CIAT Annual Report 2018

Future Seeds, today

With an eye on the challenges facing food and nutrition security and agricultural production in coming decades, in an era of human population growth and climate change, CIAT broke ground on its newest facility in 2018, Future Seeds.

Future Seeds will be the new home for CIAT’s gene-bank, which houses some 68,000 accessions of common beans, tropical forages, and cassava, crops that are a vital source of nourishment and income for millions of smallholder farmers across the globe.

The new facility will allow more samples to be stored and provide room for additional crop varieties.

Most importantly, Future Seeds will be a cutting-edge resource for research on these crops and serve as a window into the world of crop science, inspiring future generations of researchers and engaging communities and people across the spectrum of CIAT’s stakeholders.

CIAT’s gene bank safeguards almost 68,000 samples of common beans, cassava and tropical forages.

Why crop diversity matters

The preservation and study of crop diversity are essential to the future well-being of humanity. The nourishment of hundreds of millions of people depends on it.

Humanity relies on just a handful of crops. But these arose from a staggering diversity of wild and domesticated plants that nature, farmers, and scientists produced over thousands of years. Today, many of these varieties are lost in the wild – and much of the crop diversity that remains is threatened.

The staple crops of the future will need to draw on natural diversity to withstand the environmental demands placed upon them by climate change.

CIAT’s gene-bank is the bedrock of many of CIAT’s historic scientific breakthroughs – including beans that have higher iron and zinc content and improve diets around the world, disease-resistant cassava that has prevented millions of dollars in economic losses, and tropical forages that are the beginnings of a green, low-carbon revolution in livestock farming.

Future Seeds will greatly increase CIAT’s capacity to protect, study and provide seeds and plant material for future generations of farmers, scientists, and consumers.

Future Seeds will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified building. The building will be energy efficient and carbon neutral, and sustainably use water and other resources.


Joe Tohme
Director, Agrobiodiversity Research Area

Javier Mateo-Vega
Director, Partnerships and Communications

CIAT is a CGIAR Research Center

Was edited and compiled by CIAT Partnerships and Communications

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© CIAT 2019