News

A surprising focus on roots, tubers and bananas at the Sugarcane Research Institute of Tanzania

Oct 16, 2017 RTB

By Graham Thiele, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) Judging by the name, the Sugarcane Research Institute of Tanzania is not the first place one would expect to find research on roots, tubers and bananas. However, as members of RTB’s Independent Steering Committee discovered on our recent visit, the principle focus […]

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New tools improve smallholder access to quality planting material

Oct 16, 2017 RTB

From the RTB 2016 Annual Report Because root, tuber and banana 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 have developed seed systems to disseminate […]

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Technology is not gender neutral

Oct 15, 2017 RTB

New research examines the factors that influence the adoption of agricultural technology by men and women. Closing gender gaps in the agricultural sector is a key element in reducing poverty and improving food security. Women today are the hidden face of agriculture, playing a fundamental role from food production to commercialization, and yet not only […]

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New app diagnoses crop diseases in the field and alerts rural farmers

Sep 28, 2017 RTB

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 28 September, 2017 The team behind a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose crop diseases in the field has won a $US100,000 award to help expand their project to help millions of small-scale farmers across Africa. Cassava brown streak disease is spreading westward across the African […]

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Researchers stumped by plants with multiple chromosomes plan new collaboration

Sep 26, 2017 RTB

Some of the world’s most beloved plants — coffee, bananas, potatoes, and roses, to name a few — could be made even better, but the complexity of their chromosomes either stumps or stifles scientists who study them. “They’re polyploids, which means instead of having two sets of chromosomes like humans or corn or soybeans or […]

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Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, visits CIP’s Headquarters

Sep 20, 2017 RTB

The International Potato Center, the lead center of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), was honored to host Her Royal Highness Anne, Princess Royal at the center’s headquarters on Saturday, 16 September. The Princess Royal toured the world’s largest in vitro potato genebank which also houses one of the largest plant […]

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Revolutionary mobile app for monitoring crop pests and diseases

Sep 19, 2017 RTB

Just as the late blight epidemic wiped out potato fields in Ireland in the 19th century, crop pests and diseases still have devastating effects on smallholder farmers today – with scenarios projected to worsen under climate change. Cassava brown streak disease is spreading westward across the African continent, and together with cassava mosaic disease, threatens […]

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Breeding biofortified potatoes to relieve micronutrient malnutrition

Sep 14, 2017 RTB

Scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) are developing potatoes with high micronutrient content as part of a broader effort to address micronutrient deficiencies, which disproportionately affect the health of rural women and children. Those efforts have resulted in new potato breeding populations of nutrient-dense candidate varieties with up to 32–45 parts per million (ppm) […]

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Farmer field trials as ‘musical’ hubs for knowledge exchange and cooperation

Aug 28, 2017 RTB

Blog contributed by Bela Teeken, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). One of the propositions of my thesis was: If performing a scientific field trial together with farmers bears more resemblance to the performance of a good piece of music than one would think possible, it can be a good way to […]

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RTB 2016 Annual Report: Research for Innovation and Impact

Aug 21, 2017 RTB

We are pleased to share the 2016 Annual Report from the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, entitled ‘Research for Innovation and Impact’. We invite you the explore the report as an interactive website where you can also download the PDF. 2016 brought continued successes for our program. We saw major scientific breakthroughs […]

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The passing of Dr. Gelia T. Castillo, social scientist and first woman to join CIP Board of Trustees

Aug 9, 2017 RTB

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Dr. Gelia T. Castillo on Saturday 5 August. Dr. Castillo was an eminent rural sociologist at the University of the Philippines and a pioneer at our lead center, the International Potato Center (CIP), as the first woman to join the center’s Board of […]

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Skilled youth hold the key to the future of farming

Jul 14, 2017 RTB

Youth unemployment is a critical issue, with an estimated 73.4 million young people unemployed globally in 2015, according to a recent publication of the International Labor Organization (ILO). This rate of 13.1% was further predicted to rise in most regions by 2017. Skills and jobs for youth feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable […]

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New website and webinar: CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative

Jul 13, 2017 RTB

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new website for the CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative. The Initiative brings together plant and animal breeders and social scientists to develop a strategy for gender-responsive breeding with supporting methods, tools and practices. The Initiative includes experts from across CGIAR centers and Research Programs, is coordinated […]

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Engaging youth in agriculture: A strategy for RTB

Jul 12, 2017 RTB

“In many developing countries, the labor market has left a high proportion of young people out of employment and unable to sustain their livelihoods,” explains Dr. Netsayi Mudege, leader of the ‘Gender equity and youth employment’ research cluster (CC5.3) of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB). “Under such conditions, agriculture related […]

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Innovation Platforms: When, how and in what form?

Jun 26, 2017 RTB

Innovation Platforms are fast becoming part of the mantra of agricultural research for development projects and programmes, and are increasingly being proposed and used throughout the field. Their benefit lies in providing a space for farmers, agricultural service providers, researchers, private sector and other stakeholders to jointly identify, analyse and overcome constraints to agricultural development. […]

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Improving nutrition, incomes and employment through post-harvest innovations

Jun 22, 2017 RTB

“Post-harvest innovations can make important contributions to addressing the global challenge of malnutrition,” begins Busie Maziya-Dixon, leader of RTB’s cluster on Post-Harvest Innovation (CC4.1) and Food and Nutrition Scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). “In collaboration with other flagships, the goal of our research is to contribute to improving diets and income […]

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New CGIAR Initiative to make plant and animal breeding more gender responsive

Jun 12, 2017 RTB

The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative brings together plant and animal breeders and social scientists to develop a strategy for gender-responsive breeding with supporting methods, tools and practices.  For plant and animal breeders to ensure that they meet the needs of users’, they need to understand the priorities that women and men assign to genetically […]

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FoodSTART+ brings together partners for progress review & planning

May 29, 2017 RTB

Partners and stakeholders from the different country sites of Food Resilience Through Root and Tuber Crops in Upland and Coastal Communities of the Asia-Pacific (FoodSTART+) converged in Hanoi, Vietnam, for the project’s 2nd Partner’s Meeting from 8 to 10 May 2017. The three-year project, which began in 2015, aims to enhance food resilience among poor […]

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Enhancing the genetic resources of roots, tubers & bananas

May 22, 2017 RTB

Flagship Project 1 (FP1) ‘Enhanced genetic resources‘, will make use of plant biology, structural and quantitative genetics – or the study of genes that dictate a plant’s architecture, tolerance to pests or other stresses and many other traits – and other disciplines to help enhance crops’ hardiness, architecture or nutritional profile. Biofortification – enhancing crops’ […]

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Improved crop varieties & quality seed boost yields & income for smallholders

May 19, 2017 RTB

The dual focus of Flagship Project 2 (FP2) includes using innovative methods to develop varieties of roots, tubers and bananas exhibiting desirable traits and on making available to farmers an array of high-quality planting materials of these crops. The team behind this flagship is using new methods to speed up the development of varieties which […]

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