• Home
  • Strategic Plan 2017-2022

Strategic Plan 2017-2022

Download PDF
Download PDF


  • Download PDF


    This strategic plan 2017-2022 sets out an integrated approach of excellent science for impact, carried out by partnerships with strong emphasis on capacity building to fulfill CIMMYT’s mission to improve livelihoods through maize and wheat science. Central to this approach is our integrating philosophy “ONE CIMMYT”, which ensures that we work towards a shared mission and vision.

    By aligning CIMMYT’s work with the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework 2016-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are adjusting to a new changing landscape through new partnerships, new technologies and new ways of work.

    The strategic plan was launched during CIMMYT’s 50th anniversary celebrations following internal and external consultations that took place between June 2015 and July 2016. It is a living and evolving document, which ensures that we are constantly adapting to the changing environment and the needs of the poor.

  • Download PDF

    Outlook: 2017-2022

    This strategic plan sets out CIMMYT’s goals and priorities for the next five years. It details how we will operate and enable our staff to achieve greater impact, working together in an integrated team. Beyond our “core research”, we will assign higher priority to reducing malnutrition, empowering female farmers and sharing knowledge with partners and farmers.

    We will also shift our focus from individual crops to an integrated approach centering on agrifood systems. This approach focuses a holistic lens on the ecological and social factors that shape the food security and livelihoods of farmers as well as the billions of other people who depend on their output.

    What are we going to do differently?
    • A sharp focus on agri-food systems
    • Stronger alignment with CGIAR
    • Additional and different types of donors
    • Greater emphasis on capacity building
    • More public-private partnerships
    • Results-based management

  • Download PDF

    A new focus on agri-food systems

    Though great strides have been made to pull millions out of poverty in recent decades, a daunting challenge lies ahead – how to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.

    Research on maize and wheat agri-food systems lies at the heart of the solution. These two staple grains account for a quarter of the total crop area harvested globally and provide 19 percent of the total calories available.

    Instead of focusing on maize and wheat alone as individual crops, we will now focus on maize and wheat agri-food systems.

    This approach takes into account not only crop production but the whole chain of activities that deliver seed to farmers and agricultural products to consumers as well as the socioeconomic, political and ecological contexts that enable or constrain these activities.

    CIMMYT’s work better enables maize and wheat agri-food systems to:
    • Produce more with less
    • Create sustainable livelihoods
    • Support healthy and nutritious diets
    • Mitigate and adapt to climate change
    • Be more equitable
    • Engage young people

    Agri-food systems are the activities and relationships that determine how food is produced, processed, distributed and consumed, together with the human and biological systems that shape these activities at every stage.

  • Download PDF

    The international development agenda

    The global development landscape is in flux. As middle-income countries invest more of their own resources in agricultural development, high-income countries have less control over the agenda. The private sector is playing a stronger role in the developing world, helping to make markets work for the poor.

    CIMMYT must adjust to this changing landscape through new technologies, new partnerships and new ways of working. Business as usual will not suffice.

    CIMMYT’s contribution

    The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for equitable access to resources at a time of unprecedented growth in global consumption.

    The SDGs are intended to create a new global partnership based on solidarity, cooperation and mutual accountability to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. CIMMYT’s work will contribute to 10 of the 17 SDGs.

  • Download PDF


    CIMMYT is one of the founding and lead centers of CGIAR – the only worldwide partnership that applies agricultural research for development (R4D) in a global effort to alleviate poverty, hunger, major nutritional imbalances and environmental degradation.

    CIMMYT’s work contibutes to the CGIAR research portfolio in support of the CGIAR’s Strategy and Results Framework 2016-2030 (SRF). CIMMYT leads the CGIAR agri-food system programs MAIZE and WHEAT, and participates in three other programs: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS); Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH); and Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM).

    In addition, CIMMYT has taken on a convening role in developing the Excellence in Breeding Platform and will also contribute to the Genebanks and Big Data Platforms.

    How MAIZE and WHEAT will contribute to the 2030 CGIAR system level outcomes:

    System level outcome 1: Reduce Poverty

    System level outcome 2: Improve food and nutrition security for health

    System level outcome 3: Improve natural resource systems and ecosystem services

  • Download PDF

    Scientific excellence

    We conduct science of the highest quality and create innovations that farmers can readily put to use. Five strategic goals and three crosscutting themes reflect the priorities that will guide our work over the next five years.

    Building on our core expertise, these priorities represent our commitment to conserving and using biodiversity, delivering solutions for development, scaling out technologies and reaching rural communities.

    • Download PDF

      1. Increasing research impact

      Building on our traditional strengths, CIMMYT will seek opportunities across the value chain to monitor and evaluate collaborative research, assess its impact and foster learning. We will accelerate the uptake of innovations through:

      • Foresight and targeting
      • Technology adoption
      • Gender and social inclusiveness
      • Identification of value chain opportunities

      2. Accelerating genetic gains through novel diversity and tools

      CIMMYT will use advanced tools from genomics, phenomics and informatics to characterize the vast genetic diversity in its germplasm bank.

      Bioinformatics and molecular tools will be used to efficiently harness these genetic resources to breed crop varieties that respond to current and future challenges.

      3. Developing and improving access to stress-resilient maize and wheat varieties

      CIMMYT will use a wide variety of advanced technologies to more quickly deliver new maize and wheat varieties:

      • Adapted to climate change-related stresses
      • Resistant to emerging diseases and insect pests
      • With enhanced nutritional and end-use quality

      CIMMYT will also work with small- to medium-sized seed companies and public sector organizations to ramp up efforts to reach farmers in stress-prome areas.

      4. Sustainable intensification to improve rural livelihoods

      To deliver lasting improvements in rural livelihoods, CIMMYT will focus on improving not just crop yields but also the resilience, stability and profitability of whole farming systems, using scarce resources more efficiently.

      CIMMYT will work through community-based innovation platforms with stakeholders and farmers to develop innovations, while scaling out through public-private partnerships.

      5. Enhancing nutrition, food safety and processing quality

      In many developing countries, obesity and related diseases are on the rise, even as hunger and malnutrition persist. CIMMYT addresses these problems by fostering crop and diet diversification, and by developing maize and wheat varieties with more nutritious grain.

      CIMMYT will expand its research on wheat quality and develop maize varieties with improved nutritional quality and promote diverse crop uses.

      As well as meeting consumer needs and demands, CIMMYT will foster more integrated value chains to provide sustainable sources of income.

    • Download PDF

      1. Big Data

      Big Data is now a reality, meaning CIMMYT’s programs receive information at unprecedented levels. The challenge is to turn this data into goods for breeders to accelerate genetic gains, get improved varieties to farmers more quickly, and to better understand the adoption of new technologies.

      CIMMYT will work with partners to establish common data management processes and decision-making tools, and investigate ways to deliver useful information to farmers in real time.

      2. Open and equitable access for intellectual assets

      CIMMYT is committed to effective and efficient management of Intellectual Assets for wide dissemination of research outputs to increase impact.

      We fully support the CGIAR Principles for the Management of Intellectual Assets and the CGIAR Open Access and Data Management Policy, which are critical for delivering international public goods, safeguarding and promoting the use of genetic resources, and strengthening research capacity.

      3. Gender and youth

      CIMMYT gives close attention to agriculture’s social context – of which gender is a key part – and to the constraints farmers face when adopting new practices and crop varieties.

      CIMMYT will integrate gender considerations into all stages of our projects and strengthen the capacity of CIMMYT scientists to apply a gender lens to their work. In addition, the Center will increasingly address research questions related to the role of gender and youth in maize and wheat agri-food systems.

  • Download PDF

    Impact through partnerships

    No single organization has the capacity to turn research into impact. This can only be achieved through mutually beneficial cooperation, focusing on enhancing livelihoods.

    Today, CIMMYT serves as a central node in an international network of organizations working where maize-and wheat-based agriculture is important for reducing poverty and where private sector research cannot yet be sustained. We allocate 25-30 percent of our budget to the collaborative activities of partners.

    CIMMYT will steadily improve the scope and quality of its partnerships, with a special focus on South-South and public-private cooperation.

    In the next five years, we will develop five key partnerships:

    1. Working with CGIAR centers and CRPs on research prioritization, monitoring, evaluation and learning
    2. Engaging in research on cropping systems and value chains with advanced research institutes (ARIs) and universities
    3. Helping national agricultural research systems and governments conduct research for impact
    4. Supporting development partners to achieve technology validation, dissemination and adoption
    5. Co-development of business models and technology dissemination with the private sector

    In line with the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework, our future partnerships will be guided by these principles:

    • A common agenda
    • Shared measurement and learning
    • Mutually reinforcing activities
    • Effective communication
  • Download PDF

    Capacity building

    By creating agricultural knowledge communities, CIMMYT empowers collaborators to help farmers advance to a more food-secure, sustainable future. Each year, thousands of scientists, students, extension workers and farmers come to the Center for training.

    CIMMYT will continue to build capacity at the individual and organizational level by:

    • Attracting university students and post-docs
    • Developing the capacity of national partners through cooperation and training in cutting-edge science
    • Maintaining and expanding international training programs
    • Strengthening capacity for large-scale dissemination of new technology

    The CIMMYT Academy

    The “CIMMYT Academy” reflects a new vision for consolidating our training and capacity building efforts, in order to maximize learning and build an international cadre of top agricultural scientists and development practitioners.

    Through the Academy, CIMMYT will maintain and create new partnerships with world-class universities in high-income and developing countries, national agricultural research and extension systems, the private sector and researchers from other oranizations.

  • Download PDF


    The ONE CIMMYT concept goes beyond our organizational philosophy and implementation strategy. It is about building a common understanding across projects and regions, based on a unifying vision and mission, and developing integrated teams in a supportive environment.

    The objectives of ONE CIMMYT are to:

    • Apply the values of humanitarianism and excellence across the organization
    • Work together in integrated teams across all programs and service units
    • Stand together as one organization with a strong identity in the public arena
    • Foster a culture of reflection and debate within the organization
    • Use standard branding for all projects and regions
    • Apply policies, standards and processes consistently across the organization

    CIMMYT’s values:


    • Developing innovative ideas and putting them into action
    • Delivering impact in farmers’ fields through partnerships
    • Being flexible to change and quickly adapting to new agricultural development challenges
    • Achieving excellence in administrative services


    • Taking the initiative and holding ourselves accountable for our actions
    • All staff are guided by personal integrity and strong principles


    • Fostering an inclusive environment where each individual’s contribution is valued
    • Creating a positive environment in which people can develop and succeed.
    • Building long-term relationships with our partners and donors
    • Respecting diverse cultures, communities and points of view

    Improving institutional effectiveness

    A clear research strategy, stronger partnerships and capacity development are crucial for achieving our mission and vision. But they are not enough. Institutional effectiveness is also essential.

    This requires an efficient, effective and transparent organization where cooperation and flexibility are the norm, talent and teamwork are nurtured, and staff are united by the drive to achieve impact.

    There are five components to our approach to institutional change:

    • New business models
    • Working in coordination, not isolation
    • Streamlining financial and project management
    • Improved human resources functions
    • Communicating our impact and building our future