2018 was a tough year. Seemingly every day another headline appeared in the international news media on the increasing urgency of the climate change or biodiversity loss emergencies. When the newspapers were not talking about the planet’s increasingly fragile health, human health came under the spotlight, in particular the rise of diet-related illnesses and premature deaths. It’s easy to get despondent at what appears to be a lack of policies and action to tackle these problems.
So I am going to buck the trend and serve up some good news – a hero of the hour has arrived to save the day! Biodiversity can provide the tools and pathways to get us out of trouble, to a safe operating space for humanity. By eating it and planting it, we not only improve dietary diversity for people, but also the health of the farming systems that provide food and income security for millions of people around the world. The even better news? By using more of it in diets, markets and production systems, we will safeguard it for the future.
Today’s global challenges of poverty, malnutrition, climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity loss call for new solutions, innovations, and stronger partnerships that can deliver higher impact.
To respond to these challenges, and building on their complementary mandates and long collaboration, in 2018, Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) committed to joining forces to create an Alliance.
Healthy diets from sustainable food systems
Productive and resilient farms, forests and landscapes
Effective genetic resources conservation and use
In the research highlights section of the Annual Report, you will find stories based on scientific papers and tools produced by Bioversity International scientists working with partners.
These highlights represent just a small selection of the 145 papers produced in 2018.
Bioversity International works with partners around the world including a wide range of funders and research partners who share our vision and mission to deliver scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security.
Bioversity International is proud to be a CGIAR Research Centre. Supported by CGIAR Trust Fund members and in close collaboration with the other 14 CGIAR Centres and hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector, in 2018 Bioversity International participated in:
- Three Agri-Food System CGIAR Research Programs (Forests, Trees and Agroforestry; Grains, Legumes and Dryland Cereals; and Roots, Tubers and Bananas)
- Four Global Integrating Programs (Agriculture for Nutrition and Health; Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security; Policies, Institutions and Markets; and Water, Land and Ecosystems)
- Two Research Support Platforms (Genebank Platform; and Platform for Big Data in Agriculture)
We thank all of our partners for their critical and continued support.
In 2018, total revenue was US$30.5 million and expenditure $32.3 million, resulting in a deficit of $1.6 million. This deficit was purposefully incurred as part of the 3-year development plan for the period 2017–2019, which applied reserves to invest in the growth of Bioversity International by incurring operational deficits in those three years. 2020 will be planned and managed to result in a breakeven position. Despite the deficit recorded, operational reserves remain at a healthy level, equivalent of 127 days of average expenditure, well above the minimum target of 90 days set by the Board of Trustees. This application of reserves has allowed strategic maintenance or increase in staff capacity in key areas, and to shift the income portfolio to increase financial resilience.
For more information, download our 2018 Financial Statements
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias
M. Ann Tutwiler
Douglas van den Aardweg
Bioversity International created a UK registered charity (no. 1131854) in October 2008 to increase awareness and support for its research agenda and activities. Bioversity International UK is governed by an independent Board of Trustees:
Trish Malloch Brown
M. Ann Tutwiler
Doug van den Aardweg
Bioversity International USA, Inc aims to engage and inspire a wide range of partners and donors to ensure that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet. It is led by a committed and highly regarded Board of Trustees:
M. Ann Tutwiler
Trish Malloch Brown
Writing: Carlo Angelico, Nora Capozio, Jeremy Cherfas, Samantha Collins, with contributions from many of our scientists
Contributors: Maria Garruccio, Annie Huie, Allison Poulos, Consuelo Tenente
Design: Pablo Gallo
Project Manager: Nora Capozio
A case study from Indonesia applies a five-step approach to incorporate nutrition into food value chains and so diversify diets, improve diet quality and increase smallholder incomes.
A value chain is the entire network of stakeholders and activities that provide our food, from farm to fork, adding value along the way – for example, through trading or processing. It includes producers, processors, traders and consumers. In recent years governments and development partners have invested in value chain development as part of more comprehensive development strategies. A traditional value chain project for smallholder producers links smallholders to markets to increase production and incomes. Nutrition-sensitive value chains have an extra function – to improve nutrition in a given population by shaping the value chain to address constraints and opportunities around supply, demand and nutrition value.
Drawing on experience from the field, staff from Bioversity International and IFAD worked together to develop a guide on how to design value chains that seek to improve nutrition and increase incomes of producers and other value chain actors, as well as paying attention to environmental sustainability, climate change and women’s empowerment. The results are found in a new two-volume publication – Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains: A Guide for Project Design which sets out this five-step approach:
Researchers* followed the five step process in Indonesia’s Maluku and North Maluku provinces – detailed below.
*SNV-Indonesia and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) worked with local partners to undertake the study.
In these provinces malnutrition rates are high and diet quality is poor. Diets tend to be based around a limited number of foods that provide inadequate levels of energy, micronutrients and protein. 40% of children between 0-2 years are chronically malnourished, or stunted. Women are also vulnerable and undernutrition contributes to poor pregnancy outcomes.
Challenges also vary by season and location. For example, especially during the rainy season, inland villages lack access to fresh fish, while coastal fishing villages lack a regular supply of fresh agricultural produce. Poor hygiene facilities and practices – for example, open defecation – lead to unsafe water and food, contributing to higher levels of disease.
Researchers used criteria to identify which commodities could meet nutritional needs and also make business sense. For example, would they add to local dietary diversity? Could production be scaled up?
They also analyzed the policy environment, local climatic and agronomic conditions, and the involvement of women in production, processing and marketing. Researchers initially identified 66 potential commodities that could meet nutrition needs.
They then applied additional criteria of potential market demand, income generation, environmental sustainability and women’s empowerment, after which they prioritized six commodities for more in-depth value chain analyses: cassava, fish, spinach, bananas, sweet potato and maize.
Researchers identified fish as one of the potential entry points to make value chains more nutrition sensitive in both provinces. It is high in protein, rich in several micronutrients – for example, Vitamin A – and already a familiar part of local diets. Fishing is the main occupation in many coastal villages – up to 50% of income is earned from tuna fishing in some cases.
The fish value chain
- Various fish species and varieties exist, and some, for example tuna, are available all year round
- Fish is commonly consumed, including inland and by the poor
- Fisher federations already have links to buyers and experience with quality standards and fixed-price contracts
- Some processing facilities are available.
- Declining fish catches
- Availability – anchovy catches seem to be declining; fish catches in general decline during the rainy season, limiting supply and increasing prices particularly for inland villages
- Fishers and value chain actors have poor access to equipment, e.g. lack of nets and functioning motorboats, and lack of a cold chain to extend shelf life.
The analysis suggests interventions to support the development of a nutrition-sensitive value chain for fish could include:
- Upgrade fishing boats to enable more offshore fishing and access to more and different varieties of fish
- Reduce ocean pollution and maintain ecosystems for sustainable fish catches through environmentally friendly methods
- Improve the use of by-products and waste, e.g. generate income through generation of fish feed
- Develop a cold chain to reduce waste and loss, and improve food safety.
- Develop processed products that can extend shelf life and reach new markets, e.g. snacks for village markets and schools, and increase supply to inland villages during the rainy season
- Integrate awareness of the nutritional value of fish into villages and national nutrition programmes.
With this approach, the concept of value chain development is broadened to include nutrition value, not just economic value. Value chains for nutrition begin with focusing on meeting consumers’ nutritional needs, not just supplying the market, and by developing multiple value chains.
Projects that focus on nutrition-sensitive value chains can make a variety of healthier choices available and accessible in the market. It is a more robust way to address nutrition problems than focusing solely on one commodity.
The information in the guide and other publications is relevant for governments, NGOs, civil society, the private sector and development agencies working in agriculture, food systems, nutrition and rural development, as they strive to make agriculture and food systems more sustainable and capable of addressing the nutrition challenges of today.
Nutrition-sensitive Value Chains From a Smallholder Perspective: a Framework for Project Design | Download
Country Case Studies
Developing Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains in Indonesia | Download
Developing Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains in Nigeria | Download
Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains: A Guide for Project Design – Volume One
de la Peña; I.; Garrett, J. (2018). Nutrition-sensitive value chains: A guide for project design. Volume I. Rome (Italy): IFAD 85 p. ISBN: 978-92-9072-769-9
Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains: A Guide for Project Design – Volume Two
de la Peña, I.; Garrett, J. (2018). Nutrition-sensitive value chains: A guide for project design. Volumes II: Resources. Rome (Italy); IFAD 96 p. ISBN: 978-92-9072-865-8
Nutrition-sensitive Value Chains From a Smallholder Perspective: a Framework for Project Design
De la Peña, I.; Garrett, J.; Gelli, A. (2018). Nutrition-sensitive value chains from a smallholder perspective: A framework for project design. IFAD Research Series Issue 30, 51 p. ISBN: 978-92-9072-853-5
Developing Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains in Indonesia
Chakrabarti, S.; de la Peña, I.; Garrett, J. (2018). Developing nutrition-sensitive value chains in Indonesia. Findings from IFAD research for development. Rome, Italy: IFAD, 22 p. ISBN: 978-92-9072-802-3
Developing Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chains in Nigeria
Chakrabarti, S.; de la Peña, I.; Garrett, J. (2018). Developing nutrition-sensitive value chains in Nigeria. Rome (Italy): IFAD 28 p. ISBN: 978-92-9072-814-6
This work was carried out as part of the project 'Support of development of nutrition-sensitive value chains in middle-income countries,' undertaken by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It was conducted as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and is supported by contributors to the CGIAR Trust Fund. Bioversity International is an A4NH Managing Partner.
Principal funding was provided by the Government of Germany, with complementary funding from the Government of Canada.