ROME, ITALY — The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers have agreed to collaborate more closely in order to increase the effectiveness and impact of their work, the groups said on July 13.

The two organizations pledged to establish “a strong and long-lasting collaborative effort building on the different institutional strengths of both organizations.” The Declaration was signed by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Carlos Pérez del Castillo, CGIAR consortium board chair.

The CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers integrates and coordinates agricultural research programs in 15 centers across the world. 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 centers created four decades earlier.

FAO and the CGIAR Consortium will implement joint projects and programs under a future framework agreement. One particular area of cooperation involves making new breakthroughs and technologies developed by CGIAR and others available to small-scale farmers. 

CGIAR research in 2010 accounted for $673 million or just over 10% of the $5.1 billion spent worldwide on agricultural research for development. Resulting economic benefits are calculated in billions of dollars, and it is estimated that one dollar invested in CGIAR research yields about nine dollars in increased productivity in developing countries.

CGIAR research is funded by more than 25 nations and several international organizations and NGOs. It is aimed at reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring the more sustainable management of natural resources.