CIAT Adopts “Strategic Directions” as Framework for Eco-Efficient Agriculture to Improve Agriculture Adaptation

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

March 2009: The Board of Trustees of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), a research center of the Consultative Group on International Research (CGIAR), has approved CIAT's new “Strategic Directions” as a framework for future work towards “eco-efficient” agriculture at the service of the poor of Latin America and the tropical world. CIAT's vision of eco-efficient agriculture centers on the efficient use of resources to enhance the productivity, competitiveness, resilience, sustainability, fairness and equity of agricultural production, as a strategy to respond to the challenges of hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and climate change.

The Strategic Directions are based on three pillars: improved crops for the poor; improved soil fertility management; and programmatic alliances in Latin America and the Caribbean. Development of improved crops will focus on the common bean, cassava, tropical forages, and rice aiming to enhance adaptation to low soil fertility and impacts of climate change through new genetic traits, such as extreme temperature tolerance, increased water use efficiency, flooding tolerance, and resistance to pests and diseases. Furthermore, research will aim at improved management of soil organic matter to enhance ecosystem services and climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. The Strategic Directions will guide the development of more specific medium term plans and research goals under CIAT's ecoregional approach. [Press Release] [Strategic Directions]