News

Taking agricultural innovations to scale: RTB scaling fund awards first grants

Dec 13, 2017 RTB

Researchers who develop new technologies often face challenges in translating them into adapted innovations that people and enterprises will use. The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) consequently created a flagship project dedicated to improving livelihoods at scale (Flagship 5), which is facilitating the design and implementation of strategies for scaling innovations […]

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RTB Symposium at International Conference on Global Food Security to address the challenges of scaling agricultural innovations

Nov 28, 2017 RTB

Whereas private companies have successfully rolled out new technologies in less-developed countries, innovations developed by research centers to help smallholders improve their food security and incomes often reach only a fraction of the people they were created to help. As the stakes for agricultural research for development rise in an increasingly warm and crowded world, […]

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Bad news for Fusarium wilt: “Breeding Better Bananas” means business

Nov 23, 2017 RTB

Hi pests and diseases, it’s your nasty cousin Fusarium. I’ve got an update for you from banana fields and scientists’ labs in Arusha, Tanzania. Its rather mixed news, I am afraid, as the humans seem to be making some progress. First, some good news. Coffee prices and profits are down so many farmers are interested […]

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RTB scientists at the forefront of developing technologies to help farmers cope with climate change

Nov 15, 2017 RTB

  As government representatives negotiate ways to strengthen the international response to global warming at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP23, in Bonn, Germany, scientists around the world are working on technologies to help farmers produce food and generate income in a warming world. The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) […]

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Sweetpotato puree makes nutritious, inexpensive bread while creating a new market for farmers

Oct 31, 2017 RTB

  By Michael Friedmann, RTB Science Officer At the Organi Ltd factory, in Western Province, Kenya, a grinder was churning out ribbons of an orangey puree, which workers quickly wrapped and sealed in plastic bags under vacuum.  I was tempted to stick my finger in and grab some, as it looked quite tasty, but we […]

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Six steps to speed up climate-smart breeding in roots, tubers and bananas

Nov 11, 2017 RTB

Research centers and their partners have made good progress toward harnessing the potential of roots, tubers and bananas to improve food security, nutrition and smallholder incomes, but scientists are concerned that impacts of climate change could undercut many of those gains in the coming years. In response to this threat, a team of scientists working […]

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Understanding gender norms to improve the effectiveness of interventions

Oct 25, 2017 RTB

By Anne Rietveld, Bioversity International scientist and RTB gender focal point It was April 2014, and we’d reserved two vans to take RTB researchers to Mukono village, in Central Uganda, to test the methodology for GENNOVATE: which addresses how gender norms and agency influence men, women and youth to adopt agricultural innovations. However, due a […]

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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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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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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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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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