In pursuit of a better world: crop improvement and the CGIAR

J Kholova, M O Urban, J Cock, J Arcos, E Arnaud, D Aytekin, V Azevedo, A P Barnes, S Ceccarelli, P Chavarriaga, J Cobb, D Connor, M Cooper, P Craufurd, D Debouck, R Fungo, S Grando, G L Hammer, C Jara, C MessinaG Mosquera, E Nchanji, E Ng, S Prager, S Sankaran, M Selvaraj, F Tardieu, P Thornton, S Valdes, van J Etten, P Wenzl, Yunbi Xu

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The CGIAR crop improvement (CI) programs, unlike commercial CI programs, which are mainly geared to profit though meeting farmers' needs, are charged with meeting multiple objectives with target populations that include both farmers and the community at large. We compiled the opinions from >30 experts in the private and public sector on key strategies, methodologies, and activities that could the help CGIAR meet the challenges of providing farmers with improved varieties while simultaneously meeting the goals of: (i) nutrition, health, and food security; (ii) poverty reduction, livelihoods, and jobs; (iii) gender equality, youth, and inclusion; (iv) climate adaptation and mitigation; and (v) environmental health and biodiversity. We review the crop improvement processes starting with crop choice, moving through to breeding objectives, production of potential new varieties, selection, and finally adoption by farmers. The importance of multidisciplinary teams working towards common objectives is stressed as a key factor to success. The role of the distinct disciplines, actors, and their interactions throughout the process from crop choice through to adoption by farmers is discussed and illustrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5158-5179
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number14
Early online date22 May 2021
Publication statusPrint publication - 10 Jul 2021


  • Agricultural policy
  • breeder
  • crop improvement
  • cultivar
  • food security
  • GxExMxS
  • multi-disciplinary
  • production


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  • In pursuit of a better world: crop improvement and the CGIAR - SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

    Kholova, J. (Creator), Urban, M. O. (Creator), Cock, J. (Creator), Arcos, J. (Creator), Arnaud, E. (Creator), Aytekin, D. (Creator), Azevedo, V. (Creator), Barnes, A. (Creator), Ceccarelli, S. (Creator), Chavarriaga, P. (Creator), Cobb, J. (Creator), Connor, D. (Creator), Cooper, M. (Creator), Craufurd, P. (Creator), Debouck, D. (Creator), Ellis, N. (Creator), Fungo, R. (Creator), Grando, S. (Creator), Hammer, G. (Creator), Hoffer, J. (Creator), Jara, C. (Creator), Messina, C. (Creator), Mosquera, G. (Creator), Nchanji, E. (Creator), Ng, E. (Creator), Prager, S. (Creator), Sankaran, S. (Creator), Selvaraj, M. (Creator), Tardieu, F. (Creator), Thornton, P. (Creator), Valdes, S. (Creator), van Etten, J. (Creator), Wenzl, P. (Creator) & Xu, Y. (Creator), Zenodo, 25 Mar 2021


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