GFAR blog, Partnerships for impact

CGIAR Portfolio 2017-2022 – Transforming global agriculture and food systems


CGIAR has launched its new research portfolio, comprised of 11 Research Programs and 3 Platforms, that represents the second generation of CGIAR’s multidimensional work streams.

The CGIAR Portfolio 2017-2022 aims to reducing rural poverty, improve food and nutrition security and improve natural resources and ecosystem services. It maintains momentum in selected areas while placing renewed emphasis on key issues such as: integrated agri-food systems based approaches, nutrition and health, climate change, soils and degraded land, global stewardship of genetic resources, and big data and ICT.

The overall strategic direction for the portfolio is based on the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has been developed and informed by the former Fund Council, CGIAR System Council, Science Council, Research Centers and other stakeholders.

CGIAR’s research will focus on delivering synergy across programs, integration for achieving development impact at scale and providing scientific leadership.

Focused on selected development challenges, the ambitious portfolio places renewed emphasis on the global issues of nutrition and health, climate change, soils and degraded land, food systems waste, food safety and the global stewardship of genetic resources.

 It is designed to contribute significantly to the achievement of key Sustainable Development Goals and of CGIAR’s overall goals, of 150 million fewer hungry people, 100 million fewer poor people – at least 50% of whom are women – and 190 million hectares less degraded land by 2030.

CIMMYT Images--India

GFAR and the CRPs

CGIAR is a Partner in GFAR, and the GFAR Secretariat has long mobilized its networks to help inform the decisions of CGIAR from the perspectives of a wide range of partners, towards transforming global agriculture and food systems. The importance of GFAR’s role has been recognized by the System Council Chair, who considered that the perspectives of the intended beneficiaries of CGIAR’s work were essential elements for success. Throughout 2015-2016, GFAR worked directly with the CGIAR Consortium (now System Office) on a series of dialogues in CGIAR focus countries, led by the CRPs most involved, to determine how best they could integrate their actions on the ground and respond to national needs. These national consultations were part of the GCARD3, the third iteration of the GCARD process begun in 2010.  The GCARD 2010 dialogue was framed by the GCARD Road Map, created from the contributions and dynamic interaction of thousands of stakeholders from all sectors, to highlight the urgent changes required in agricultural research for development systems globally.

Through participation by members of the GFAR Secretariat, GFAR contributed to the integration of the pre-proposals for the new CRPs into the coherent research Portfolio for 2017-2022. GFAR also supported the formulation of partnership and gender strategies of selected CRP pre-proposals. The former Dryland Systems CRP (CRP-DS) adopted a research-for-development approach for continual development of technologies (crops, livestock, agroforestry) integrating the reality of smallholder farming communities in dry areas. GFAR’s Senior Partnership Adviser was appointed Independent Chair of the Steering Committee of CRP-DS and provided guidance to the Steering Committee. The SC agreed on integrating CRP-DS heritage at the end of the Program into the new Agri-Food System CRP (see below) as decided by the CGIAR Consortium.

GFAR has continued to contribute to the governance and reform of the CGIAR and is now an “Active Observer” in the new System Council.  GFAR helps bring mutual accountability vis à vis stakeholders, by mobilizing partners from outside the CGIAR system.

Challenge-Led research

This new phase of research builds on CGIAR’s long track record of impact. Across Africa, Asia and Latin America, CGIAR and its partners have improved food security, improved nutrition and increased community resilience to a changing environment in numerous ways.

The new phase of the CGIAR research will take an integrated approach to research, drawing on the expertise of CGIAR’s global network and a multitude of world class partners. The portfolio structure allows researchers to align research priorities and approaches into efficient, coherent, multidisciplinary programs allowing for collaborative research to tackle complex development issues.

The new portfolio is structured around two interlinked clusters of challenge-led research.

The first, is innovation in Agri-Food Systems, which involves adopting an integrated, agricultural approach through eight Agri-Food Systems Research Programs focused on: Fish; Forests, Trees and Agroforestry; Livestock; Maize; Rice; Roots, Tubers and Bananas and Wheat.

The second cluster consists of four cross-cutting Global Integrating Programs in the areas of Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security; Policies, Institutions, and Markets; and Water Land and Ecosystems.

The final cluster includes research support platforms that underpin the entire research system, focused on: Big Data in Agriculture; Excellence in Breeding and Genebank.

Thanks to our funders, CGIAR research has and will continue to transform the lives of hundreds of millions of people through tangible research outcomes. CGIAR is committed to helping the world radically transform our collective approaches and strengthen operations to deliver on-the-ground solutions to the planet’s most vulnerable.

Blogpost by Samuel Stacey, Interim Communications Manager, CGIAR System Organization


This blog post is part of our Partner Spotlight this week on CGIAR, a Partner in GFAR.

GFAR Secretariat is turning the spotlight on the work and collective actions of Partners in GFAR who share in our mission to strengthen and transform agri-food research and innovation systems globally. Not a GFAR partner yet? Join now!

Photo credits: CIMMYT

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