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Nutrition, health and food security

As staple foods, maize and wheat provide vital nutrients and health benefits, making up close to two-thirds of the world’s food energy intake, and contributing 55 to 70 percent of the total calories in the diets of people living in developing countries, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. CIMMYT scientists tackle food insecurity through improved nutrient-rich, high-yielding varieties and sustainable agronomic practices, ensuring that those who most depend on agriculture have enough to make a living and feed their families. The U.N. projects that the global population will increase to more than 9 billion people by 2050, which means that the successes and failures of wheat and maize farmers will continue to have a crucial impact on food security. Findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which show heat waves could occur more often and mean global surface temperatures could rise by up to 5 degrees Celsius throughout the century, indicate that increasing yield alone will be insufficient to meet future demand for food.

Achieving widespread food and nutritional security for the world’s poorest people is more complex than simply boosting production. Biofortification of maize and wheat helps increase the vitamins and minerals in these key crops. CIMMYT helps families grow and eat provitamin A enriched maize, zinc-enhanced maize and wheat varieties, and quality protein maize. CIMMYT also works on improving food health and safety, by reducing mycotoxin levels in the global food chain. Mycotoxins are produced by fungi that colonize in food crops, and cause health problems or even death in humans or animals. Worldwide, CIMMYT helps train food processors to reduce fungal contamination in maize, and promotes affordable technologies and training to detect mycotoxins and reduce exposure.

News

Climate change requires us to think differently about protecting nature while ensuring food security is a reality for all.

In the media

Source: Xinhua News (23 Nov 2022)

Four decades of partnership between China and CIMMYT is supporting global efforts to achieve food security.

News

Director General’s visit to Ethiopia consolidates existing partnerships and finds new opportunities for collaboration.

Publications

After first being cultivated more than 9,000 years ago, research shows that maize not only plays an essential role in global agrifood systems today but has a strongly increasing demand.

Features

Seven founding partners introduced Ag4Peace, a new initiative that aims to build resilient food systems and improve livelihoods and diets in low- and middle-income countries.

News

Experts gathered at the FAO Science and Innovation Forum to drive forward research partnerships to curb crop loss due to pests and diseases through efficient global sharing of data.

News

For the International Week of Science and Peace, Govaerts and Burke analyze whether it is possible to achieve food security without peace, and how the two are interlinked.

In the media

Source: Science (7 Nov 2022)

Research on rice crops that do not need replanting in China is showing promising results for yield, finances and labor, and the environment.

Publications

Reduced wheat exports from Russia and Ukraine are causing an increase in price rises in countries where food security is already a concern.

News

At the International Maize Congress, Bram Govaerts emphasized the importance of collaborative research to work towards healthy diets and sustainable systems.

News

CIMMYT is offering a new improved maize hybrid to partners, to scale up production for farmers in the region.

Publications

Genetic gain for yield in CIMMYT varieties distributed in Afghanistan shows an increase over a 14-year period.