Gender matters in cassava technological innovation: lessons from GENNOVATE Vietnam

Cassava has experienced major growth as a boom commodity in Vietnam, being produced on an industrial scale to meet a growing national and global demand for starch, animal feed and biofuel. Responding to this demand, research has typically focused on technologies such as high-yielding varieties, better fertilization, integrated pest management, new intercropping options and more efficient processing equipment. However, the … Read More

Gender-responsive research training strengthens RTB’s work in Africa

To develop and scale out effective new technologies and approaches, RTB researchers need to address the needs and preferences of end users—men and women, young and old. RTB has striven to integrate gender into targeted research areas, particularly breeding, seed systems, and pest and disease management. This effort received recognition in 2016, when three RTB gender researchers served as mentors … Read More

Assessment reveals that most cassava grown in Vietnam has a CIAT pedigree

Cassava is the third most important export crop in Vietnam, and CIAT has had a major impact on the country’s cassava production through nearly three decades of collaboration with Vietnam’s national agricultural research systems. An innovative study of cassava diversity in farmer fields in 2016 that combined standard crop adoption survey methods with DNA fingerprinting revealed that the vast majority … Read More

Multi-crop project in Uganda catalyzes postharvest innovations

Harriet Muyinza, a researcher at Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), has confirmed that by pruning certain varieties of cassava a week before harvest, farmers can increase the shelf life of their roots. It is one of a combination of methods for extending cassava shelf life that she learned about during a knowledge-exchange trip to Colombia that CIAT organized for … Read More

World Food Prize celebrates success of using OFSP to reduce malnutrition

The 2016 World Food Prize was awarded to three CIP scientists—Maria Andrade, Jan Low, and Robert Mwanga—and Howarth Bouis of IFPRI/HarvestPlus. It is an acknowledgment both of their achievements and the effectiveness of CIP’s strategy to reduce micronutrient malnutrition by getting millions of families in SSA to grow and consume pro-vitamin A orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP). This approach builds on a … Read More

Tanzania study finds that communities can reduce cassava disease’s impact

Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) is a major constraint for smallholders in East and Central Africa, where new outbreaks have been reported in the past two decades. Caused by viruses that are spread by infected planting material and sap-sucking whiteflies, CBSD can destroy a significant portion of a farmer’s cassava production. SSA government institutions have focused on breeding high-yielding cassava … Read More

Collaboration on research and training to control banana Xanthomonas wilt in East and Central Africa

Banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW)—a bacterial disease spread by insects, birds, bats, larger animals, and farm tools—is the biggest constraint for banana production in East and Central Africa. Since its appearance in Uganda in the early 2000s, BXW has spread rapidly in the region, causing food insecurity and income loss. Bioversity International and IITA have collaborated with Uganda’s National Agricultural Research … Read More

CIAT and partners spearhead efforts to control cassava witches’ broom disease in Southeast Asia

Cassava witches’ broom (CWB) disease, which reduces cassava yields by an average of 30–35%, is an emerging threat to the livelihoods of millions of farmers in Southeast Asia. CIAT is working with national partners to better understand the disease, improve surveillance, and help farmers manage it. Cassava is an important cash crop for the region’s smallholders, supporting the livelihoods of … Read More

Adapting remote-sensing data for an array of applications in agriculture

CIP scientists made progress in 2016 on forecasting tuber yields in potato over large areas by linking modeling and remote-sensing data. Using satellite images of a potato-farming area in the US state of Idaho, researchers parameterized physiological and crop growth models that were then used to forecast yield. According to Roberto Quiroz, leader of CIP’s Crops and Systems Sciences Division, … Read More

Cross-crop research produces tools for improving smallholder access to quality planting material

Because RTB crops are propagated clonally—by planting tubers, suckers, stalks, or vine cuttings—they present common challenges for farmers that include low multiplication rates, perishable planting material and low yield as a result of seed degeneration. Government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) have developed seed systems to disseminate improved varieties and high-quality planting material (commonly referred to as ‘seed’), but only … Read More