Crops for nutrition and health


Unhealthy diets are among the main factors contributing to the triple burden of malnutrition, which is affecting the health and wellbeing of billions of people. 

Our global work on crop improvement addresses this challenge with tangible, science-based, and holistic solutions – at the nexus between agriculture, the environment, and nutrition.

Building on our extensive experience using advanced technologies to breed a diverse range of crops, as well as on our work on participatory approaches, our team of scientists designs country-specific crop improvement solutions.

Working with multi-sector partners, we also co-develop lean and adaptable seed systems and innovation platforms, ensuring prompt access to improved cultivars and crop management methods to farmers.

The benefits of crop improvement

With our work on crop improvement, we make tangible contributions to the prosperity, resilience, and nutrition security of vulnerable individuals globally

Through a wide range of initiatives spanning the enhancement of key staples through biofortification; the integration of gender-responsive participatory elements into crop improvement; and the use of precision breeding, we are building innovative linkages between consumers, plant breeders, nutritionists, and health specialists. 

By prioritizing cassava, common beans, tropical forages, and rice, and by spearheading their integration into production systems, we are driving climate change resilience, ensuring better ecosystem services, improved nutrition, more income, and health. 

Leveraging our genebanks to foster crop improvement

The research work we deliver in close collaboration with our two genebanks in Leuven (Belgium) and Palmira (Colombia), attracts investments and creates new, green jobs along the commodity value chain. 

In particular, through the close collaboration between our genebank and crop programs, we identify and develop crop varieties that are more nutritious, climate-resilient, and high-yielding. 

Further, the new digital genebank component of Future Seeds adds actionable insights to our genebank collection, enabling the data-driven use of conserved germplasm.
Learn more about our genebanks here


The Biofortificados program of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) seeks to contribute to the improvement of food and nutritional security of the population through the planting, harvesting and consumption of biofortified crops and foods. We join the global effort to defeat hidden hunger.

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Tools and Innovations

Methods and breakthrough achievements.