We have initiated collaborations with member organizations of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). CGIAR is a strategic alliance of countries, international and regional organizations, and private foundations supporting 15 international agricultural centers that work with national agricultural research systems and civil society organizations including the private sector. Of these 15 centers, 7 are focused on the major staple food crops of the world. Faculty at Colorado State University have active research and training collaborations with 4 of the 7 organizations. Since CGIAR member organizations have largely structured themselves in a transdisciplinary framework and these organizations are currently seeking stronger affiliations with universities within the United States, we intend to invite members of these organizations to participate in Crops For Health® program. Current center’s collaborating with Colorado State University faculty include:
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
IRRI is the oldest and largest international agricultural research institute in Asia. It is an autonomous, nonprofit rice research and training organization with offices in 10 Asian nations as well as activities in Africa that included the opening of an IRRI office in Mozambique in 2006. IRRI’s mission is to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure that rice production is environmentally sustainable. We are working with IRRI affiliated scientists to characterize 21 varieties of rice for cancer preventive activity as a first step in broadening current understanding of how rice can be used in efforts to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases.
Center for International Research in the Tropics (CIAT)
CIAT a not-for-profit organization that conducts socially and environmentally progressive research aimed at reducing hunger and poverty and preserving natural resources in developing countries. CIAT conducts international research on beans, cassava, and forages which has a global reach, while that on rice and tropical fruits targets Latin America and the Caribbean. We are specifically working with CIAT to identify novel health promoting benefits of dry beans. Dry beans are the most important food legume for more than 300 million people, most of them in Latin America, where the crop was domesticated, and in Africa.
International Potato Center (CIP)
CIP seeks to reduce poverty and achieve food security on a sustained basis in developing countries through scientific research and related activities on potato, sweetpotato, other root and tuber crops, and on the improved management of natural resources in the Andes and other mountain areas. CIP headquarters are in Peru but their mission extends to several countries in South America, Asia and Africa. CSU students taking the Medicinal Plants course have participated in short NSF-funded internships at CIP in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
CIMMYT conducts research and training in maize and wheat improvement, with the goals of increasing food security and sustaining natural resources in developing countries. CSU’s wheat breeding program has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with CIMMYT for the exchange and evaluation of wheat germplasm, and in spring of 2007 several hundred CIMMYT wheat lines will be evaluated in Colorado.