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Research areas


CIAT develops more resilient, productive, and profitable varieties of cassava and common bean, together with improved tropical forages for livestock. In Latin America and the Caribbean, we also work to boost rice production and the competitiveness of the region’s rice sector. These crops are vital for global food and nutrition security.

The Center’s Bioscience Platform includes the largest genebank in Latin America and advanced laboratories where scientists work to accelerate crop improvement.

We also work with partners across Latin America to uphold international standards on biotechnology, and help train the next generation of scientists.


Joe Tohme

Research Area Director

Decision and Policy Analysis

CIAT’s cross-cutting research on decision and policy analysis is aimed at harnessing the power of new information tools and participatory methods to influence decisions, practices, and policies on three key issues: climate change, ecosystem services, and linking farmers to markets. Through the close involvement of farmers, this work contributes to the development of policies that help boost productivity, efficiency, and sustainability, enabling farmers and governments to plan for the future.

Catering to decision makers in the private and public sectors, we provide novel and accurate information in interactive forms together with easy-to-use methods for analyzing agricultural systems at all levels – from individual farms to whole continents.



Andy Jarvis

Research Area Director

Soils and Landscapes for Sustainability (SoiLS)

CIAT soil experts include not only soil scientists but also ecologists and anthropologists. They conduct both biophysical and participatory research to identify and promote best practices for enhancing ecosystem services, sustainably intensifying crop production, and delivering economic and social benefits – especially for marginalized groups and women.

SoiLS research focuses on three areas of study, each associated with a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The foundation of all of our work is Soil Health, which maps to SDG 2 – Zero Hunger; our research on Climate-smart Soils contributes to SDG 13 – Climate Action; and our increasing focus on Restoration of Degraded Lands links to SDG 15 – Life on Land. Tackling these three SDGs under one research program allows us to bypass potential conflicts and develop practical, holistic approaches to achieving development goals in tropical agricultural landscapes.


Louis Verchot

Research Area Director