CGIAR EMD visit showcases innovative Science Goals at the International Potato Center 

In mid-February, the International Potato Center (CIP) had the honor of hosting Ismahane Elouafi, Executive Managing Director of CGIAR. During her February 15th and 16th visit, Elouafi met scientists and staff and delved into CIP’s multifaceted approach to addressing global challenges through innovative science goals. From biodiversity conservation to regenerative agriculture, crop improvement and urban food systems, each area showcased CIP’s dedication to sustainable solutions and improving livelihoods worldwide.

Biodiversity Science Goal

One highlight of Elouafi’s visit was her exploration of CIP’s Biodiversity Complex. She heard from Vania Azevedo, who explained CIP’s unwavering commitment to biodiversity conservation. Azevedo shared insights into how CIP safeguards vital roots and tubers, preserving them for future generations. Moreover, repatriating virus-free varieties to communities that have stewarded them for centuries underscores CIP’s dedication to honoring traditional knowledge while ensuring food security.

Regenerative Agriculture Science Goal

Elouafi also witnessed CIP’s strides in regenerative agriculture, exemplified through innovative practices such as zero tillage and low-cost field testing for viruses. These approaches enhance productivity and prioritize environmental stewardship. By striking a balance between agricultural output and ecological preservation, CIP’s regenerative agriculture initiatives pave the way for sustainable farming practices that can be passed down through generations.

Crop Improvement Science Goal

CIP’s commitment to crop improvement to foster nutritional security was another focal point of Elouafi’s visit. By developing nutrient-rich crop varieties, CIP addresses the root causes of malnutrition while promoting healthier diets. Elouafi gained firsthand insight into these efforts during her tour of CIP’s Quality and Nutrition labs, where the tangible impact of CIP’s research on enhancing food security was evident.

Urban Food Systems Science Goal

Lastly, Elouafi explored CIP’s endeavors in Urban Food Systems, where the center plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between rural producers and urban consumers. By empowering smallholder farmers and enhancing food access in urban centers, CIP contributes to building resilient food systems. As Elouafi engaged with CGIAR Resilient Cities Initiative Director and CIP’s Director General, she gained a deeper understanding of how urban food systems initiatives are integral to achieving food security and sustainability goals.

Ismahane Elouafi’s visit to the International Potato Center provided a comprehensive overview of CIP’s diverse science goals and their collective impact on addressing global challenges. From biodiversity conservation to regenerative agriculture, crop improvement, and urban food systems, CIP’s innovative approaches underscore its pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable and food-secure future for all.