Message from CIAT Director General

Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

by Ruben G. Echeverría, Director General of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

In 2013, CCAFS really hit its stride, registering significant gains at every level. It performed highly from farmers’ fields to national policy arenas – through strong partnerships and adept use of new tools and information. Moreover, an independent evaluation of governance and management across CGIAR Research Programs ranked CCAFS highest in terms of independence and external participation.

The program’s achievements have contributed vitally to a major initiative aimed at turning climate-smart agriculture from a compelling idea into a workable global approach. As clearly documented in this annual report, climate-smart practices are rapidly being brought within the reach of villages in South Asia and other regions, in key agriculture values chains (such as coffee in Nicaragua), and across whole nations – from Colombia to Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. Women are playing a central role in this transformation because of the concerted efforts that CCAFS has made to mainstream gender perspectives throughout its work.

As lead Center for CCAFS, we at CIAT are very pleased with its performance this year. The program’s efforts are adding much value to the work of our organization and others – for example, by helping orient breeding strategies for key staple crops – while magnifying the opportunities open to us for advancing the goals of climate change adaptation and mitigation. The creation of new CCAFS regional programs in Latin America and Southeast Asia has further widened the scope for collective action.

The program’s excellent progress this year bodes well for the future of CGIAR research. It demonstrates that performance-based management of collaborative efforts can produce rapid progress along impact pathways, yielding tangible benefits for millions of rural people.