Breeding Better Bananas project team meets to take stock, track progress and plan

May 27, 2019 rtbcomms

An international team of researchers that is revolutionizing banana breeding in Eastern Africa are this week (27‒29 May 2019) gathering in Mbarara, Uganda, to review progress and achievements made over the past 5 years under phase one of the Breeding Better Bananas project, and planning for future needs and activities. The Breeding Better Bananas project, led and coordinated […]

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FoodSTART+ Shares Journey on Gender: Rethinking and Working for Better Balance

May 23, 2019 rtbcomms

The International Potato Center’s (CIP) FoodSTART+ project has come a long way in ensuring gender equity of the project activities since its inception in 2015. The project gender-related milestones, challenges, and lessons were shared during the 10th General Assembly of the IFAD Philippines Gender Network (IPGN) held in Winaca Eco-Cultural Village, Tublay, Benguet from 7-10 […]

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Innovating for change: Interview with Maria Andrade a sweetpotato champion

May 15, 2019 rtbcomms

An accomplished sweetpotato breeder and tireless advocate for improving the nutrition and wellbeing of rural children and families, Maria Andrade is also RTB’s first female flagship leader. She recently set aside time from her busy research and project management work in Mozambique to discuss her passion for science, plant breeding, and the power of education […]

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Ethiopian farmers help researchers select potato varieties that the market demands

May 14, 2019 rtbcomms

Potato is important to food security and a cash crop in Ethiopia with high potential to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, who account for 83% of the total population and hold 95% of agricultural land. It is widely grown in the highland areas and is one of the few fast growing commodities expanding into […]

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Balangiga Farmer – Fisherfolk women learn how to make food products from dried cassava grates

May 8, 2019 rtbcomms

Who knew so many different products could be made from cassava? Now thanks to the Aqua-based Business School (ABS), some Filipino fisherfolk women trained in food processing are ready to get down to business.      Eight members of the Fisheries and Agricultural Crop Producers Association of Bacjao (FACPAB) from Balangiga, Eastern Samar, were trained on […]

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An Integrated, Economically-Sustainable Cassava Seed System is Emerging in Nigeria

May 2, 2019 rtbcomms

The project “Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Seed System for Cassava (BASICS)” came together with its stakeholders to review progress and plan the way forward between 11th and 13th of March 2019 at the IITA Headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. The meeting, reflected on the activities of the project in the past three years to foster […]

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Ask the innovators: Which agricultural practices work best locally?

Apr 26, 2019 rtbcomms

A new study by Bioversity International explores the power of ‘positive deviance’ in Tanzania. By working with highly successful farmers, this methodology identifies locally proven practices that other farmers from the same area can benefit from. Like most residents of Mchengamoto, a Tanzanian village not far from the border with Mozambique, Ms Mariam Ally occasionally sells poultry […]

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Scientists discuss ways to improve RTB planting materials

Apr 24, 2019 rtbcomms

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) Cross-cutting Cluster 2.1 had its annual meeting on 14 to 16 March at IITA headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. The meeting objective was to discuss the progress and main findings on the development and validation of the RTB seed systems Toolbox. Present at the meeting were […]

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Lessons from 21 years of breeding Eastern Africa‘s popular cooking bananas

Apr 16, 2019 rtbcomms

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)  and Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) started a breeding program for the East Africa Highland Bananas (EAHB) in the mid-1990s that has delivered exciting results including the first-ever hybrids, dubbed  NARITAs. A team of scientists at IITA, NARO, and SLU reviewed the progress and efficiency of this breeding program in the past 21 years at […]

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Safeguarding the future of banana against changing climates, pests and diseases

Apr 11, 2019 rtbcomms

KU Leuven and Bioversity International today sign a landmark agreement to safeguard the future of the world’s favourite fruit.  Professor Rony Swennen is a world authority in banana science having researched bananas for more than 40 years. “Bananas are facing major challenges,” he says. “The world population is growing and banana yields need to increase. Banana plantations usually […]

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Malawian entrepreneur creates nutritious products and a new market for farmers

Apr 4, 2019 rtbcomms

After six years of helping others add value to their businesses, Malawian food technologist Jean Pankuku was so convinced of the nutritional merits and commercial prospects of orange-fleshed-sweetpotato (OFSP) breads and other baked products that she opened her own business – the Tehilah Bakery and Value Addition Centre. It’s hardly a surprise that the Chicago-based […]

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Scaling Triple S through collaborating with Damongo Agricultural College, Ghana

Mar 28, 2019 rtbcomms

In July 2018 Issahaq Suleman, CIP’s Triple S scaling champion in Ghana, paid a visit to Damongo Agricultural College in the West Gonja district of Northern Ghana, with the goal of advocating for practical training on farming improved varieties of orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP). He also wanted to introduce the college to the use of Triple […]

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MRC Training in December 2018, Photo credit: Camille Joy Enalbes

Capturing stories of women through the Most Significant Change Approach

Mar 26, 2019 rtbcomms

Story-telling is a powerful communication tool as it is useful to captivate people’s interest. The Food Resilience through Root and Tuber Crops in Upland and Coastal Communities of the Asia Pacific (FoodSTART+) uses the Most Significant Change (MSC) approach to gauge the impact of the Farmers Business School (FBS) interventions and showcase the outcomes brought […]

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Small investment, Big results!

Mar 13, 2019 rtbcomms

How village savings and loans groups, orange fleshed sweetpotato and the Triple-S innovation are empowering women in Northern Ghana. ‘For me, growing sweetpotato is much easier than other crops. I use few inputs and have little maintenance and I still get a good yield’ said Ernestine Gbang, a women’s group leader and successful sweetpotato farmer […]

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Who sits at the table? Policy, people, and potatoes in Kenya

Mar 13, 2019 rtbcomms

Although it might seem surprising, many Kenyan farmers, entrepreneurs, and investors are intensely interested in the preparation of new regulations on the production and marketing of planting materials for vegetatively propagated crops (VPCs), such as potato and sweetpotato. The new regulations may determine who can and cannot produce VPC planting material, how quickly yields and […]

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Global study guides agriculture towards gender equality

Mar 8, 2019 rtbcomms

Now more than ever, the agricultural research for development sector recognizes that women’s needs, preferences and realities need to be both understood and considered in the development and roll-out of new technologies and projects. A “one size fits all” approach is not only ineffective, often leading to discarded technologies, but can also have unintended consequences […]

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Seed Tracker: How one app can enhance seed systems for many crops

Mar 6, 2019 rtbcomms

Thanks to its tolerance of poor soil, harsh conditions, pests and diseases, cassava is a stable, low-cost staple for millions in sub-Saharan Africa. However, it’s not solely subsistence and small-scale farmers that benefit from the crop – it provides incomes and an industry for medium and large-scale enterprises in the region too. Despite its widespread […]

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How can you integrate gender and nutrition in your research?

Mar 5, 2019

The Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA), a CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) project, organized a training workshop on integrating gender and nutrition in agricultural research for development (AR4D), in Kigali, from January 23 -25.The group of 30 participants was very diverse and included 12 women and 18 men from […]

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Setting the stage for cassava disease monitoring: a baseline for Vietnam and Cambodia

Feb 27, 2019

Researchers tracked Sri Lankan cassava mosaic virus in Cambodia after its discovery in 2015. The potentially devastating virus threatens 3.5 million hectares, highlighting the need for disease-resistant varieties and rapid epidemic management. Southeast Asia is the source of 95 percent of global cassava exports, and the detection in 2015 in Cambodia of the potentially harvest-devastating […]

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Triple S method secures sweetpotato planting material for farmers

Feb 15, 2019

“Next season I will fill my farm, and my father’s farm, with sweetpotato,” says Bezabih Hamamo, who is using Triple S technology on his farm in southern Ethiopia to produce his own quality sweetpotato planting material. Triple S, which stands for ‘Storing in Sand and Sprouting’, involves storing sweetpotato roots in sand through the dry […]

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