Promoting international agricultural research by placing experts

Project description

Title: PIAF - Human Resources Development Fund with International Agricultural Research Partners
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global
Overall term: 2018 to 2022


The challenges facing the global agricultural and food sector remain numerous and complex. By 2050, some two billion more people will be living on Earth than now, the majority of them in developing countries. Despite regional successes in combating famine and poverty, the number of undernourished and malnourished people is increasing, including in emerging economies and industrialised countries. At the same time, fertile soil is being lost through erosion, construction and inappropriate land management. Biodiversity is under threat. The effects of climate change are exacerbating the problems by spreading new animal and plant diseases and extreme weather phenomena such as drought, torrential rain and floods. Changing consumer habits and a sustained trend towards urbanisation are leading to further food losses in transport, processing, trade and consumption. To overcome these challenges, continuous adjustment measures and innovative solutions are required. These range from breeding drought-tolerant varieties to climate-intelligent cultivation methods and alternative products for plant protection and animal health. The development of digital applications for improved information-sharing and knowledge transfer also play an important role.


The partners of international agricultural research have the necessary human resources and partnerships to develop and disseminate agricultural innovations for resource-efficient farming.


The project places German and other European experts as needed in development-relevant positions in the 15 agricultural research centres of the global partnership for a food-secure future (CGIAR). The project continues to place experts at the World Vegetable Center and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). The research centres employ the experts under local terms and conditions. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supplements the income of the European experts by means of salary subsidies and social contributions, prepares them for their work and offers advice and security in the country of assignment in the event of crisis.

The choice of places and applicants is made according to demand and partner and takes into account the possibilities of cooperation and networking with other technical cooperation projects.

GIZ’s partner in Germany is the International Placement Service (ZAV), which is part of the German Federal Employment Agency and specialises in placing experts and managers on the international labour market. GIZ and the ZAV jointly run the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) in Eschborn. During the assignment period, GIZ documents the results of the cooperation and supports the knowledge management measures.


Since the end of 2018, eight integrated experts from this project have been placed in partner centres in Egypt, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Thailand and Uganda. The cooperation achieves its results by providing training for the scientific experts at the research centres and by sharing the adapted agricultural innovations in farming practices in future. The specific results stemming from these approaches are anticipated in the course of the coming years.

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