Our mission is “Maize and wheat science for improved livelihoods.”
We envision a world with healthier and more prosperous people — free from the threat of global food crises — and with more resilient agri-food systems.
We are the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT. We are a non-profit international agricultural research and training organization focusing on two of the world’s most important cereal grains: maize and wheat, and related cropping systems and livelihoods.
Maize and wheat feed the world
Together, these two crops sustain billions of people worldwide, generate nearly $50 billion in trade each year, and cover 400 million hectares of land. That’s approximately one quarter of the world’s cultivated farmland.
CIMMYT’s maize and wheat research addresses challenges encountered by low-income farmers in the developing world including food and nutritional insecurity, environmental degradation, economic development, population growth and climate change.
Science for improved livelihoods
For 50 years, CIMMYT has been using science to make a difference. CIMMYT’s research has helped tens of millions of farmers grow more nutritious, resilient and productive crops, using methods that nourish the environment and combat climate change.
With projects in 50 countries and 1,500 staff, CIMMYT collaborates with hundreds of partners and is part of the global network of CGIAR research centers, delivering science for a food-secure future.
Low- and middle-income countries have received the greatest benefits from CIMMYT’s improved varieties and agricultural technologies. 90% of our work relates to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Return on investment: CIMMYT’s work generates $3.5-4 billion each year in terms of greater benefits to farmers and consumers.
Future-proof seeds: 50% of maize and wheat in low- and middle-income countries is based on CIMMYT varieties. They perform better — including when crops are affected by droughts, pests and diseases — and produce safer and more nutritious food. CIMMYT’s global seed distribution network provides 80% of the world’s breeding lines for maize and wheat.
Smart farming: CIMMYT and its partners test and promote improved technologies for crop and soil management. These innovations help farmers increase their yields, make production more efficient — regarding the use of land, nutrients, water and energy — and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Meaningful change through knowledge: CIMMYT conducts about 50,000 days of training each year. Through large-scale, gender-inclusive activities, hundreds of thousands of agricultural experts and farmers have learned to use new tools, technology, know-how and crop varieties. As a result, women have more decision-making power.
With a focus on agri-food systems, CIMMYT is working to:
- Improve the food and nutrition security, and livelihoods of farmers and rural populations.
- Increase the resilience of agri-food systems, and maize and wheat varieties, to the impact of climate change, pests and diseases.
- Develop approaches that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use land, water, energy, nutrients and labor more efficiently.
- Provide nutritious food options for low-income consumers.
- Ensure the biodiversity of maize and wheat is used more widely and equitably.
- Provide technologies and know-how to farmers and local entrepreneurs and help them to become the engines of economic growth.
- Develop the capacity of individuals and institutions in partnership with world-class universities, national agricultural research and extension systems, the private sector, and researchers from other organizations.
We are extremely grateful for the generous support of our funders, who sustain CIMMYT’s efforts and innovations.