Soil erosion, crop failure and harsh weather are all universal issues that prevent farmers and crop growers from making a living. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a foundation that connects agricultural sustainability development organizations, conducts research on agricultural sustainability in different regions and applies their research to crops before teaching other farmers the proper techniques.
CGIAR uses its agricultural research sustainability to try to eliminate issues like hunger, poverty and malnutrition. CGIAR has 15 centers across the globe, with centers in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. The centers conduct individual research and then collaborate on how they can disperse it to the regions that need it most.
The scientists who work at CGIAR identify and work on significant science-related problems in development around the world. Using this knowledge, they develop programs to educate farmers on how to solve these problems and work to strengthen their skills and knowledge.
Some of their bigger projects include the Global Rice Science Project (GRiSP), the Water, Land and Ecosystems Project and the Roots, Tubers and Bananas Project (RTB).
GRiSP was founded under the premise that the proper maintenance of rice crops can lead to less poverty. It aims to assist rice farmers with the ability to provide enough rice to bring communities out of hunger and poverty.
The Water, Land and Ecosystems Project was approved in 2011, but consultation for the project began in 2009. The goal of the project is to bring together 14 of CGIAR’s research facilities along with other organizations to help determine proper ecosystem maintenance worldwide and increase food security in underdeveloped communities.
The Roots, Tubers and Bananas Project focuses much of their efforts on proper care and maintenance on farm animals and aspires to increase gender equality in agriculture. The latest program under this project sent CGIAR scientists to conduct agricultural research in Nigeria, where they helped locals start businesses selling cassava seeds—a type of seed that is a popular source of carbohydrates.
CGIAR was formed in the early 1970s, starting off with only four centers and 18 members. Since its inception, it has more than tripled in size and has expanded its knowledge to accommodate for sustainability know-hows in different regions. Today, the foundation focuses its research on sustainable food systems. Recently, Michigan State University delegated its research on agriculture sustainability in Southeast Asia to CGIAR.
– Julia Hettiger