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CIMMYT Observes the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

October 16, 2014

El Batán, Mexico 16 October 2014 – The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), a United Nations (UN) day established in 1993 to “promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries,” will be observed internationally for the 22nd time on October 17, 2014. According to the UN, the theme for IDEP 2014 is “leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty,” which “recognizes and underscores the demanding challenge of identifying and securing the participation of those experiencing extreme poverty and social exclusion in the Post-2015 Development Agenda that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

The eradication of poverty was one of the chief MDGs, and remains at the forefront of the development of the post-2015 development agenda. According to the Millennium Development Goals Report of 2013, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty (less than US $1.25 a day) has been halved at the global level, meaning that this MDG was met, yet 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty. According to the World Bank’s World Development Report (WDR), rural areas are home to 75 percent of the world’s poor, the majority of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The WDR contends that “agricultural growth is especially effective at reducing poverty” as it reduces poverty both directly and indirectly, raising farm incomes as well as generating employment and reducing food prices.

Agricultural development is critical in the fight to eradicate poverty, and CIMMYT has developed and designed its programs and projects to contribute to this effort. The work done at CIMMYT to improve the yields of maize and wheat, increase their tolerance to climate change, fight pests and diseases and add higher nutritional value to crops has helped to eradicate poverty by improving the livelihoods of farmers and their families as well as their nutrition and health.

The UN highlights that 17 October also serves as an important reminder to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty as well as promoting opportunities for them to make their concerns heard. “Poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day’s celebration since its very beginning.”

CIMMYT works with its donors and partners to assist smallholder farmers in developing countries, generating solutions to the issues they face with their active input and participation. The mission of CIMMYT, to “sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to ensure global food security and reduce poverty,” cannot be realized without the efforts and cooperation of farmers, scientists, researchers and staff working together across the developing world to improve agriculture and eradicate poverty.



Headquartered in Mexico, CIMMYT is the global leader in research for development in wheat and maize and wheat- and maize-based farming systems. CIMMYT works throughout the developing world with hundreds of partners to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to improve global food security and livelihoods.

Improved, CIMMYT-derived wheat is sown on more than 60 million hectares in developing countries – over 70 percent of the spring wheat area planted with modern wheat varieties in those nations. These wheat varieties are responsible for bigger harvests that bring annual added benefits to farmers of at least US $500 million. Similarly, 50 percent of modern maize varieties grown in developing countries come from CIMMYT improved seeds.

CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium and leads the Consortium Research Programs WHEAT and MAIZE. CIMMYT receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies. For more information about CIMMYT, please visit www.cimmyt.org

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