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FAO and CGIAR Consortium form strategic partnership

Accord aims to boost impact of the two organizations' work

Photo: ©FAO/Riccardo Venturi
Carlos Pérez del Castillo (left) with José Graziano da Silva
28 February 2013, Rome - FAO and the Consortium of International Agriculture Research Centers (CGIAR Consortium) have formed a strategic partnership aimed at boosting the impact of their activities.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed here today, and building on years of collaboration, the two organizations formally pledged to engage in "a strategic partnership, building on the institutional strengths of both organizations, in order to increase the effectiveness and impact of their work".

The MoU was signed by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Carlos Pérez del Castillo, CGIAR Consortium Board Chair.

Greatest challenge

"Feeding the world without destroying  the planet is the greatest challenge facing humanity in coming decades," said Pérez del Castillo.

"This Memorandum is a signal of our resolve to strengthen our partnership with FAO seeking tangible opportunities for alignment and joint actions. We believe this partnership will boost our ability to scale up our efforts and make a powerful, joint contribution to the world's food security needs," he added. 

"The agreement will help put the research developed by the CGIAR Consortium within the reach of smallholder producers around the world," said Graziano da Silva.

"This is an important partnership for FAO, as the CGIAR Consortium research centres and corporative programmes have an important contribution to make to the areas that FAO focuses on: eradicating hunger, producing and managing resources sustainably, reducing rural poverty, improving participation of smallholders in food systems and increasing resilience in rural communities," added the Director-General.

Under the renewable, five-year agreement, FAO will provide the CGIAR Consortium with advice on priorities for agricultural research based on FAO's work for member governments, as well as information on priority programmes or activities FAO is implementing.

Scaling up innovation

The CGIAR Consortium will advise FAO on the potential for scaling up innovation in agriculture and updated information on CGIAR Research Programs.

One particular area of cooperation with FAO will involve making new technologies developed by CGIAR and others available to small-scale farmers. 

The CGIAR Consortium is an international organization made up of 15 Centres engaged in research for a food-secure future, whose main role is to oversee the implementation of the CGIAR's Strategy and Results Framework, including the CGIAR Research Programmes.

The Consortium, together with its financing arm, the CGIAR Fund, was established in 2010 in a reform of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, a worldwide network of agricultural research centres created four decades earlier.

CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector.

FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. Eradicating hunger and achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.