Palmira Campus

Our Mission in Colombia

Since its establishment in 1967, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) - now part of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, based in Palmira, Colombia – has worked closely with Colombian government agencies with a shared belief that agricultural research is an important tool for generating new technologies, methods and knowledge to support farmers in achieving more eco-efficient, competitive, profitable, sustainable and resilient production.

The Palmira campus is an innovation center, using state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge research in plant breeding, genomics, information technologies, sequencing, data management, data mining, and data visualization, among others. 

As well as supporting CIAT since its establishment, the Colombian government has provided a solid platform to share our work with the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2019, Bioversity International and CIAT - two centers within the CGIAR research network - joined forces to combine their expertise, forming an Alliance to accelerate change, offering research-based solutions and working at the nexus of agriculture, environment and nutrition.


These are the challenges we seek to resolve through our work in Colombia

  •  Climate change

  • Deforestation  

  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduction 

  • Food security 

Thematic Research Areas

In Colombia, the Alliance has focused on the following areas:   

  • Strengthening the capacities of small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change and climate variability, 
  • Forming partnerships to create sustainable value chains based on inclusive business models, 
  • The collaborative design of productive systems that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable, 
  • The use of big data as a tool to close performance gaps and foster innovation in modernizing the national technical assistance system in agriculture, and, 
  • Increasing the knowledge and skills of more than 5,000 Colombians, including undergraduate, master's and PhD students, as well as experienced professionals, through a variety of training programs offered by the Alliance.  


The Alliance is committed to strengthening Colombian talent from all regions. Our center hosts approximately 650 Colombians from across the country, employed in various work areas (research, operations, management). More than 21 Colombians are directors and thematic leaders in our research areas. The Alliance’s campus also hosts offices of other CGIAR institutions (CIMMYT, CIPAGROSAVIA, and ICA). 

The Alliance has strengthened institutional capabilities in Colombia to address the challenges of climate change and variability under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Through the generation of technical inputs and policy recommendations, the Alliance and CCAFS have supported Colombian policy development on climate change and agriculture at local, regional and national levels, in collaboration with key actors such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Planning Department, and local governments. 

Collaboration between the Alliance and Colombia's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has had a significant impact by disseminating more than 90 improved varieties of four key crops: rice (48 varieties), tropical forages (11 varieties), common beans (16 varieties), and cassava (18 varieties). This joint effort has increased food security in the country, and increased the income of many farming families. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 the Ministry of Agriculture partnered with the Alliance and HarvestPlus to deliver 14 tons of biofortified maize, bean, and rice seeds, strengthening the food security of people affected by this difficult period. This initiative was crucial to ensure access to nutritious food for vulnerable people, and contributed to the well-being of many communities in a time of crisis.

Projects and Flagship Initiatives

To address the challenges we seek to resolve in Colombia and achieve positive impact through our work, we undertake several projects in different parts of the country. 



Joe Tohme

Managing Director, Americas, and Director, Crops for nutrition and health

Our offices in Colombia

Colombia - Regional Headquarters
Palmira Campus
Km 17 vía Cali – Palmira  
Palmira, Colombia  
Phone: +57 (602) 445 0117. Ext. 3117
Email: Carolina Rayo (

Carrera 8 No. 12 B-31 Piso 5 
Edificio Bancol  
Bogotá D.C, Colombia 
Phone: +57 312 874 4502 
Email: Carolina Rayo (

Talk To Us

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