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Focus Area: Collaborative Crop Research

The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program funds collaborative research between smallholder farmers, leading local researchers, and development practitioners to explore solutions for sustainable, local food systems. We focus our support in twelve countries on two continents where poverty and food insecurity have created “hunger hot spots.”

The Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) works to ensure a world where all have access to nutritious food that is sustainably produced by local people.We do this through collaborative agro-ecological systems research and knowledge-sharing that strengthen the capacities of smallholder farmers, research institutes, and development organizations.We take a holistic, ecosystem approach to agriculture, supporting research and partnerships that lead to increased crop productivity, improved livelihoods, and better nutrition.

Since the program's inception in 1983, The McKnight Foundation has committed over $100 million to the CCRP, including past and future commitments and non-grant assistance, such as support for convenings. Of the total, more than $74 million has been approved in grants to support the program's goal.

In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recognized McKnight's successful program with a grant of $26.7 million over five years. This generous funding allows the CCRP to capitalize on the two foundations' combined resources, and build upon its 25-year field history strengthening a network of scientists, organizations, and communities working for food and nutritional security.

In 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approved another five years of support for McKnight's crop research efforts, with a focus on legume intensification.

For more information, visit — the online knowledge- and research-sharing hub of our crop research work 

Program Contacts

Jane Maland CadyProgram Director     

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Megan PowersProgram Officer

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Kaying VangProgram Administrator