading-edge, sustainable programs that are transforming subsistence agriculture and unsustainable farming systems in Mexico and other regions of the world into productive and sustainable production operations.
  80. ^ "CIMMYT wheat breeder Ravi Singh wins China's Friendship Award - CIMMYT. International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center". 
  81. ^ Horton, Richard (October 10, 2015). "Offl ine: The underrated value of friendship" (PDF). The Lancet. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 

External links[edit]