FoodSTART+ brings together partners for progress review & planning

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 households in upland and coastal communities of the Asia-Pacific region through the introduction of root and tuber crops (RTCs) innovations. To achieve this goal at scale, the project develops, validates and implements effective partnership strategies with IFAD investment projects to promote RTCs for food security.

Participants at the 2nd Partners Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo courtesy FoodSTART+

Towards this goal, the three-day meeting brought together key project partners. During the meeting results of scoping studies in the primary project sites – India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines – were presented. Opportunities for root and tuber crops in these areas and updates on the collaboration with IFAD investment projects were also shared. Furthermore, opportunities for these crops beyond the primary target sites were also narrated – such as in China and Myanmar.

Cross-cutting project activities including GIS mapping, resilience indicators development, gender and social dimensions, and strategies for enhanced partnerships with IFAD investment projects and country offices were discussed on the third day. The FoodSTART+ steering committee also held a separate meeting during this time.

At the end of the event, the project and its IFAD investment project partners had developed, reviewed, and refined their collaborative workplans for mid-2017 to 2018 which will serve as the guide for activities under the partnership.

“This project is highly relevant to the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) because it brings together the complementary expertise of two of its members – the International Potato Center (CIP) primarily focusing on potato and sweet potato, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on cassava, remote sensing and system level approaches,” explains Diego Naziri, FoodSTART+ Project Leader, and Post-Harvest Specialist at CIP.

Cassava farmers in Vietnam. Photo by G.Smith/CIAT

“Furthermore, FoodSTART+ contributes to RTB’s Flagship Project 5 on Improved livelihoods at scale by developing, validating and implementing effective partnership strategies with IFAD investment projects as a means to promote effective scaling up of roots and tubers’ innovations,” he adds.

Partners present in the meeting included representatives from IFAD investment projects, namely Megha-LAMP in India, SRPD in Vietnam, and FishCORAL and INREMP both from the Philippines. IFAD Country Programme Officers from the Philippines and Vietnam also actively participated in the meeting. Representatives from CIP, CIAT Vietnam, IAARD from Indonesia, Visayas State University – Philippine Rootcrop Research and Training Center, and CIRAD were also present

Read the original story by Guada Marie Babilonia on the IFAD website