Genetic Resource Policies for the Poor

Fundamental changes are occurring today in the way farmers, plant breeders, molecular biologists, and genebank managers use genetic resources. IFPRI’s research on genetic resource policies focuses on understanding these changes and on developing policies to promote sustainable management of agricultural biodiversity by enhancing poor farmers’ access to diverse crop genetic resources. This program aims to better manage biodiversity and enhance agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods.

The sustainable management of crop genetic resources ensures the viability of crop production, particularly under increasingly changing climatic and biotic constraints, while contributing to food security, supporting income generation, and enhancing diet diversity and thus improved nutrition. Managing genetic resources is the basis of all CGIAR national agricultural research systems’ crop maintenance, characterization, and enhancement programs. IFPRI’s Genetic Resources Policies research addresses the institute’s strategic focus area “Enhancing Pro-poor Food and Agriculture System Innovations” by addressing science and technology policies and innovations.

Regarding biodiversity, IFPRI’s objective is to identify mechanisms and develop methods and tools to support cost-effective conservation approaches ex situ and in situ. As for biotechnology, IFPRI’s research emphasizes the development and validation of “best practices” for economic and social impact assessment methods of genetically engineered crop varieties in smallholder farming systems.