Biotech Updates

CGIAR Highlights East Timor in Efforts to Achieve Food Security

November 6, 2009

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a strategic alliance of members, partners, and 15 international agricultural research centers that mobilizes science to benefit the poor, featured the Seeds of Life initiative in its November website feature to illustrate East Timor's experience as an "instructive microcosm of global efforts to achieve food security." CGIAR notes that the initiative to boost food production highlights the potential of research to strengthen food security even in a country facing post-conflict problems. 

The program helped introduce improved germplasm of East Timor's five most important staple crops – maize, peanut, rice, cassava and sweetpotato from CGIAR Centers that provided materials from countries with similar agroecologies. It also established a system for evaluating and disseminating new crop cultivars to ensure their relevance and sustainability. Farmers were involved in participatory evaluation of new cultivars in close collaboration with nongovernment organizations.

View the CGIAR feature article at