The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) gratefully acknowledges the countries, organizations, partners and individuals that supported its agricultural research for development in 2019. We also thank all funders that support this work through their contributions to the CGIAR System.


CGIAR Research Programs and Platforms, through contributions from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, India, Ireland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the World Bank

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER)

Cornell University, through contributions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

HarvestPlus, through contributions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, the European Commission, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Feed the Future initiative) 

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Walmart Foundation

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)


CIMMYT concluded the 2019 financial year with an overall deficit of US$1.8 million, compared to a surplus of US$0.9 million in 2018. Total grant income decreased by 11.6%, from US$119.7 million in 2018 to US$105.8 million in 2019.

In 2019, a reduction in bilateral funding and cautious research spending led to lower indirect cost recovery than expected. This lower indirect recovery, in combination with several crucial investments in institutional functions, the effect of actuarial losses as a result of lower interest rates, and financing costs related to employee termination provisions, were large contributing factors to this deficit. However, through mitigation and adaptation to major funding cuts, CIMMYT has successfully limited the operating loss to only US$1.1 million.

For 2019, CIMMYT maintained a strong CGIAR Research Program Windows 1, 2 & 3 funding portfolio within a complex environment. At the time of preparing this report, COVID-19 is impacting the global landscape in which CIMMYT operates. Working within these boundaries, CIMMYT and its partners will continue to deliver on research-for-development commitments, while closely monitoring the financial impact of the crisis throughout 2020, as part of the risk management framework.

CIMMYT’s 2020 grant portfolio is strong and increasing, and funders have been outspoken in their ongoing support and acknowledgment of CIMMYT’s impact and its support to the One CGIAR transformation process.

Strong financial health, built up conservatively over previous years, will support CIMMYT to overcome this challenging period and will allow the organization to continue operating to support the 500 million smallholder farmers worldwide with incomes of less than two dollars a day.

© 2020 International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
We would like to thank all funders who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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Rodrigo Ordóñez, Geneviève Renard
Project coordination
Alison Doody, Emma Orchardson
Art directors
Clyde R. Beaver III, Alfonso Cortés, Nancy Valtierra
Layout and design
Nancy Valtierra
Web development
Ricardo López
Graphics and illustrations
Ángel Eduardo Aguilar, Clyde R. Beaver III, Alfonso Cortés, Marcelo Ortiz, Eliot Sánchez,
Nancy Valtierra
Writers and editors
Ricardo Curiel, Leslie Domínguez, Mary Donovan, Alison Doody, Jennifer Johnson, G. Michael Listman, Marcia MacNeil, Marta Millere, Matthew O’Leary, Emma Orchardson, Samuel Storr
Ricardo Ampudia, Lone Badstue, Hans Braun, Johanna Braun, José Juan Caballero Flores, Denise Costich, Susanne Dreisigacker, Andrea Gardeazabal Monsalue, Elias Garcia, Bram Govaerts, Filippo Guzzon, Jesús Herrera, M.L. Jat, Victor Kommerell, Timothy J. Krupnik, Jean-Flavien Le Besque, Joshua Masinde, Terence Molnar, Dina Najjar, Natalia Palacios, Thomas Payne, Kevin Pixley, B.M. Prasanna, Michael Quinn, Rajiv Kumar Sharma, H.S. Sidhu, José Luis Torres, Martha Wilcox, MAIZE Independent Steering Committee (ISC), WHEAT Independent Steering Committee (ISC)
Alfonso Cortés, Georg Goergen/IITA, Uttam Kumar, Peter Lowe, Johnson Siamachira, Love Kumar Singh/BISA, Sam Storr, CIMMYT Archives
Correct citation
CIMMYT. 2020. Seeds of change. CIMMYT Annual Report 2019. CDMX, Mexico: CIMMYT.
AGROVOC descriptors:
Maize; Wheat; Plant breeding; Genetic resources; Innovation adoption; Plant biotechnology; Seed production; Food security; Sustainability; Research policies; Economic analysis; Cropping systems; Agricultural research; Organization of research; Developing countries. Additional Keywords: CIMMYT. AGRIS category codes: A50 Agricultural Research; A01 Agriculture– General Aspects. Dewey decimal classification: 630

© International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), 2020. All rights reserved. The designations employed in the presentation of materials in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of CIMMYT or its contributory organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. CIMMYT encourages fair use of this material. Proper citation is requested.


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation (Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria)
Agricultural Transformation Agency
Borlaug Institute in South Asia
Breeding Advanced Programming Interface
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security
International Center for Tropical Agriculture
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
CGIAR Research Program
Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia
Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform
Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
International Food Policy Research Institute
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
International Institute for Tropical Agriculture
Mexico's National Forestry, Crops and Livestock Research Institute (Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias)
International Rice Research Institute
CGIAR Research Program on Maize
Middle East and North Africa
Millennium Development Goals
Open Data Kit
Open-pollinated variety
Polyethylene terephthalate
CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets
Research and Development
Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (Secretaría de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural)
Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Straw Management System
Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa
Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics
United Nations
United States Agency for International Development
CGIAR Research Program on Wheat

Sustainable Development Goals

On September 24, 2013, the newly formed United Nations (UN) High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held its first meeting. At the Rio+20 Conference, Member States also agreed to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were to build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were established in 2000 and expired in 2015.

Of the 17 individual goals, 10 relate directly to CGIAR activities and to CIMMYT’s mandate. The SDGs have set the pathway for the next 15 years of agricultural, social, and economic development. Likewise, CGIAR has transformed its approach to ensure that its work aligns with the ambitious goals.

CIMMYT, through its research for development activities, is working toward a world free of poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation. CIMMYT and CGIAR efforts help bring the world closer to reaching the goals, such as the empowerment of women, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the improvement of health and nutrition for the world’s poorest people.

CIMMYT’s work contributes to the following SDGs:


CIMMYT — the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center — is the global leader in publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. Headquartered near Mexico City, CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR System and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat and the Excellence in Breeding Platform. The Center receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.

For more information, visit