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.

In the media

Source: Business Recorder (2 Feb 2023)

The development of hermetic storage technology can help farmers in Pakistan to protect their crops post-harvest and pass on financial savings to consumers.

Features

A type of heat- and drought-tolerant maize is improving yields for Bhutanese farmers.

In the media

Source: Big News Network (26 Jan 2023)

An article in the Big News Network examines opportunities for collaboration between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.

News

One CGIAR’s Breeding Resource Initiative is moving forward on an array of shared services, capacity development programs and technical support.

Features

The downstream effects of the war in Ukraine imperils food security in countries like Nepal. A CSISA-led activity looks to boost local production via increased sustainable irrigation capacity and investment.

In the media

Source: Global Indian (20 Jan 2023)

A distinguished scientist and Head of Global Wheat Improvement at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, Dr. Ravi Prakash Singh dedicated almost four decades towards increasing food production across the globe.

In the media

Source: U.S. Department of State (19 Jan 2023)

Cary Fowler and Dina Esposito highlight CIMMYT’s work in southern Africa to address food insecurity.

In the media

Source: Global Trade Review (16 Jan 2023)

The Ukraine crisis has triggered spikes in food and fertilizer prices, increasing poverty and hunger worldwide. But with a significant financing gap in investments aimed at supporting food systems, could unlocking new markets prove a fruitful way of mitigating food insecurity?

In the media

Source: Phys.org (10 Jan 2023)

Wheat containing exotic DNA from wild relatives benefits from up to 50 percent higher yields in hot weather compared with elite lines lacking these genes, according to a new study.

In the media

Source: AgNews (29 Dec 2022)

CIMMYT Director General Bram Govaerts looks at challenges facing Mexican and global agricultural systems.

Publications

Zinc and provitamin A biofortified maize genotypes have potential to reduce hidden hunger in Nepal.

News

More than 20 participants attended the genetic resources and seed production courses delivered by CIMMYT scientists in Antigua, Guatemala.

News

CIMMYT is happy to announce seven new, improved tropical maize hybrids that are now available for uptake by public and private sector partners.

In the media

Source: South China Morning Post (18 Dec 2022)

CGIAR scientists share the importance of testing new research models for integrated aquatic and terrestrial production systems.

Publications

Scientists determine nitrogen use could be reduced without impacting rice yields for sustainability of rice production in Northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains.