Press and News DOST signs MOU with Alliance Bioversity and CIAT to bolster science, technology, and innovation for agriculture development and food security

DOST signs MOU with Alliance Bioversity and CIAT to bolster science, technology, and innovation for agriculture development and food security

PALMIRA, COLOMBIA — The Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines (DOST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), forging stronger partnerships to jointly deliver science, technology, and innovation-based solutions on pressing agricultural challenges in the Philippines. 

The new Understanding reaffirms both institutions' commitment to accelerate an evidence-informed approach in addressing the interconnected crises in climate change, food security, malnutrition, and biodiversity loss by aligning the Alliance’s research agenda with the Department’s key priorities in agriculture and food systems transformation. The DOST and the Alliance look forward to implement joint initiatives through possible collaborative research and development, capacity building activities, exchange of experts and scientists for research studies, and holding of joint conferences, symposia, and workshops.  

In its two-day visit in the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT in Palmira, the DOST delegation led by DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr. met with the Alliance’s Managing Director for the Americas and CIAT’s Director General Joseph Tohme and Alliance Associate Director General, Research Strategy, and Innovation Marcela Quintero as well as several leaders across the center’s various programs in biotechnology, climate action, genebank, cassava, rice, and tropical forages, among others. The Palmira campus hosts the Alliance’s groundbreaking genebank, Future Seeds, which enables data-driven deployment and conservation of crop diversity through genomics, digital phenotyping, and information technologies. 

“At the core of it all, all we want is a better future for our people and the environment. In line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, we wish to contribute significantly to SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. And this is what we envision our partnership with the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT to revolve around,” DOST Sec. Solidum said. 

The Secretary is joined by DOST Undersecretary Leah J. Buendia, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora, DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Enrico C. Paringit, DOST-FNRI Director and Scientist Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, and Project Technical Specialist Karen Lou S. Mabagos. 

Transforming agriculture in the Philippines

The Alliance's Philippine Office (based in Los Baños, Laguna) is actively collaborating with various stakeholders and partners in the Philippines to contribute to the overall work on climate-resilient agriculture and sustainable food systems. 

By working closer together, the Alliance and the DOST can define pathways to achieve sustainable agriculture, food security, and environmental conservation in the Philippines. This cooperation allows for a more strategic exchange of expertise and opportunities to build the capacity of Filipinos in the field of agriculture and food systems within the context of a climate crisis. Strengthening this partnership ensures that the two organizations are working towards enhancing the current research portfolio in food systems transformation in the country, while maximizing convergence opportunities for joint undertakings in knowledge and information sharing, and access to experimental fields and facilities. 

Stephan Weise, Managing Director for Asia of the Alliance said, “we are proud to contribute to the Philippines’ national agenda on agricultural development and food and nutrition security through this partnership with DOST. This allows us to build on our existing portfolio and at the same time, respond to arising needs to achieve development outcomes in the agriculture and environment sectors through science and technology.”  

The MOU formalizes the partnership between DOST and the Alliance starting 2023. 

Meet the Team

Note for editors: 

About the Alliance

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. 

The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. 

About CGIAR 

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to transforming food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. Its research is carried out by 13 CGIAR Centers/Alliances in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector. 

We would like to thank all Funders who support this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund

About DOST 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is the primary science and technology body of the government of the Philippines. It shall provide central direction, leadership and coordination of scientific and technological efforts and ensure that their results therefrom are geared and utilized in areas of maximum economic and social benefits for the people. 

Media contacts: 

Ysabel Anne Lee ([email protected]), Communications Officer in Asia, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT 

Karen Lou Mabagos ([email protected]), Project Technical Specialist V, DOST