News

Southeast Asia responds to industry-threatening cassava mosaic disease

Sep 17, 2018 RTB

Government representatives, development partners and cassava researchers from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam gather this week to devise a regional plan to contain the potentially devastating Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) in Southeast Asia. They convene from September 18-20 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Researchers from Zhejiang University and Holley Group Co. in China first reported CMD […]

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Potato minituber boom in sub-Saharan Africa: tenfold increase in ten years

Sep 13, 2018 RTB

In less than a decade, potato minituber production increased ten-fold in seven countries across sub-Saharan Africa according to a recent study by the International Potato Center (CIP). Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda have increased their production of Early Generation Seed from 483,000 to 4,921,000 minitubers thanks to country-level investment in seed potato […]

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Getting Kenya’s seed potato production right

Sep 6, 2018 RTB

Isaiah Kemei is one of the most progressive seed potato multipliers in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County. Before becoming a seed potato multiplier in 2016, Isaiah had been planting potatoes for sale at the local markets for more than seven years. “At that time I used to experience high disease incidence, especially bacterial wilt, in my […]

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Farmer-to-farmer in the internet age: smartphone extension videos reach thousands in Southeast Asia

Jul 19, 2018 RTB

As reported by Google, Southeast Asia has the fastest growing internet user base of any region on earth. With a monthly mobile internet connection often costing $US 2-3, an estimated 3.8 million new connections are added every month, and the region is expected to reach a staggering 480 million users by 2020. As internet continues […]

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African farmers get new help against cassava diseases: Nuru, their artificially intelligent assistant

Jun 27, 2018 RTB

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Pennsylvania State University, USA, have collaborated to develop and launch Nuru, an Artificially Intelligent Assistant. Nuru (Swahili for light) uses machine learning to accurately recognize leaves damaged by two important viral diseases of cassava (Cassava Mosaic Disease and Cassava Brown Streak Disease) as well as damage by red and green […]

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A “wicked” challenge – understanding root, tuber and banana seed systems and coordination breakdown: A multi-stakeholder framework

Jun 20, 2018 RTB

By Jorge Andrade-Piedra and Margaret McEwan of the International Potato Center (CIP), co-leaders of the RTB cross-cutting cluster on access to quality seed. “Why are the seed systems for roots, tubers and bananas (RTBs) so complex?” As a social scientist, this is an exciting challenge – to understand the interactions between technologies and social conditions […]

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Triple S method helps sweetpotato farmers plant and harvest earlier

Jun 19, 2018 RTB

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) is an impressive crop, able to grow on marginal lands and produce nutritious roots within three months from planting. However, farmers plant vine cuttings rather than seeds, and getting enough vines to plant at the beginning of the rainy season can be a challenge for smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This is […]

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Global cassava conference highlights major progress in crop research and development

Jun 18, 2018 RTB

The IV International Cassava Conference brought together over 300 cassava scientists, farmers, private sector, government and donor representatives in Cotonou, Benin from June 11 – 15. Convened by the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21), the triennial event presented a unique opportunity for a diverse set of stakeholders to exchange scientific, technical and […]

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Recognition Award presented to Dr Claude Fauquet at International Cassava Conference

Jun 14, 2018 RTB

The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) convened its fourth scientific conference this week in Cotonou, Benin. Spread over five days, the conference – a collaboration between the scientific world and the private sector – facilitated plenary presentations, technical and scientific sessions and state-of-the-art presentations on a wide range of issues from biological, […]

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Researchers take stock of promising technologies to tackle emerging pests and diseases of RTB crops

Jun 8, 2018 RTB

Pests and diseases pose one of the most significant challenges for root, tuber and banana crops and can be particularly devastating for small-scale farmers in developing countries who depend on their produce for food and income. And with the impact of pests and diseases expected to intensify under climate change, developing and piloting novel approaches […]

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New research provides recommendations for more effective disease management in potato and banana

Jun 7, 2018 RTB

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) supports a number of young scientists to conduct innovative PhD research. In Ethiopia, Shiferaw Tafesse and Elias Damtew work with the International Potato Center (CIP) to study how and to what extent joint learning, disease monitoring and information sharing would contribute to collective management of […]

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A second climate smart agricultural revolution in the Andes

Jun 4, 2018 RTB

Climate change is impacting the lives of potato farmers in the Andean region, intensifying damage from pests and diseases, increasing risk of soil erosion and contributing to loss of biodiversity. In an award-winning presentation at the 10th World Potato Congress in Cusco, Peru, Graham Thiele, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and […]

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Global meeting brings together world’s foremost potato experts

May 31, 2018 RTB

More than 800 potato scientists, industry representatives, government officials and other interested parties from 50 countries have gathered in the Andean city of Cusco, Peru for the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) and the 28th Congress of the Latin American Potato Association (ALAP), held from May 27 – 31. The event, which includes prominent participation […]

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Does the scaling of sweetpotato technologies reduce or reinforce gender inequalities?

May 29, 2018 RTB

A recent paper published by scientists from the International Potato Center examines how processes of scaling up technologies to promote adoption can reinforce or reduce gender inequalities. The article, entitled ‘Scaling up of sweetpotato vine multiplication technologies in Phalombe and Chikwawa districts in Malawi: A gender analysis‘, is based on a gender analysis in those […]

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Award announced for best scientific paper on sweetpotato

May 22, 2018 RTB

For a second year, the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (SPHI) has announced an award to recognize the best scientific paper published in 2017 on sweetpotato. Through a generous endowment established by Dr. Jan W. Low, a principle scientist at the International Potato Center (CIP) and a 2016 World Food Prize Laureate, a prize […]

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Excellence and Innovation in Sweetpotato: Communication for Change Award

May 18, 2018 RTB

The Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative has announced that the ‘Excellence and Innovation in Sweetpotato: Communication for Change Award’ will take place for a second year in 2018. The annual award was established last year with a generous endowment from Dr. Jan Low, a principle scientist at the International Potato Center and a recipient of the […]

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Scientists meet to tackle challenges facing root, tuber and banana seed systems

May 16, 2018 RTB

Have you ever wondered what the potatoes, cassava, bananas and sweetpotatoes you eat are grown from? While they are still called ‘seed’, they take the form of suckers, roots and tubers. This kind of planting material comes with quite a unique and complex set of challenges, in part stemming from their bulky and perishable form, […]

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15 Peruvian university students to attend World Potato Congress with RTB and CIP scholarship

May 11, 2018 RTB

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), together with the International Potato Center (CIP), is delighted to announce the selection of 15 promising agricultural science students who have been awarded a scholarship to attend the upcoming 10th World Potato Congress in Cusco, Peru from 27 – 31 May 2018. The scholarship, co-funded […]

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Planning workshop prepares researchers to scale out agricultural innovations

May 10, 2018 RTB

Representatives of three teams whose proposals were successfully awarded funds from the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) Scaling Fund, along with program leadership and technical experts in scaling, came together in Nairobi, Kenya, in March. The aim of the workshop was to equip the teams with the tools and knowledge needed […]

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Clean seed systems for roots, tubers and bananas: What can Tanzania learn from the US?

May 8, 2018 RTB

Kwame Ogero of the International Potato Center takes an in-depth look at the National Clean Plant Network for Sweetpotato in the United States, drawing lessons for Tanzania, where sweetpotato is a major source of food and income. Seed is one of the most important farm inputs. A farmer’s harvest depends a lot on the quality […]

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