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CGIAR introduces agricultural science initiatives for the Philippines

To create and foster better opportunities for the transformation of the Philippine agrifood sector, CGIAR, a global agricultural science consortium, provided an overview of its initiatives to be implemented in the country in a high-level meeting with key stakeholders on July 12, 2022 in Quezon City, Philippines.

Dr. Stephan Weise, Asia Managing Director, Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT presented the overview of One CGIAR strategy and the vision of working together as a unified organization to shape a stronger, more relevant science agenda for the Philippine agrifood sector transformation – one that is more resilient, adaptive, inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.

“In line with CGIAR’s ambition to be a modern, global organization, and a global leader in agricultural science and innovation towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are keen to enhance our partnership and collaboration with stakeholders in the Philippines. Working together is a huge element of the success of our research and development endeavors,” Weise said.

Weise noted that the meeting was an opportunity to listen to the thoughts and visions of our key partners such as the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the Department of Science and Technology about how CGIAR and national partners can collaborate on initiatives to address food and nutrition security, climate change, and other challenges facing the agrifood sector.

Initiative leaders and representatives from the different CGIAR centers presented on the four initiatives and their expected outcomes. The initiatives that were introduced include:

ClimBeR: Building Systemic Resilience Against Climate Variability and Extremes aims to transform the climate adaptation capacity of food, land, and water systems in six countries, ultimately increasing the resilience of smallholder production systems to withstand severe climate change effects like drought, flooding and high temperatures.

Fruit and Vegetables for Sustainable Healthy Diets seeks to actively engage key stakeholders in designing and testing interventions to increase fruit and vegetable intake.

Resilient Cities Through Sustainable Urban and Peri-Urban Agrifood Systems intends to enable sustainable production of nutritious foods in (peri-) urban areas, and build inclusive and sustainable food markets, and strengthen circular bioeconomy, food safety, and the urban environment.

Excellence in Agronomy for Sustainable Intensification and Climate Change Adaptation plans to facilitate the delivery of agronomic solutions and drive the next generation of agronomy at scale innovations.

Plant Health and Rapid Response to Protect Food Security and Livelihoods aims to protect agriculture-based economies from devastating pest incursions and disease outbreaks, by leveraging and building viable networks across an array of national, regional and global institutions.

CGIAR has been working in the Philippines since it was founded in 1971 through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its other research centers, collaborating with an increasing number of institutions, such as government agencies, universities, national research institutes, development organizations, and the private sector, to plan and implement research programs to support the achievement of the countries strategic plans and the SDGs.

Several CGIAR centers continue to have presence within the Philippines, including the Biodiversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (Alliance), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the WorldFish Centre. Other centers including International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) have continued to engage in collaborative research in the recent past with government and non-government partners.

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