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ICARDA Strategy 2017 – 2026 Building on 40 Years of Dryland Research


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The new ICARDA Strategy 2017 – 2026 builds on forty years of past achievements, lessons learned and successful partnerships and investments at regional and global levels. The Strategy is aligned with the national development priorities of the countries we work in, the CGIAR Strategic Results Framework 2016-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda for 2030. The Strategy orients ICARDA’s research activities to find innovative and demand-driven solutions to guide sustainable development in drylands and to ensure that they have impact.

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ICARDA Strategy 2017 – 2026 Building on 40 Years of Dryland Research

  1. 1. Executive Committee Meeting of the Board of Trustees (revised 7th March 2017) ICARDA Strategy 2017 – 2026 Building on 40 Years of Dryland Research Andrew Noble Beirut 4th March, 2016
  2. 2. Several converging trends: • High population growth rates • Unsustainable land and water use, exacerbated by impacts of climate change are driving the resources degradation in drylands • Increasing food and nutritional insecurity; famine, poverty and poor diets • Demographic bulges of younger people entering job markets; land fragmentation • Loss of livelihoods leading to migration • Loss of traditional knowledge and cultural heritage GLOBAL DRIVERS OF CHANGE IN DRYLANDS Wider Development Context • Growth and Urbanization • Human Development • Political Crisis and Upheaval • Environmental Sustainability • Governance and Equity issues • Climate variability and change • Donors’ push for outcome based results • Dependency on pollinators in agricultural production
  3. 3. The Challenges The Risks The Opportunities Largest food importer globally, with more than 50% of the food consumed imported. Exposed to global grain market volatility. Social unrest and political instability. • Rainfed production systems in the region dominate; • Yield gap is significant and can be closed through improved agronomic practices. • 56% of population will be urbanized • High levels of unemployment (especially youth and in rural communities) – limited job and livelihood opportunities. • Governance and equity issues particularly affecting vulnerable groups (women and youth) • ‘Nine meals away from anarchy’. • Idleness and discontent leads to social unrest, migration, conflict and resurgence in extremism. • Gender inequity affects pace of overall societal development and economic growth • Capacity building and skills upgrade – focusing on efficiency, use of advanced technology, and profit • Generate new and better job opportunities in the agricultural service sectors, functional value chains and markets. • Rural urban interface – food and labor supply. • Empower women and young people. • The most water scarce region in the world. • Reallocation of water from agriculture. • Improve on-farm water productivity in irrigated and rainfed production systems. • Move to higher value products – protected agriculture, and organic farming • ‘New water’ – recycled and brackish water; desalination; water harvesting. • Diversification of farming systems and sources of incomes Climate change – will we be able to do agriculture in certain areas? A disruptor of economic growth particularly in the agricultural sector. Increased migration • Build resilient and profitable smallholder farming systems that are climate protected. • Alternative income streams for rural communities – renewable energy producers • Rich agrobiodiversity with inherent adaptive traits. Most unstable/volatile region Continuity of projects, accessibility of communities, brain drain • Increasing interest from the donor community to reduce push factors for migration Addressing Challenges in the MENA and Dryland region
  4. 4. 4 Our Vision Tag line: Science-based solutions for thriving and resilient drylands. We envision thriving and resilient livelihoods in dryland communities of the developing world with robust incomes, secure access to food, markets, nutrition and health, and the capacity to manage natural resources in equitable, sustainable, innovative ways.
  5. 5. 5 Our Mission Tag line: To reduce poverty, food and nutritional insecurity and environmental degradation in the face of climate change. We seek to provide innovative science-based solutions for improving the livelihoods and resilience of the resource-poor in non-tropical drylands in order to reduce poverty, enhance food, nutrition, and water security, through the sustainable management of natural resources in the face of climate change. We do this through cutting-edge science, strategic partnerships and capacity development for inclusive and equitable growth.
  6. 6. SDGsCGIAR SLOs OURRESEARCH 5 SRATEGIC RESEARCH PRIORITIES (SRP) 4 CROSS- CUTTING THEMES (CCT) SRP2. Improved and resilient crops for greater food security in face of climate variability and change and market volatilities. SRP3. Develop integrated drylands farming systems for improved and resilient livelihoods. SRP5: Support sustainable use and management of water and land resources in drylands. SRP1. Preserve, protect and utilize agricultural biodiversity in order to meet future climates and market related challenges. REDUCED POVERTY FOOD & NUTRITION SECURITY SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Gender Equity and Youth Big Data & ICT Taking Research to Scale – Partnerships for Impact SRP4. Support the establishment of functional value chains and viable off- farm activities for diversified incomes and improved livelihoods in drylands. Capacity Development
  7. 7. 7 Science Strengths • Unique collections of wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, faba bean, grass pea and forage genetic resources and rhizobia • Key contributor to global germplasm conservation • Small ruminant genetics and expertise and breeding programs using local indigenous species • Develop improved germplasm to meet farmer and market needs, with resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, with quality and nutritional attributes • Water harvesting in dry areas and on-farm water management • Integrated Systems research capacity • Integrated farming systems for the dry regions – we have all the elements in one decentralized Centre • GIS / RS skills and capacity • Biometrics and Statistics support, innovations and knowledge sharing • On-farm research that allows a deeper understanding of the challenges, and enable us to offer adoptable solutions to prevalent problem • Farming with alternative pollinators (FAP). Leveraging our strengths and comparative advantage
  8. 8. 8 Organizational Strengths • Close and enduring partnerships with wide network of NARS • Capacity building of national agricultural research systems and training of students, scientists and professionals • Experience of working in fragile states and post- conflict reconstruction of the agricultural sector • Decentralized structure that makes us nimble and effective by conducting research where it matters the most Leveraging our strengths and comparative advantage
  9. 9. • Re-structure programs in line with new ICARDA strategic objectives • Optimize current and develop new physical infrastructure • Strengthen result-based performance management through establishment of MEL platform • Build an integrated technology environment • Build skills and leadership development • Recognize and reward scientific excellence • Recruit and retain highly talented, engaged and diverse staff • Enhance communication effectiveness, knowledge sharing and accountability • Achieve operational efficiencies • Generate stable and increased revenue • Align resource mobilization with strategic priorities • Expand donor base and implement alternative funding mechanisms and revenue streams • Foster research excellence and innovation • Focus on functional agri-food systems • Closing the yield gap and accelerating genetic gains • Focus the value chains and core commodities i.e. wheat, barley, lentil, faba bean, kabuli chickpea, small ruminants. • Enhance investments in pre-breeding • Enhance agronomy skills • Tackle key futuristic challenges (i.e.4 Degree World). • Aligned with CGIAR SRF and SDGs Innovation and scientific excellence Financial health and stability Fit-for purpose organization structure Enable our people New ICARDA Business Model
  10. 10. 10 • Responding to current and future challenges in drylands of the developing world, and in particular ICARDA’s traditional sphere of operation in the MENA region – the global challenges are manifested in the MENA • Responding to NARS needs and priorities that emerged from consultations • Consultation with staff. • Alignment with CGIAR SRF and SDG Agenda • Activities likely to produce greatest impact • Leveraging ICARDA’s strengths and comparative advantages. • What is core to our business and needs to be retained at all costs. • The new futuristic challenges: – Our and partner comparative advantage. – Key to challenges that the region/global – climate change, water scarcity, value chains – key to job creation. How did we arrive at these research priorities
  11. 11. • Enriching our collections with novel diversity through gap filling and adaptive traits targeting collecting. • Pre-breeding - adaptive genes from wild relative for a 4°C warmer World in our mandated crops – “climate smart crops”. • Selection of climate change adapted strains of rhizobium and endophytes. • Genomics of small ruminants and food crops a tool for understanding heat and cold tolerance – building “climate resilient” small ruminants. • Precision feeding and flock / herd reproductive management and plant germplasm. • Creating functional value chains for durum, barley, pulses and small ruminants – job creation and targeting markets. • The Options x Context in sustainable land management – decision supporting tool. • Protected agriculture a key element in addressing water scarcity – full self sustaining systems producing high value crops – Sundrop systems. • Sequential biological concentration – adding value to marginal quality water – developing value chains for saline irrigation drainage waters. Farming with alternative pollinators. Science and innovation Innovation for the future – what is new?
  12. 12. Strategic Research Priorities Focus: Identifying and introgressing novel genes into breeding programs adapted to the agro-ecologies of dry areas, future climates and markets. Key research activities • Collect, conserve and distribute genetic resources. • Reconstruction of the active and base collections; Reconstruction of rhizobium collection. • Promoting the use of genetic resources through mining for desirable traits using improved Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS development). • Pre-breeding - introgression of adaptive genes from wild relative species and genotyping of accessions in order to identify sources of resistance to emerging needs (a 4°C World), new allelic variation and QTLs. • Precision phenotyping for target traits. • Super nitrogen fixing legumes – selection of adapted strains of rhizobium and endophytes. • Application of the Next-Generation sequencing technologies for development of additional genomic and genetic tools and information for the ICARDA mandated crops. • Build One Global Wheat Program • Farming with alternative pollinators. Science and innovation SRP1. Preserve, protect and utilize agricultural biodiversity in drylands in order to meet future climate and market related challenges
  13. 13. Strategic Research Priorities SRP2. Improved and resilient crops for greater food security in face of climate variability and change and market volatilities Focus: Improved germplasm for current and emerging biophysical constraints and markets adapted to the agro-ecologies of dry areas and future climates. Key research activities • Widening the genetic base through introgression of new variability (from SRO1) to ensure yield stability, quality and nutritional attributes i.e. heat and drought tolerance; biotic and abiotic stress linked to climate change (CIMMYT and ICRISAT), rationalization of test environments. • Development of combined resistance to existing and emerging pests and diseases. • Study mechanisms of resistances for key pests of cereals and food legumes. • Addressing the yield gap through genetic gain in rainfed and irrigation systems. • Characterize and classify production environments for the target crops/varieties through multi-environment trials • Accelerating genetic gains through precision breeding • Development of genetic stocks such as association panels, mapping populations, TILLING, NAM and MAGIC populations. • Distribution of elite germplasm to NARS through International nurseries. Science and innovation
  14. 14. Strategic Research Priorities SRP3. Develop integrated drylands farming systems for improved and resilient livelihoods Focus: Integrated, mixed, multi-enterprise landuse systems adapted to key dryland agro-ecologies (rainfed, agro-pastoral and irrigated) and markets Key research activities • Development of integrated crop-legumes-livestock systems and carbon neutral systems. • Genomics to make SR breeding programs more efficient – heat and cold tolerance. • Focus on agronomy and land resources management in rainfed systems. • Camel production systems and added value of camel products – value chain of camel products. • Sheep fattening systems and precision feeding. • The Options x Context methodology to target scaling and geo-informatics targeting. • Community based breeding programs. • Low cost machinery in conservation agriculture system. • Rangeland management and agro-forestry systems. • Efficient management and use of water resources to support the various landuse, and eco-systems, and livelihoods Science and innovation
  15. 15. Strategic Research Priorities SRP4: Support the establishment of functional value chains and viable off-farm activities for diversified incomes and improved agricultural systems livelihoods in drylands. Focus: Support development and establishment of multi-enterprise farming systems in key dryland agro-ecologies and associated markets Key research activities • Monitoring and evaluation for investment programs. • Multi criteria assessment (Environment – economic – equity) of technologies within systems. • Creating service sector. Shift to mechanization – novel service delivery systems. Building manufacturing capacity to produce inexpensive machines. • Creating functional value chains for durum, barley, legumes and small ruminants. Evaluation of new markets – Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Novel policies and creation of enabling environments. Science and innovation
  16. 16. Focus: Enhance water and land productivity in key dryland agro-ecologies (rainfed, irrigated and agro- pastoral) and associated markets. Key research activities • In situ storage of water in rainfed systems and rangelands. • On-farm irrigation water use efficiency and nutrient use efficiency. • Safe use of treated waste water – urban-rural interface. • Quantification and measurement of ET in irrigated and rainfed systems. • Carbon sequestration in rainfed systems – understanding the dynamics and deep storage in soils. • Rehabilitation of degraded soils – salinization, erosion. • New water - fog, aquifer recharge, conjunctive use of saline and fresh water. • Landscape modification in the rangelands – rehabilitation of degraded systems. • Protected agriculture a key element in addressing water scarcity - Sundrop. • Sequential biological concentration – making a profit out of saline water • Understanding water balances – establishing thresholds, and developing decision making tools for effective management and use of different water sources including groundwater mapping, conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources, etc. • Water-food-energy nexus SRP5: Support sustainable use and management of water and land resources in drylands. Strategic Research Priorities Science and innovation
  17. 17. Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Gender Equity and Youth Big Data and ICT Cross-cutting Priorities Capacity Development
  18. 18. 18 Organizational Goal 1. ICARDA becomes recognized as world-class leader and source of agricultural research and science-based solutions for drylands Our Picture of Success • Leading think-tank in dryland agricultural science fostering scientific rigor and research excellence • Shaper of critical debates and policies, nationally and globally, on science-based agricultural development in drylands • Provider of a unique suite of science-based tools, products and flagships publications • Improved global positioning through refreshed ICARDA brand, higher visibility and increased communication of research results
  19. 19. 19 Organizational Goal 2. ICARDA research outputs are delivered strategically to key stakeholders invested in transforming agriculture and development in drylands Our Picture of Success • Rapid uptake of new research knowledge and cutting-edge technologies and innovations • Build strategic partnerships and pursue opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration both internally and externally • Engage in national, regional and global fora and opportunities to enhance outreach and impact of research, and build skills and capacities • Identify, promote and advocate for agricultural science-based solutions to address key development challenges in vulnerable dryland communities
  20. 20. 20 Measuring our Success – the HOW 1. ICARDA's work falls under 4 CRPs and 3 platforms, we will select from the pool of CRP indicators that are most applicable to ICARDA's research priorities. 2. Since CGIAR SRF is aligned with SDGs, we will also consider SDG related indicators and refer to their related targets to 2020 to extrapolate ours. 3. For niche ICARDA research activities that fall outside the CGIAR SRF, we will consider relevant indicators and targets used by partners or donors who support us in this area or do similar work. 4. We will use the MEL platform to support a streamlined results-based management process that links planning, implementation and reporting with performance and results.
  21. 21. 21 Business Development Unit (BDU) – Ensuring Impact GENERATING INCOME STREAMS • Establish a consultancy arm/ Undertake a comprehensive assessment of possible business models/incubators • Seed delivery to small holder farmers – establish in partnership with public/private sector commercial seed enterprises i.e. SeedCo. Explore with CIMMYT the potential to become a global wheat seed provider. • Become producers of breeder seed and certified seed for sale and distribution to commercial seed companies. • Explore the possibility of developing a M&E enterprise based on the MEL systems – providing services to CGIAR centres and CRPs already but expand i.e. IFAD and WFP. • Develop a breeding flock of superior rams and ewes based on the combined Awassi flock at Terbol. Explore possibilities of providing superior and elite genetic material through semen and embryo transfer. • Secure a patent on the raised bed machine with the ARC, Egypt and move into a joint venture with the manufacturer to build machines for North African and Sub-Saharan Africa • Offer advisory/consultancy/training services to big private agricultural businesses on water conservation, water crop requirement, using different qualities of water, IPM, GIS and RS information, and other studies
  22. 22. Thank you