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CIMMYT sustainable intensification expert Bram Govaerts at 2017 Borlaug Dialogue

October 13, 2017


GOVAERTS-BramWHAT: Bram Govaerts will speak on a panel titled “Latin America’s Role in Global Food Security: The Intricate Links Among Conservation, Trade and Agricultural Productivity” at the Borlaug Dialogue symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. He is America regional representative at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) where he leads the region’s sustainable intensification strategy and its project portfolio in the Americas. Govaerts is the 2014 Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application laureate and a former member of the science advisory board of Kellogg Company. His research findings will help inform the “A Conversation on Sustainability” and “Latin America’s Role in Global Food Security” sessions.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 18 at 3:40 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel, 700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa.

ON-SITE INTERVIEWS (by prior arrangement): Monday, October 16 – Friday, October 20, 2017.

ABOUT BORLAUG DIALOGUE: An annual three-day conference that attracts more than 1,200 delegates from around the world to discuss global food security and nutrition. The Borlaug Dialogue, which includes scientists, policymakers, business executives and farmers, coincides with World Food Day, the awarding of the World Food Prize and the Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.

ABOUT BRAM GOVAERTS: Bram Govaerts earned a doctoral degree in bioscience engineering – soil science (2007). He began working at CIMMYT as a postdoctoral fellow in maize and wheat based cropping systems (2009), becoming associate director of the Global Conservation Agriculture Program (2012-2015), strategy lead sustainable intensification in Latin America team leader (2015-2016) before taking on his current role. He has also served as an expert member of the Global Initiative for the United Nations: the Sustainable Development Solutions Network on Data for the Sustainable Development Goals.


Julie Mollins, j.mollins [at] cgiar.org or Ricardo Curiel, r.curiel [at] cgiar.org

ABOUT CIMMYT: The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center – is the global leader in publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. Headquartered near Mexico City, CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR System and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat and the Excellence in Breeding Platform. The center receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies. CIMMYT website: http://www.cimmyt.org


Sustainable intensification agriculture practices are aimed at enhancing the productivity of labor, land and capital. They offer the potential to simultaneously address a number of pressing development objectives, including unlocking the agricultural potential to adapt production systems to climate change, sustainably manage land, soil, nutrient and water resources, improved food and nutrition security, and ultimately reduce rural poverty. Improved productivity can increase food availability and income, benefiting the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, natural resource integrity, social equity, nutrition, health and resilience against biophysical or socio-economic shocks. Smallholder farming systems are diverse and complex. In practice, sustainable intensification involves such conservation agriculture practices as minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and the use of crop rotation to simultaneously maintain and boost yields, increase profits and protect the environment. It contributes to improves soil function and quality, which can improve resilience to climate variability. Through the lens of sustainable intensification, technical innovations are assessed not only for their potential to increase the productivity of a single commodity, but also for their impact on overall farm productivity, profitability, stability, production and market risks, resilience, as well as the interests and capacity of individual farmers to adopt those innovations. Webpage: https://www.cimmyt.org/sustainable-intensification-program/


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