CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, is a public establishment (EPIC) under the joint authority of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
Its activities concern the life sciences, social sciences and engineering sciences, applied to agriculture, the environment and territorial management.
Its work centres on several main topics: food security, climate change, natural resource management, reduction of inequalities and poverty alleviation.
CIRAD works with its partners in southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural development. It puts its scientific and institutional expertise at the disposal of policymakers in those countries and global debates on the main issues concerning agriculture. It also supports French scientific diplomacy operations.
Development through research
CIRAD has one main objective: to build sustainable farming systems capable of feeding ten billion human beings by 2050 while preserving the environment.
It considers that to develop long term and draft appropriate public policies, societies have to participate in generating the knowledge they need. That development through research relies on the ability of the countries concerned to build a suitable higher education and research system that is supported by the authorities but remains independent.
On a local and a global level, through its long-term partnerships, it contributes to the development of farming systems that benefit all, and particularly smallholders, who make up the majority of farmers.
In this way, it responds to the global challenges of food security and climate change, and also the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris agreement on climate change.
Training and knowledge sharing
Training, dissemination of information and knowledge and innovation sharing naturally complement agricultural CIRAD's research mandate by giving its partners and development players the means to make the choices incumbent upon them.
Diploma and vocational training in southern countries is an essential part of this, and relies on a commitment on the part of each and every researcher.
CIRAD is also a major player in talks between Europe and the South. It belongs to numerous European and international networks, and facilitates access for its partners in the South to EU programmes and their involvement in international scientific cooperation networks.
CIRAD has a network of partners on three continents, and of regional offices, from which it works with more than 100 countries. Its long-term partnership strategy centres on platforms in partnership for research and training (dPs), associating 200 organizations in southern countries, to which 200 of its researchers are assigned (50% in Africa, 25% in Asia and 25% in South America).
In France, it provides the national and global scientific communities with extensive research and training facilities, primarily in Montpellier and the French overseas regions.
CIRAD is a member of two French consortiums: Agreenium/IAVFF, Montpellier University of Excellence (ISITE MUSE) and several national research alliances: AllEnvi, Aviesan and ANCRE.
CIRAD in figures
- A staff of 1650, including 800 researchers.
- Joint operations with more than 100 countries and 200 organizations.
- Three scientific departments: Biological Systems (BIOS), Performance of Tropical Production and Processing Systems (PERSYST), and Environment and Societies (ES).
- 33 research units.
- 14 regional offices throughout the world.
- Some 20 collective research Tools open to partners from the South and from Europe.
- Almost 5 million euros spent on PhD courses.
- More than 400 PhD students supervised each year, 60% of them from southern countries.
- International Masters courses set up with grandes écoles or universities in the South.
- 800 researchers and technicians from all over the world received and trained each year.
- An annual budget of 200 million euros in 2016.