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Celebrations at Headquarters

Cali, Colombia. 8-9 November 2017

Throughout 2017, we have been celebrating CIAT’s 50th Anniversary and brought together our partners, donors, and people behind CIAT’s achievements, while reflecting on the future of food and agriculture.

Following regional celebrations in Hanoi, Vietnam on 3-4 AprilNairobi, Kenya on 29 May, and Managua, Nicaragua on 28 SeptemberCIAT is pleased to announce the upcoming celebrations at its headquarters in Cali, Colombia on 8-9 November.

8-9 November 2017

CIAT Headquarters

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Organized in partnership with

7:30 – 8:30 Registration
Master of Ceremonies: Marcela Prieto, Director, Foros Semana
8:30 – 8:50 His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia
8:50 – 9:00 Welcome, Geoffrey Hawtin, Chair, CIAT Board of Trustees
9:00 – 9:40 Dilian Francisca Toro, Governor, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Jairo Ortega Samboní, Mayor of Palmira, Colombia

Juan Lucas Restrepo, Executive Director, Corpoica

9:40 – 10:10 Break and group photo
10:10 – 11:40

Latin America and the Caribbean: a model for agricultural development and sustainable food systems?

Panel discussion

Latin America and the Caribbean is poised to be recognized as one of the great food baskets of the world. As one of the most urbanized regions in the world, LAC is already in the future, and it is ahead of the curve in other respects too. Some countries in the region have made huge advances in the way they produce food; are proud and proven early adopters of new agricultural technologies and have developed groundbreaking policies on issues from ecosystem services to climate-smart agriculture. LAC really can become the precedent for inclusive agricultural development and sustainable food systems that can both inform and inspire the rest of the world.

Moderator: Marcela Prieto, Director, Foros Semana


  • Cristián Samper, President and CEO, Wildlife Conservation Society and Member of the CIAT Board of trustees
  • Julio Berdegué, Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Martin Piñeiro, Director, CEO Group, Argentina
11:40-12:10 Celebrating Partnerships
12:10-14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 14:10 Welcome, Juergen Voegele, Senior Director, Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank and Chair, CGIAR System Council
14:10 – 16:00

Building a sustainable food Future

Food systems affect and are affected by the social, economic and environmental contexts in which they operate. Today, they face a massive array of challenges. About 795 million people currently lack enough food to lead healthy and active lives. By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.8 billion. To feed everyone, we must ensure access to 60 percent more food in ways that enhance the livelihoods of poor farmers and reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment, and we must do so at a time when land degradation and climate change are disrupting the very ecosystem services that are critical to sustainable agriculture. Here we discuss the critical roles of climate change research, private sector involvement, and food systems to build a sustainable food future.

14:10 – 14:45
Talk 1: The future of climate change research

Moderator: Walter Baethgen, Director of the Regional and Sectorial Research Program and Leader for Latin America and the Caribbean, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute, Columbia University.


  • Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director, CGIAR
  • Margarita Astralaga, Director, Environment and Climate Change Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Latin America Regional Program Leader, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and CIAT
14:45 – 15:05 Coffee break
15:05 – 15:35
Talk 2: Aligning public and private interest to scale up and deliver impact

Moderator: Carl Pray, Distinguished Professor in the Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Department, the School for Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.


  • Phil Pardey, Professor and Director, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center, University of Minnesota
  • Panelists to be confirmed
15:35 – 16:05
Talk 3: How to achieve sustainable food systems

Moderator: Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Professor Emeritus, CIAT and Professor of the Graduate School, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University


  • Thomas Reardon, Distinguished Faculty, and Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Fellow, Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University
  • Danielle Nierenberg, President, FoodTank
  • Mark Lundy, Leader, Sustainable Food Systems, CIAT
16:00-16:20 Closing remarks, Ruben Echeverría
16:30-18:30 Cocktail
18:30 Bus back to Cali
8:00 – 8:30 Registration
Master of Ceremonies: Steven Prager, Senior Scientist, CIAT
8:30 – 8:40 Welcome note (tbc)
08:40 – 09:20

50 years of CIAT Research for Development

Book presentation and discussion, John Lynam, CIAT Emeritus

09:20 – 10:20

The beginning of social science research at CIAT

With the following introductory statement – “The mission of CIAT is to accelerate agricultural and economic development and to increase agricultural production and productivity in order to improve the diets and welfare of the people of the world. In addition, CIAT is concerned with increases in buying power of urban residents in the sense that they may be able to purchase more and thus benefit from the increased food supplies.”  Later, CIAT’s mission would focus increasingly on raising incomes for smallholder farmers, concentrating on 4 major crops and more recently CIAT has embraced a ‘Sustainable Food Systems’ paradigm. As the CGIAR has evolved into a more development focused organization social sciences become even more important than in the past. What was the original thinking at the beginning of social science at CIAT, and particularly agricultural economics?

Moderator: John Lynam


  • Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Professor Emeritus, CIAT and Professor of the Graduate School, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University
  • Alberto Valdes, International Consultant, ex CIAT Researcher
  • Grant Scobie, Former Director General, CIAT
10:20 – 10:50 Break
 10:50 – 12:20

 What’s next for CIAT research


Introduction, Geoffrey Hawtin, Chair, CIAT Board of Trustees


Does gene editing mean we can cut-and-paste our way to sustainable agriculture?

Joe Tohme, Director, Agrobiodiversity Research Area, CIAT

Summary: Gene editing is the most exciting area in biology right now. Here’s how it can help us tackle climate change and boost food production.



  • Rob Bertram, Chief Scientist, US Agency for International Development, Bureau for Food Security
  • Anthony Cavalieri, Senior Program Officer, Value Chain Group Lead


Soon we’re all going to be eating data, one byte at a time

Andy Jarvis, Director, Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area, CIAT

Summary: Data is the flux capacitor of agricultural research, accelerating us into a future of sustainable, resilient food production, where no-one is left behind.



  • Panelists to be confirmed
12:20 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:10

What’s next for CIAT research (continued)

Making the business case for land restoration

Lou Verchot, Director, Soils and Landscapes for Sustainability Research Area, CIAT Summary: We know how to successfully restore landscapes but it’s just not happening. Let’s crack the economics of landscape restoration and make a case.

13:45-14:10 Discussion:

  • Charles Rice, Distinguished Professor, Soil Microbiology, Kansas State University and member of the CIAT Board of Trustees

Walk or talk parallel sessions

14:10 – 16:00

A guided tour of CIAT premises and 6 newly designed, interactive stations where visitors can learn more about CIAT work.

  • Building a sustainable food future, overview of CIAT’s work
  • Genetic gains, breeding achievements
  • Genebank, conserving and sharing crop genetic resources
  • Soils Laboratory, healthy soils for healthy food
  • Phenomics platform, monitoring plants to contribute to eco-efficiency
  • High-temperature greenhouses, identifying crops that can cope with climate change
  • Mitigating climate change, grasses that help reducing greenhouse gas emissions
14:10 – 16:00

Hard talks: what’s next for CIAT research

Why smallholder farmers will be big players in global markets – Mark Lundy, Leader, Sustainable Food Systems, CIAT

Environmentally-conscious consumers, often in developed countries, continue to demand sustainably-sourced products, such as coffee and chocolate. Smallholders are major suppliers of these kinds of products.

Discussant: Melle Leenstra, Senior Policy Officer Food & Nutrition Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands

Investing in “green infrastructure” will bring more than just environmental returns – Marcela Quintero, Leader, Ecosystem Services, CIAT

We can have the best of both worlds – competitive and sustainable food production, while protecting the environment and the numerous services it provides.

Discussant: Daniel Frans van Gilst, Senior Adviser, Department for Climate, Energy, Environment and Research, Section for Environment and Food Security, Norad – Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

Future Seeds – Peter Wenzl, Leader, Genetic Resources, CIAT

The Future Seeds initiative seeks to build a state-of-the-art genebank that not only ensures their long-term conservation but also encourages their use to enrich diets and to help climate-proof food supply in the tropics.

Discussant: Stefan Schmitz, Division Head, Rural Development and Food Security, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

18:00 Closing reception
21:00 Bus back to Cali


Our visions of a sustainable food future

Our work in pictures

CIAT in pictures - the best of

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