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The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) was formally established in 1967 and began its research in 1969 backed by the Colombian government and Rockefeller, Ford, and Kellogg Foundations. CIAT develops technologies, methods, and knowledge that better enable farmers, mainly smallholders, to enhance eco-efficiency in agriculture. This means we make production more competitive and profitable as well as sustainable and resilient through economically and ecologically sound use of natural resources and purchased inputs.
CIAT has global responsibility for the improvement of two staple foods, cassava and common bean, together with tropical forages for livestock.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, we conduct research on rice as well. Representing diverse food groups and a key component of the world’s agricultural biodiversity, those crops are vital for global food and nutrition security Alongside its research on agrobiodiversity, CIAT works in two other areas – soils and decision and policy analysis – which cut across all tropical crops and production environments. CIAT has its headquarters near Cali, Colombia, with regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hanoi, Vietnam. Center scientists work in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and 5 in Southeast Asia. Their collaborative efforts in these regions have generated important research achievements with substantial development impact. CIAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium and Lead Center of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS). The Center contributes importantly to other CGIAR Research Programs as well. CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.