Improving food security and farmers’ livelihood through productive and sustainable crops
The Crops Program aims to increase the productivity and sustainability of major crops by exploring improved varieties and new crop management methods. The program is built on two complementary themes of genetics and sustainable intensification and diversification.
Projects within the genetics theme address specific issues, such as pests and diseases, build capacity of plant breeding programs, and promote the release of improved germplasm. Current projects identify genes for important traits and support their introduction into breeding lines, which may result in new crop varieties.
Concentration of poverty in rural areas, migration out of farming, and the increasing gap between urban and rural incomes all challenge farming as a profitable and satisfying pursuit. In response, the Crops Program explores sustainable intensification and diversification, which looks at the productivity, profitability and resilience of the whole cropping system. These projects design, test and disseminate cropping system innovations to increase productivity, sustainability and, returns of cropping systems.