CGIAR doubles funding to $1 billion

Hyderabad, Dec 18: CGIAR, the world’s largest agriculture research partnership, Wednesday announced here its funding has doubled from $500 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2013.

This commitment could help lift 150 million people in Asia out of poverty by boosting rice production, provide 12 million African households with sustainable irrigation, save 1.7 million hectares of forest from destruction, and give 50 million poor people access to highly nutritious food crops, it said.

“The challenge of producing more nutritious food to feed nine billion people in 2050, while climate change threatens to roll back years of development progress making some agricultural lands unproductive cannot be underestimated,” said Rachel Kyte, chair of the CGIAR Fund Council and World Bank vice president for sustainable development.

“Investment in CGIAR pays big dividends, making it one of the ‘best bets’ for sustainably eradicating poverty, hunger and malnutrition,” said Carlos Perez del Castillo, chair of the CGIAR Consortium Board.

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) works with hundreds of partners to develop innovative solutions, tools, and technologies for the benefit of the world’s poorest people.

It seeks to bring cutting edge science to bear on a wide range of issues facing millions of farmers and other poor smallholders in developing countries.

They collectively generate nearly 70 percent of the world’s food production, according a statement released here by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT), a member of CGIAR Consortium, headquartered near here.

“The $1 billion in funding will help finance CGIAR’s 16 global research programs and accelerate the development of scientific, policy and technological advances needed to overcome complex challenges – such as climate change, water scarcity, land degradation, and chronic malnutrition, greatly improving the well-being of millions of poor families across the developing world,” said Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium.

IANS