CIMMYT's work in Asia was initiated by Dr. Norman Borlaug whose innovative approach to improving wheat yields initiated the Green Revolution in the 1960's. Currently, CIMMYT's activities in the region stretches from Central Asia to southern China and incorporate system wide approaches to improving wheat and maize productivity in target regions.

Projects in Asia utilize farmer participatory approaches to ensure the materials developed are specific not only to Asia diverse terrain and agro-ecological zones, but also better suited to farmers preferences. Projects focused on the nutrition in the region deliver quality seed to areas with high rates of child malnutrition and malnourishment. As the result of CIMMYT's long history of working with the region, 55% of wheat varieties in China are sourced from CIMMYT genetic materials and over 90% of all spring wheat cultivars grown in South Asia originate from either CIMMYT or ICARDA.

CIMMYT has nine country offices in the region in addition to the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) was initiated in October of 2011. BISA endeavors to address needs in critical areas of food security in the region of South Asia from the development of improved seed, the facilitation of capacity building, and the promotion of the adoption of new technologies in agronomy such as conservation agriculture techniques in addition to remote sensing technologies, decision support systems, and ICTs for climate change monitoring.

Asia is a key region for CIMMYT's objective and mission for increasing global food security. Current activities encompass a number of national and regional local organizations to facilitate greater adoption of new technologies by farmers and benefit from close partnerships with farmer associations and agricultural extension agents. As a fast growing region with increasing challenges for smallholder farmers, Asia is a key target region for CIMMYT.


Far in the South and seeking food security: East Timor farmers adopt improved maize seed

Far in the South and seeking food security: East Timor farmers adopt improved maize seed

Through five years of on-farm trials supported by the governments of East Timor and Australia using locally-suited crop varieties provided by five centers of the CGIAR-Consortium, small-scale farmers in East Timor learned about and acquired seed of improved varieties of maize and other key food crops, as well as improved cropping practices. The hungry season for the major staple, maize, was significantly reduced among the adopters and, with more recent support from the "Seed of Life" project and East Timor's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, farming communities are producing improved maize seed to satisfy local demand.

Water-saving techniques salvage wheat in drought-stricken Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s 2012 drought and high temperatures cut the country’s wheat harvests by more than half from 2011 output, but wheat under zero-tillage practices gave up to three times more grain than conventionally cultivated crops. Two million hectares are currently under zero tillage, making Kazakhstan one of the top-ten countries for conservation agriculture and helping to avoid severe wheat shortages.

A New U.S.-sponsored Project to Help Modernize Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector

A New U.S.-sponsored Project to Help Modernize Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector
“Boosting Pakistan’s economy is one of our top assistance priorities. That’s why this project will work to modernize agricultural practices to increase the production and quality of livestock and horticultural goods. This in turn will enhance economic development in the country,” said USAID Country Director Jonathan M. Conly

A field interview: Maize in the hills of Nepal

A field interview: Maize in the hills of Nepal
CIMMYT's IFAD-funded project on conservation agriculture in Palpa, Nepal helps small farmers save money, make money, and protect the environment.

USAID supports CIMMYT-led partnership for heat resilient maize in South Asia

USAID supports CIMMYT-led partnership for heat resilient maize in South Asia
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (25 October 2012) — CIMMYT announced today that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will support a partnership to develop heat resilient maize (corn) for South Asia. The project will fall under Feed the Future, the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, and is a partnership led by CIMMYT, involving Purdue University, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and several private sector and national research partners in South Asia.
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