Press and News Heifer International and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT Agree to Strengthen Collaboration, Empowering Smallholder Farmers

Heifer International and the Alliance have agreed to further their shared goals of empowering rural communities, alleviating hunger and poverty, and promoting sustainable agriculture.

The two organizations have worked together since 2014 to develop sustainable agricultural practices that benefit rural women, youth and farming communities worldwide. In a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the partners have established a framework for enhanced collaboration in research, development, capacity building and resource mobilization, to deliver impact to rural smallholder farmers.

“This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our journey toward a more sustainable and equitable future for rural communities,” said Surita Sandosham, CEO and President of Heifer International. “By combining our expertise and resources, we are poised to drive impactful change, fostering resilient agrifood systems, embracing digital innovation, and promoting sustainable practices.”

Through both research and operations, the MoU covers areas of joint technical program work focused on:

  • Building resilient agrifood systems and boosting climate-smart production, including efforts in crop diversification, agro-ecology and a regenerative approach to soil health, biodiversity and carbon sequestration, among others
  • System transformation for smallholders, including sustainable land and water resource management, accessible digital tools for farmers, and sustainable finance
  • Knowledge management, including impact measuring and modeling


Juan Lucas Restrepo - Director General of the Alliance - highlighted that “Together, we are embarking on a journey to work with rural communities to improve their lives by harnessing the power of science and innovation by co-creating solutions with and for smallholder farmers, improving livelihoods and food security, and contributing to building food systems that are inclusive, resilient, and respectful of our planet’s natural resources.” 

Heifer and the Alliance will jointly leverage their respective expertise and networks to access the necessary financial resources to fund joint programming.  

About Heifer International 

Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with more than 46 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way while caring for the Earth. Heifer currently operates in 19 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, supporting farmers and food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. For more information, visit: 


About the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT 

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. With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis. The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.  

Media Contacts: 

Leocadio Salmeron, Public Relations Manager, Heifer International 

[email protected], +1 404.398.8858