Asia - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

Delivering Sustainable Food Systems in Asia and the Pacific

Penang, Malaysia, hosts the Alliance’s regional hub for Asia and the Pacific. 

Our operations in Asia and the Pacific contribute to our global work and mandate on harnessing agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transforming food systems amidst a climate crisis.  

Spanning most subregions in Asia and the Pacific, and covering multiple ecosystems, landscapes, needs, and economies, our Asia-based research team operates on a wide range of disciplines. 

By drawing on decades of experience working at global and local scales, our scientists are focusing on supporting food systems and landscapes at the country level, with a particular focus on finding short-to-medium-term integrated solutions that can drive impact and sustain the planet, drive prosperity and nourish people.

We use this capacity to support the Asia and the Pacific regions, helping local, national, and regional stakeholders, together with partners to address various urgent themes at the intersection of agriculture, nutrition, and the environment.

Our Work to Improve Food Systems in Asia and the Pacific

South Asia 

We work on key development priorities such as improving agrobiodiversity and value chains, as well as supporting landscapes and access to fruits and neglected and underutilized species in rural and ethnic communities. We have also run an extensive program supporting the identification and prioritization of contextually specific Climate-Smart Agriculture interventions, assisting the development of farmer field school curricula and helping to drive investment into the agriculture sector.  

Southeast Asia and China 

By designing more sustainable production & distribution systems with food systems approach, addressing forest degradation, and better soil management practices we improve healthy diets and the wellbeing of rural-urban communities, also fostering youth entrepreneurship and promoting climate action at various levels. 


Our work is enhancing nutrition and women and youth participation for island communities and streamlining policies towards better food system performance. In addition, we are also supporting the safeguarding and use of agricultural biodiversity. 

Central Asia/West Asia 

We are addressing environmental changes and de-risking farming and food systems, as tools to support and enhance critical livelihoods. What’s more, we are making strides in mainstreaming traditional fruit tree biodiversity to ensure food and nutrition security while restoring degraded environments. 

Selected Flagship Initiatives in Asia and the Pacific 

In Asia and the Pacific, we continuously work with partners to make critical contributions towards the SDGs and unlocking robust, science-based solutions. 

Throughout the years, we have made significant progress in the following thematic areas across the region: 

  • Climate action support 
  • Food environment 
  • Biodiversity for food and nutrition 
  • Agricultural biodiversity for resilience and restoration 
  • Landscape management and ecosystem restoration 
  • Sustainable crop and forage systems 

Our work is instrumental in delivering concrete actions in policy, capacity building, partnerships, livelihoods, and value chains at various levels across Asia. Through the ASEAN-CGIAR Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security Regional Programme, we are also able to engage relevant stakeholders in the agri-food sector of ASEAN member states to discuss national and regional needs for future food systems transformations. In parallel, we are also working with partners to develop a Pacific-CGIAR research strategy.

Explore the science we do in Asia and the Pacific

Discover how we are creating an impact in:

Where we work in Asia and the Pacific