Value chains Value chains Respective post owners and feed distributors Tue, 27 Nov 2018 14:34:38 +0000 Feed Informer Putting farmers at the center in demand driven seed systems RTB-CGIAR urn:uuid:f30a543b-e30d-4cb6-85dd-f3fd205eb1a4 Thu, 23 Dec 2021 16:37:37 +0000 Seed systems are complex and diverse and can vary enormously depending on the crop and country. They need to be carefully developed according to demand. A recently published special issue in Outlook on Agriculture entitled Demand driven seed systems suggests that realistic ambitions must be established to determine which farming households can be served by [...]<p><a class="btn btn-secondary understrap-read-more-link" href="">Read More...</a></p> <p>Seed systems are complex and diverse and can vary enormously depending on the crop and country. They need to be carefully developed according to demand. A <a href="">recently published special issue</a> in <em>Outlook on Agriculture</em> entitled <em>Demand driven seed systems</em> suggests that realistic ambitions must be established to determine which farming households can be served by current approaches. The papers collectively argue that a wider and more diverse range of partnerships will be required to broaden the reach of seed systems. As an example of the diversity amongst crops and countries, the special issue presents contrasting RTB seed systems of cassava seed systems in Rwanda and yam systems in Nigeria, next to contributions addressing seed system issues in other crops and countries.</p> <p>Seed systems are essential in providing farmers with quality seeds and form the critical links that connect breeders and farmers. The transition to <a href="">One CGIAR</a> has reignited discussions around crop breeding priorities and seed systems’ development. “This special issue is a result of discussions among CGIAR scientists and partners who are working to help One CGIAR develop a coherent and coordinated seed system research program,” said Conny J.M. Almekinders, co-leader of the RTB cc 2.1 cluster, a specialist in farmer-based seed systems with <a href="">Wageningen University &amp; Research</a> and co-editor of the special issue.</p> <div id="attachment_53711" style="width: 1396px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-53711" loading="lazy" class="size-full wp-image-53711" src="" alt="" width="1386" height="1039" srcset=" 1386w, 300w, 768w, 640w, 630w, 480w, 600w, 1140w" sizes="(max-width: 1386px) 100vw, 1386px" /><p id="caption-attachment-53711" class="wp-caption-text">Two researchers collecting information on farmers’ preferences for different sources of potato seed, Kenya. Photo credit C. Almekinders/WUR</p></div> <p><strong>Cassava seed systems in Rwanda need to be tailored</strong></p> <p>The study by <a href="">Kilwinger et al.</a> looks at entry points for commercial business models for supplying cassava planting material to smallholders in Rwanda. Farmers in Rwanda are dependent on local cassava varieties and informal seed sources. This dependency has contributed to the spread of cassava viral diseases. Farmers can help reduce future disease outbreaks by using improved planting materials available through formal seed sources that assure seed quality. Seed business models can help increase the availability of, and farmers’ access to, such materials.</p> <p>The research looked at whether, how, and under what conditions the commercialization of seed delivery can guarantee a better supply and access to quality planting materials. In Rwanda, two viewpoints on seed delivery are widely recognized. Some believe commercial, profit-driven business models should be the drivers of seed value chains, while others see no reason to turn current models that hinge on more informal relations within communities into models of economic capital. The authors show that in the case of cassava in Rwanda there are limited opportunities for sustaining a commercial business model.</p> <p>“We found that more commercial-oriented farmers have better access to formal seed sources,” said Fleur Kilwinger, a researcher with Wageningen University &amp; Research and lead author of the paper. “Nevertheless, the majority of farmers in all categories accessed new varieties and quality cassava seed via informal channels.”</p> <p>Cash investments in seed were mainly made by better-off farmers, who made one-time investments to acquire a new variety. The researchers noted that further development of viable cassava seed business models would require clarifications on the differences between farmers and their willingness to pay, the roles of seed degeneration, cost-benefit analysis, value propositions, and profit formulas.</p> <p>“We concluded that tailoring seed business models can have a high potential as it acknowledges differences among farmers,” said Kilwinger. “But careful coordination is needed to ensure that one approach or intervention does not contrast with and/or undermine the others.”</p> <div id="attachment_53710" style="width: 1396px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-53710" loading="lazy" class="size-full wp-image-53710" src="" alt="" width="1386" height="721" srcset=" 1386w, 300w, 768w, 630w, 480w, 600w, 1140w" sizes="(max-width: 1386px) 100vw, 1386px" /><p id="caption-attachment-53710" class="wp-caption-text">An adaptive menu of demand profiles and seed business models related to<br />SDG-based impact pathways. Seed demand profiles are defined by the combination of demand type and characteristics. Demand type refers to the seed buyer. Demand characteristics includes variety traits (like variety or product profiles) as well as characteristics of the seed (e.g. its quality), seed packaging, characteristics of transaction, and delivery points. Article Copyright © 2021 Authors, Source DOI: 10.1177/00307270211054111.<br />See content reuse guidelines at:</p></div> <p><strong>Nigeria’s yam seed system is informal yet functional</strong></p> <p>The seed situation of cassava in Rwanda contrasts with the situation of seed yam in Nigeria, another vegetatively propagated crop. <a href="">Stuart et al.</a> describe a yam seed system in Nigeria that is dynamic and commercial. Yam is an important food and cash crop in Nigeria. The study describes local practices characterizing yam cultivation and the farmer-based seed systems in five states in Nigeria.</p> <p>Nigeria’s yam seed system is largely informal but appears to function well. There is a high demand for, and a high turnover of, seed yam. The low multiplication rate and degeneration of seed yam lead farmers to frequently acquire fresh seeds and replace varieties. Consequently, farmers are keen to invest in seed, which in turn creates opportunities for distinct business models compared to cassava in Rwanda.</p> <p>The study found some farmers specializing in seed yam production but less than expected for such a highly commercial crop. The market is the major source for off-farm sourced seed yam, and although completely informal, the seed yam sector is vibrant and well organized. The identification of strategically positioned farmers and traders can offer opportunities and entry points for the introduction of new varieties and improved seed production techniques.</p> <p>“Our findings show that ware and seed yam are dynamic and highly commercialized goods in Nigeria,” said Esmé Stuart, a researcher with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and lead author of the paper. “We feel that building on the existing farmer-based system is a more logical strategy than replacing it with formal structures and legislative regulation.”</p> <p><strong>Pursuing realistic ambitions</strong></p> <p>The studies in Rwanda and Nigeria show the complexity of diverse seed and variety needs and the challenges in developing an effective demand orientation that exists in RTB crops. Demand for seed in RTB crops has unique features as compared to seed crops. This brings in special challenges around developing demand-driven seed systems. The paper by <a href="">Mausch et al</a>. in the special issue emphasizes the diversity in demand for seeds that the seed supply has to cater for. “While the cases of cassava in Rwanda and yam in Nigeria show how different the challenges can be within RTB crops, we should also see the important similarities with, for example, the small grain crops,” said Almekinders. Continuing to learn across crops and contexts of seed demand is of paramount importance for the future success of seed system work in the One CGIAR, they reckon.</p> <p>“We have to be realistic in our ambitions,” said Almekinders in the <a href="">editorial introducing the special issue</a>. She suggests that giving a priority focus on accelerating the uptake of newer varieties by farmers who have already been reached is a sensible goal. “We will need to develop other approaches and gain new partners if we wish to attempt to broaden the reach to the more difficult and complex seed demands of rural households who are only partially engaged in markets and living in more marginal environments.”</p> <p>###</p> <p><em>Cluster CC2.1 (Access to quality seed/ varieties) under RTB</em><em>’s Flagship project 2 strives to learn from and support other clusters across all crops to improve the economic sustainability of RTB seed systems in providing quality seed of demanded varieties.</em></p> Ghana set to generate extensive in-season yield forecasts in 2022 CGIAR Climate Blog urn:uuid:ebc3ccd1-a5e3-c6f9-9e95-79d4e6ad6ac7 Thu, 02 Dec 2021 21:56:14 +0000 <p><span><span><span><span>From October 25-29, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (<a href="">ICRISAT</a>), the University of Ghana, and the University of Florida organized Ghana’s first training event on the CCAFS Regional Agricultural Forecasting Tool (</span></span><a href=""><span><span>CRAFT</span></span></a><span><span>) in Accra, Ghana. Bringing together 25 participants from Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, the USA and Zimbabwe, the workshop aimed to strengthen national capacity for within season yield forecasting, to facilitate assessment of impacts of climate fluctuations on crop production and projected impacts of future climate change. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The workshop aimed to: provide the basic concepts of gridded crop simulations; describe algorithms used for regional yield forecasting; describe the CRAFT toolbox architecture and its main components; and conduct hands-on exercises for risk assessment and generate in-season yield forecasts.</span></span></span></span></p> <h5><span><span><span><span>A network of tools</span></span></span></span></h5> <p><span><span><span><span>CRAFT is a framework for running multi-crop model ensembles in gridded simulations for yield forecasting, agricultural risk analysis and climate impact studies. An initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS), CRAFT is currently being developed and maintained by the University of Florida. A key feature of CRAFT is its ability to seamlessly integrate leading crop models such as Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT), Agricultural Production Systems SIMulator (APSIM), and Système d'Analyse Régionale des Risques Agroclimatologiques Version H (SarraH) with seasonal climate forecasts statistically downscaled with the </span></span><a href=""><span><span>Climate Predictability Tool</span></span></a><span><span> (CPT). </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Another feature is its ability to run spatial simulations down to the district level, which is essential for predicting production shortfalls or gluts at adequate levels of detail for government intervention and market regulation. This functionality will be important to accompany the transformation of food systems and the urgent need for food sovereignty in the post-COVID era, with more efficient and competitive national value chains, more circular agricultural production systems, and lower dependence on food imports.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-center"><img alt="Participants in the CRAFT Ghana training workshop represented 8 countries and gathered at the Best Western Premier Accra Beach Hotel in Nungua, Accra, Ghana. Photo credit: PCS Traore/ICRISAT" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" width="" height="" /><figcaption><br /> Participants in the CRAFT Ghana training workshop represented eight countries and gathered at the Best Western Premier Accra Beach Hotel in Nungua, Accra, Ghana. Photo credit: PCS Traore/ICRISAT</figcaption></figure><br /></p><h5><span><span><span><span>Next Steps</span></span></span></span></h5> <p><span><span><span><span>One emergent implementer of CRAFT is the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) in its capacity and mandate to <span>provide weather and climate services for socioeconomic development int he country. </span>As part of the CASCAID project, GMet was the first national meteorological agency in West Africa to successfully implement the Enhancing National Climate Services (</span></span><a href=""><span><span>ENACTS</span></span></a><span class="MsoHyperlink"><span><span><span>)</span></span></span></span><span><span> initiative, which provides blended, gridded station-satellite data directly exploitable by CRAFT. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>During a visit to the workshop, GMet's Director General Eric Asuman expressed the agency's strong interest in CRAFT and its commitment to preparing the first operational 2022 maize yield forecast for the West African Climate Outlook Forum using the framework. With GMet, the group also discussed the industrialization of frugal, recyclable </span></span><a href=""><em><span><span>agCelerant</span></span></em><span><span> IoT rain gauges</span></span></a><span><span>, a CASCAID-supported innovation by project partner Manobi Africa.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>In addition to the University of Ghana and <span>GMet,</span> other key participating institutions in the workshop included the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI), Innovations in Development, Education and the Mathematical Sciences in Ghana (<a href="">IDEMS-Ghana</a>), and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) represented by seven alumni.</span></span></span></span></p> <div class="tiny-text"><span><span><em><span><span>The deployment of the </span></span></em><em><span><span>CCAFS Regional Agricultural Forecasting Tool (CRAFT) </span></span></em><em><span><span>reported here is funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (</span></span></em><a href=""><em><span><span>CCAFS</span></span></em></a><em><span><span>) project on Capacitating African Stakeholders with Climate Advisories and Insurance Development (</span></span></em><a href=""><em><span><span>CASCAID</span></span></em></a><em><span><span>) and by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) under grant number 2000002575, implemented by </span></span></em><a href=""><em><span><span>Alliance Bioversity-CIAT</span></span></em></a><em><span><span> with AR4D support from the European Commission for the year 2019.</span></span></em></span></span></div> Why Ghana’s climate-smart agriculture profile is focused on gender CCAFS Research highlights urn:uuid:3ac07dbd-0394-04f0-e86d-906257ac7553 Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:17:45 +0000 <h4><strong><span><span>In West African rural areas there are significant gender inequalities in terms of access to opportunities and resources. This in turn inevitably results in greater gender-based vulnerability and coping difficulties.</span></span></strong></h4> <hr /><p><span><span>This is why agricultural research in Ghana is focusing some of its programs on trying to understand how deep the gender gap in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practice really is.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The CGIAR research program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has developed an initial profile for climate-smart agriculture uptake in Ghana with regard to gender. The study provides an overview of gender-sensitive CSA practices, their level of adoption and role they play in gender empowerment in the country. </span></span></p> <p class="text-align-center"><a class="btn btn-primary" href="">Gender Profile of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Ghana</a></p> <p><span><span>This aims to inform decisions about integrating gender-responsive actions into agriculture and CSA development plans at various scales. It provides a baseline that can be used as a springboard for establishing vulnerability indexes based on agroecological zones in Ghana. It also can be used to inform policy decisions related to CSA investments. </span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB">Reducing the agricultural sector gender gap will increase yields and reduce hunger</span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Agriculture is one of the key factors in Ghana’s economic growth and development process. </span></span><span><span>A 2019 study by the International Labour Organization (<a href="">ILO</a>) says that 33.5% of Ghana’s labour force is engaged in the rural sector. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>But agricultural work has a pronounced gender gap in favour of men. The population of Ghana is 49% female, of whom only 22.8% are engaged in the rural sector. Although the economic status of Ghanaian women working in the rural sector is better than it is in other West African countries, it remains still quite unattractive by global standards.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Recent studies have also shown that female-headed households in semi-arid Ghana are more vulnerable compared to male-headed ones when it comes to adaptive capacities. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>In 2019, the World Bank stated that a large part of Ghana’s rural female population had limited access to productive resources such as land, livestock and necessary agricultural services. It said that women tend to operate smaller farms, are less likely to own property or livestock, have less access to credit, and tend not to benefit from training or extension services. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>At the same time, <a href="">a report by UNDP</a> estimates that  if women farmers had the same access to productive resources as men, this would likely increase yields by up to 30%. This could raise total national agricultural output by 4%, and result in a 17% reduction of hunger. </span></span></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Gender realities in the Ghanaian agricultural sector" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" class="align-center" width="" height="" /></a></p> <p class="text-align-center"><em><a href="">Source</a>: Gender Profile of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Ghana report 2021</em></p> <h4><span><span><strong><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB">Five Takeaways from the Gender CSA Profile </span></strong></span></span></h4> <p><span><span><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span>The gender CSA profile gives an overview of agriculture and climate change in Ghana, with special attention gender aspects related to land ownership or rights, crop and livestock productions, forestry, value chains, food security and climate change. Here are five takeaways from it. </span></span></span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><strong>Women have limited access to land </strong></span></span></li> </ul><p><a href=""><img alt="Women have less access to land compared to men" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" class="align-center" width="" height="" /></a></p> <p class="text-align-center"><em><a href="">Source</a>: Gender Profile of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Ghana report 2021</em></p> <p><span><span>Ghana is in many ways a patriarchal society, where women are excluded from important investment decisions. </span></span><span><span>Only 30% of women own land, and the land that women do own is significantly less valuable (around 3 times less valuable). In most situations, a married woman can only access land through her husband. </span></span><span><span>Access to ownership and control of lands therefore constitutes one of the most important constraints facing women farmers in Ghana.</span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><strong>Crop production is highly gendered</strong></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span>In Ghana, most crop farmers are women, but the majority of their output is destined for household consumption. As a result, women’s agricultural production is able to meet the food needs of their families, but it does not generate much income for them. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>This is partly because crop production is gendered. For instance, women tend to primarily produce cereals such as maize, rise, millet and sorghum and vegetables. </span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><strong>Women’s involvement in livestock production remains limited</strong></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span>Ghana’s livestock sector has the potential to transform the livelihoods of men, women and youth. But where men are involved in large-scale sheep and goat production, women tend to be engaged in the production of poultry, pigs and small ruminants.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The Ministry of Agriculture has tried to increase women’s and young people’s participation in livestock production, particularly in guinea fowl production and small ruminants, by means of a training series aimed at those groups.  </span></span><span><span>Unfortunately, women's involvement in this series has been limited due to a lack of finances. </span></span><span><span>This highlights women's poor access to productive resources, and constitutes a significant barrier for women in many development interventions. </span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><strong>Women operate as aggregators in Ghana’s value chain</strong></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span>Ghanaian women dominate Ghana’s small-scale agricultural basic production, except when the product has a higher value-added, or is traditionally ‘male-cultivated” crop. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Women primarily operate as aggregators in the agricultural value chain. This means they buy food from producers and resell them in bulk to mostly male wholesalers. While aggregators are a vital part of Ghana’s relatively small-scale agricultural sector, it tends not to be very profitable work – aside from one or two notable exceptions in the form of “market queens” who control all transactions pertaining to a particular commodity in a market (WFP, 2017).  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Because they operate on a small-scale, and often lack capital and storage facilities, most aggregators are not able to purchase large quantities of products, get good prices for storage, or store products that are not sold, thereby decreasing their capacity for generating higher profit margins. </span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><strong>Women are highly climate-vulnerable</strong></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span>Climate change affects men and women differently. Women and women-led households are more vulnerable to climatic events and have less ability to respond to the effects of climate change on their livelihood. This is partly because women face numerous obstacles to accessing productive inputs, assets and services. This not only heightens their vulnerability to food insecurity, but also considerably reduces their contribution to overall agricultural production. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Responding and adapting to climatic stresses is more difficult for women due to their lack of access to land, financial services, social capital and technology. Thus, vulnerability to climate change is worsened by gender disparity. </span></span></p> <h4><span><span><strong>How the gender CSA Profile can help</strong></span></span></h4> <p><span><span>As we have seen, the Gender profile for climate-smart agriculture uptake in Ghana identifies gender-related challenges for the agricultural sector in the country. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>This profile can be used to establish vulnerability indexes for each agroecological zone in Ghana. These in turn are vital for informing policy decisions, and increasing support for CSA investments in Ghana. </span></span></p> <div class="tiny-text"><span><span>This study was supported by th</span></span>e International Development Association (<a href="">IDA</a>) of the World Bank to the Accelerating Impact of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (<a href="">AICCRA</a>) project. We would like to thank the <a href="">Ghana CCAFS Platform</a> for the data collection exercises. We are also grateful to staff of <a href="">CSIR-Oil Palm Research Institute</a> and <a href="">University of Ghana</a> Agricultural Research Station of Kade for their inputs</div><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Going against nature CIAT urn:uuid:e16ec4bb-8f30-dd24-6524-4097238f01ea Wed, 20 Nov 2019 20:15:20 +0000 <p><div class="et_pb_section et_pb_section_3 et_pb_fullwidth_section et_section_regular"> <section class="et_pb_module et_pb_fullwidth_header et_pb_fullwidth_header_1 et_pb_bg_layout_dark et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_fullwidth_header_container left"> </div> <div class="et_pb_fullwidth_header_overlay"></div> <div class="et_pb_fullwidth_header_scroll"></div> </section> </div> <!-- .et_pb_section --><div class="et_pb_section et_pb_section_4 et_section_regular"> <div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_6"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_8 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_7 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <h3><strong>Going against nature</strong></h3> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_7"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_9 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_8 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p><strong>In his latest blog, Juan Lucas Restrepo talks about the importance of identifying collective solutions to diversify our agriculture and thus fight crop diseases such as the dreaded TR4, which originated in South East Asia and is now hitting banana farms in Colombia.</strong></p> <p>In August, the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA) confirmed the devastating news for the banana sector in <strong>Latin America</strong>: the disease identified in some banana farms in the Colombian region of La Guajira is the <strong>dreaded Tropical race 4</strong> (TR4), a strain of the fungus <em>Fusarium oxysporum</em>.</p> <p>Although the ICA, with the support of guilds, Agrosavia and experts from Bioversity International and other institutions, have developed a timely containment and <strong>mitigation intervention</strong>, the fact that this disease, which originated in South East Asia, has managed to conquer the Americas sets off alarm bells.</p> <p>The issue is that banana production, especially for export markets, is based on one of the largest <strong>mono cultures</strong> in the world, mainly relying on a single variety called the Cavendish. This means that all the plants are genetically similar and, as such, highly vulnerable to diseases like TR4, which can easily break their poor defences.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_8"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_10 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_image et_pb_image_2 et_always_center_on_mobile"> <span class="et_pb_image_wrap "><img src="" alt="" /></span> </div><div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_9 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p><em>Fungicide sprayed to protect bananas. While some crop diseases can be controlled by chemicals, currently there are no control measures for TR4. Credit:</em></p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --><div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_11 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_10 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>The Cavendish variety is also very vulnerable to other fungi and diseases such as black Sigatoka, which can be controlled by spraying chemicals on crops, with very high economic and environmental costs. TR4, however, <strong>cannot be controlled</strong> by chemicals and, once infected, the plants will die. It can also stay in the soil for many decades, thus spelling the end of the production of susceptible cultivars in that field. Hundreds of thousands of hectares and jobs, as well as an entire value chain which is worth billions, are put <strong>at risk</strong> by adopting this monoculture model – an industrial agricultural model which underlies the production of many crops around the world.</p> <p>While we hope that the work done by the ICA in Guajira will be effective in temporarily containing the progression of the disease, the situation <strong>calls for reflection</strong> on the risk posed to society by agricultural development that goes against nature, based on populating huge areas with genetic clones such as Cavendish, or by just a few kinds of seeds.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_9"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_12 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_11 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>The advance of global warming and climate variability are adding to the risks to farmers, as it goes hand in hand with the outbreak of pests and diseases. <strong>Greater agrobiodiversity</strong> can also mitigate these challenges.</p> <p>For instance, Cenicafé worked hard to generate a solution before coffee rust hit plantations in Colombia. As a result, they developed the Colombia Variety and its disease-tolerant successors. These varieties are not monoclonal but rather mixtures of a significant number of different plants, with a similar agronomic performance and almost identical fruits. This strategy in effect provides a <strong>shield</strong> to protect the crop.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_10"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_13 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_image et_pb_image_3 et_always_center_on_mobile"> <span class="et_pb_image_wrap "><img src="" alt="" /></span> </div><div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_12 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p><em>Red bananas for sale at a market in Sri Lanka. In the future, we should be able to find in supermarkets bananas that delight us with a wide variety of flavours and colours. Credit: Bioversity International/D.Hunter</em></p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --><div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_14 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_13 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>Countries, industry and international entities must unite against TR4 and propose <strong>structural solutions</strong>. As currently there is not a TR4-tolerant variety similar to Cavendish, we must try other varieties of bananas (and plantains) that are resistant to TR4, but whose appearance and taste are distinct. At the same time, establish a collaborative and robust platform for the genetic improvement of the Cavendish.</p> <p>In the future, we should be able to find in the fruit section of supermarkets bananas that delight us with a wide variety of flavours and colours and that come from a more <strong>diverse and resilient</strong> agriculture. Bioversity International safeguards the <strong>richest collection</strong> of edible and wild species of <strong>bananas</strong> in Leuven, Belgium, and together with CIAT we are ready to support Latin America and other regions in the design and implementation of new approaches for this and other industries.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_11"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_15 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_14 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <div id="c22061" class="frame frame-default frame-type-text frame-background-none frame-no-backgroundimage "> <div class="frame-container"> <div class="frame-inner"> <p>Finally, it is worth taking advantage of this situation to understand in which <strong>other value chains </strong>there are similar risks generated by poor agrobiodiversity. For instance, should the avocado industry rely almost exclusively on the Hass avocado when there are more possibilities? Agrobiodiversity has many of the <strong>solutions</strong>.</p> <p><em>This article is adapted from the original ‘Contra natura’ and reproduced with kind permission from </em>Portafolio<em>. Read the original <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_section --></p> Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health CIAT urn:uuid:5ad7ec0e-0434-d786-45f1-f907b8b80650 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 19:54:29 +0000 <p><div class="et_pb_section et_pb_section_7 et_pb_fullwidth_section et_section_regular"> <section class="et_pb_module et_pb_fullwidth_header et_pb_fullwidth_header_3 et_pb_bg_layout_dark et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_fullwidth_header_container left"> </div> <div class="et_pb_fullwidth_header_overlay"></div> <div class="et_pb_fullwidth_header_scroll"></div> </section> </div> <!-- .et_pb_section --><div class="et_pb_section et_pb_section_8 et_section_regular"> <div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_14"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_18 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_17 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <h3><strong>Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health</strong></h3> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_15"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_19 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_image et_pb_image_4 et_always_center_on_mobile"> <span class="et_pb_image_wrap "><img src="" alt="" /></span> </div><div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_18 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p><em>Market with diverse local food in Solok, Sumatra, Indonesia. Credit: Bioversity International/G. Molin</em></p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --><div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_20 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_19 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>On the International Day for Biological Diversity, <a href=";cHash=c2e0e464d531006210adbc3d442a34e3">Juan Lucas Restrepo</a>, Director General of Bioversity International, reflects on the importance of agrobiodiversity as the foundation of food systems and the need to promote urgent changes that stop its loss.</p> <p>Today marks the <strong><a title="IDB2019" href="" target="IDB2019">International Day for Biological Diversity</a></strong>. It will not be a happy celebration but rather a day to call for reflection and promote <strong>urgent changes</strong> that stop the massive loss of biodiversity, a daily phenomenon which puts in doubt our own survival, at least as we know it.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_16"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_21 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_20 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>Today marks the <strong><a title="IDB2019" href="" target="IDB2019">International Day for Biological Diversity</a></strong>. It will not be a happy celebration but rather a day to call for reflection and promote <strong>urgent changes</strong> that stop the massive loss of biodiversity, a daily phenomenon which puts in doubt our own survival, at least as we know it.</p> <p>On 6 May, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) <a href=";cHash=3bbf5af9fbe7970fcd5cf1d53c81c8ea">published a report </a>where experts from 50 countries estimated that around <strong>one million</strong> animal and plant species are now <strong>threatened with extinction</strong>, many within decades. The causes are mostly anthropogenic (caused by people) and therefore solutions will also have to be people-led.</p> <p>If, for animal species, the imminent disappearance of the black rhinoceros and other symbolic species exemplifies what can happen, in the agricultural sector the situation is equally serious. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) estimates that, over the last century, more than<strong> 90% of the cultivated seed varieties</strong> have been lost, as well as half of the diversity of domestic animals for human consumption.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_17"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_22 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_21 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>The <strong>theme</strong> of this year&#8217;s International Day for Biological Diversity is ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health,’ because the future capacity of agriculture to nourish us depends directly on the <strong>agrobiodiversity</strong> that is present in the <strong>production systems</strong> and its linkages with the market. Scientific evidence shows that a more varied diet improves health and quality of life. The Ministries of Health should be the most interested in promoting more diverse food chains.</p> <p>There is also enough evidence to show that diverse production systems are <strong>more resilient</strong> to climate pressures and help reduce crop losses caused by pests and diseases, as well as the costs to control them. It is encouraging to see how global companies like Syngenta are beginning to actively promote greater biodiversity in the field margins of commercial crops, taking steps in the right direction.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --><div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_23 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_image et_pb_image_5 et_always_center_on_mobile"> <span class="et_pb_image_wrap "><img src="" alt="" /></span> </div><div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_22 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p><em>A woman from Agoo, Philippines, showing a dish of diverse local food. Credit: Allan Jay Quesada</em></p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_18"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_24 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_23 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>A greater agrobiodiversity of plants, animals, insects and microorganisms in production systems also provides <strong>ecosystem services</strong> and positive externalities for society, such as more pollinators, the protection and restoration of soils, and a better quality of water and air. Finally, a more biodiverse agriculture generates <strong>economic opportunities</strong> for millions of producers who do not find a dignified way of life by producing only a few staple crops, while they could devote part of their efforts to produce diverse foods of greater value that can be consumed regionally.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_19"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_25 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_image et_pb_image_6 et_always_center_on_mobile"> <span class="et_pb_image_wrap "><img src="" alt="" /></span> </div><div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_24 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p><em>Bioversity International&#8217;s in vitro banana collection at the International Transit Centre, Leuven, Belgium. Credit: Bioversity International/N. Capozio</em></p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --><div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_26 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_25 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>As we build a <strong>structural alliance</strong> between Bioversity International and the <strong>International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)</strong>, these are exactly the challenges we are addressing. We are joining our strengths around a <strong>common vision</strong> of ‘food systems and landscapes that sustain the planet, drive prosperity and nourish people.’</p> <p>We are convinced that, leveraging both new technologies and traditional knowledge, working closely with national innovation systems and development agencies, and providing global and local policy setting process with <strong>scientific evidence</strong> and impact pathways, we will be a small but important player that helps to &#8220;bend the curve of biodiversity loss&#8221; and leave to future generations a <strong>biodiverse planet</strong> that can sustain a peaceful and harmonious human race.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_20"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_27 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_26 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <div id="c20833" class="frame frame-default frame-type-textpic frame-background-none frame-no-backgroundimage "> <div class="frame-container"> <div class="frame-inner"> <div class="clearfix"> <div class="text"> <p><strong><a href=";cHash=c2e0e464d531006210adbc3d442a34e3">Juan Lucas Restrepo</a><br />Director General, Bioversity International<br />CEO-Designate of the Alliance between Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CIAT</a>)</strong><br />Twitter <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@jlucasrestrepo</a></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="c20838" class="frame frame-default frame-type-text frame-background-none frame-no-backgroundimage "> <div class="frame-container"> <div class="frame-inner"> <p><em>This article is adapted from the original ‘Nuestra Biodiversidad, nuestra comida, nuestra salud’ and reproduced with kind permission from </em>Portafolio<em>. Read the original <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="c20840" class="frame frame-default frame-type-div frame-background-none frame-no-backgroundimage "> <div class="frame-container"> </div> </div> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_21"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_28 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_divider et_pb_divider_0 et_pb_divider_position_ et_pb_space"><div class="et_pb_divider_internal"></div></div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_22"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_29 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_video et_pb_video_0"> <div class="et_pb_video_box"> <iframe width="1080" height="608" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --><div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_2 et_pb_column_30 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_27 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p>&#8220;There cannot be a better theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity than <em>Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health</em>&#8221; says Juan Lucas Restrepo.</p> <p>Find out why in his video message to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --><div class="et_pb_button_module_wrapper et_pb_button_1_wrapper et_pb_button_alignment_ et_pb_module "> <a class="et_pb_button et_pb_button_1 et_pb_bg_layout_light" href="">Visit the International Day for Biological Diversity&#039;s website</a> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_section --></p> Bioversity International and CIAT sign Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the Alliance foundations CIAT urn:uuid:7e5bd073-bd63-342d-3489-dea21c261ea2 Wed, 22 May 2019 19:49:22 +0000 <img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail size-thumbnail wp-post-image" alt="" /> <img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail size-thumbnail wp-post-image" alt="" /><div class="et_pb_section et_pb_section_10 et_section_regular"> <div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_26"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_35 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_31 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <h3 style="font-weight: 400;">Bioversity International and CIAT sign Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the Alliance foundations</h3> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_27"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_1_4 et_pb_column_36 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_image et_pb_image_8 et_always_center_on_mobile"> <span class="et_pb_image_wrap "><img src="" alt="" /></span> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --><div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_3_4 et_pb_column_37 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_32 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p><strong>Communiqué n. 5&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) continue&nbsp;to make progress toward the establishment of&nbsp;an Alliance focused on tackling key challenges facing our world today: malnutrition in all its forms; climate change adaptation and mitigation; declining agricultural biodiversity; rural employment and environmentally unsustainable food and agricultural systems.</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --><div class="et_pb_row et_pb_row_28"> <div class="et_pb_column et_pb_column_4_4 et_pb_column_38 et_pb_css_mix_blend_mode_passthrough et-last-child"> <div class="et_pb_module et_pb_text et_pb_text_33 et_pb_bg_layout_light et_pb_text_align_left"> <div class="et_pb_text_inner"> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) came together in their first joint Board of Trustees meeting on 27–28 November in Washington, DC, USA, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) indicating their full support to create the Alliance, which will contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The MoU establishes the foundations of the Alliance, which will have one Board, one Chief Executive Officer (CEO), one Strategic Results Framework and one Business Plan. Signaling their commitment to the Alliance, the two Boards together appointed Juan Lucas Restrepo to lead the way as the new Director General of Bioversity International and CEO-Designate of the Alliance.</p> <ul style="font-weight: 400;"> <li style="font-weight: 400;">The Alliance will have one vision, mission and a common strategic results framework and results-based system, which are subject to change as shaping of the Alliance evolves <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><b><strong>Vision: </strong></b>Food systems and landscapes that sustain the planet, drive prosperity and nourish people</li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><b><strong>Mission</strong></b>:We deliver research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives</li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><b><strong>Strategic objectives:</strong></b> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;">People consume diverse, nutritious and safe foods</li> <li style="font-weight: 400;">People participate in and benefit from inclusive, innovative and diversified agri-food markets</li> <li style="font-weight: 400;">People sustainably manage farms, forests and landscapes that are productive and resilient to climate change</li> <li style="font-weight: 400;">Communities and institutions sustainably use and safeguard agricultural biodiversity</li> </ol> </li> </ul> </li> <li style="font-weight: 400;">The Alliance will have a joint Board of Trustees and will be administered by a Chief Executive Officer based in Rome, Italy</li> <li style="font-weight: 400;">The Alliance will have hubs in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and will build common research programmes and shared offices in these regions</li> <li style="font-weight: 400;">The two Centres will harmonize the support services across the two organizations to improve effectiveness and reduce transactions costs.</li> </ul> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The joint Board of Trustees meeting marked a key milestone for the Alliance with <a href="">the appointment of Juan Lucas Restrepo as Director General of Bioversity International and CEO-Designate for the Alliance</a>. Juan Lucas will officially begin his role with Bioversity International in Rome, Italy on 1 March 2019 and transition to CEO of the Alliance on 1 January 2020.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">During the meeting, the Alliance invited its key partners including representatives from Canada, Colombia, Italy, the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, US Department of Agriculture, and the World Bank to a seminar by senior Bioversity International and CIAT scientists highlighting the unique strengths of the Alliance. The presentations detailed how digital technology is transforming and optimizing solutions in nutrition and agriculture, and how novel systems approaches in research that examine trade-offs and linkages in food systems can lead to health, prosperity and sustainability.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Juergen Voegele, Senior Director, Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank Group and Chair of the System Council of CGIAR, warmly welcomed Board members and partners and commended their efforts. Juergen Voegele averred that the Alliance was “more than historic, and more than heroic.” He added that global partners, both in the public and private sectors, are taking notice of the importance of systems approaches in the food and agriculture sphere, where the Alliance will add its unique value.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The Alliance’s initial value proposition will encompass research on diverse markets systems and value chains; crop conservation and improvement, including long-term commitments to specific crops and related systems, and linking to complementary gene-to-fork opportunities; integrated systemic landscape approaches (across crops and scales); risk management for food system resilience; and digital design for sustainable food systems.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The Alliance will continue to deepen its partnerships with the Rome-based UN organizations and International Financial Institutions, and above all the national agricultural research systems, government agencies, private sector and civil society organizations, which are vital to deliver science-based solutions and achieving impact at scale. The Alliance will reinforce its work on high-level policy engagement and action on genetic resources, nutrition, and climate and biodiversity policy.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">During 2018, Bioversity International and CIAT have established a strong foundation for the Alliance, that will enable continued harmonization between the Centres towards expected efficiency gains and increased effectiveness in 2019 through joint appointments, shared services, programmes and policies, all supported by several working groups – from staff-level to Board committees – that are capitalizing on quick wins, and steadily addressing larger challenges. 2019 will be a transitional year, paving the way for a formalized Alliance in 2020.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Bioversity International and CIAT wish to thank the World Bank, as well as BMZ and GIZ Germany and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, for hosting important dialogues this year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its support to building the Alliance, as well as the CGIAR Systems Management Office for their guidance and encouragement as we chart new territory.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">For further information about the Alliance process, please contact <a href="">Ann Tutwiler</a> (Bioversity International) or <a href="">Ruben Echeverría</a> (CIAT).</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Chair, Bioversity International Board of Trustees<br />Geoffrey Hawtin, Chair, CIAT Board of Trustees</p> </div> </div> <!-- .et_pb_text --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_column --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_row --> </div> <!-- .et_pb_section -->