Progress and Plans for Roots, Tubers and Bananas

RTB Update – January 2013
Progress and Plans for Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Progress and Plans for Roots, Tubers and Bananas

RTB Workshop in Montpellier

In January of 2013, we are celebrating RTB’s first anniversary! We closed the first year with an exciting workshop in Montpellier, France, where we tackled gender, capacity building and knowledge sharing. It was an ambitious but necessary agenda, as we came together around a shared strategy. We had a considerable and valuable participation from the CGIAR Consortium Office – coming over as neighbors – as well as fruitful exchanges with our French partners from CIRAD.

I am glad we were able to move forward on awareness raising on gender concepts, building gender into our strategy, and on concrete plans for 2013. Having gender specialists in the room made all the difference! We will be following up, among other things, with center-level training in gender research.

The workshop was built around the selection of a small set of ‘flagship’ products – research products that can generate very significant outcomes. We worked through their impact pathways considering gender, capacity building and knowledge sharing: nothing better than concrete examples to fathom concepts! You can see one of the groups figuring out a new flagship product – the Value Chain Risk Management Tool (VCRMT), identifying next and end users for the Tool and its potential impacts:

impact1 Presenter: Dietmar Stoian from Bioversity

RTB Impact

RTB Impact

There was a consensus that we should continue to use impact pathways for flagship products to improve the whole product portfolio, reorganize around a much smaller number of products, and define the RTB Intermediate Development Outcomes. So we are up for a streamlined list of activity clusters, and for flagships products that should essentially be the same ‘best bet’ technologies being used in the priority-setting exercise.

One big achievement was to hone the definition of ‘quick wins’ as a subset of flagships where significant outcomes with end users can be achieved within three years. We worked on two of them, one for variety and seed and the other for improved management in bananas.

Now what’s in the works for 2013? We started the year with the publication of two trainer’s manuals for banana farmers interested in growing tissue culture bananas or in setting up and running a banana tissue culture nursery. And several workshops are coming up, on different topics such as seed degeneration, post-harvest activities and priority-setting for our research on bananas and plantains. Happy New and Productive Year!

Graham Thiele

RTB Program Director