Genetic markers identify the sex of yams and accelerate breeding

Oct 23, 2018

Researchers have identified the genetic markers that distinguish the sex of yam plants, saving time and resources for future breeding efforts. White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is native to West Africa, where it has been a food security crop for centuries. As Africa is rapidly urbanizing, yams are now being grown commercially. This labor-intensive crop […]

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An agri-food revolution for tropical root and tuber crops

Oct 22, 2018

“When, where and how will tropical root and tuber crops lead to the next agri-food revolution?” More than 200 participants have gathered in Cali, Colombia, this week for the 18th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC), to share research and experiences under the theme of this guiding question. The event […]

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Applying the science of scaling

Oct 17, 2018

A new RTB initiative is applying the science of scaling to accelerate promising agricultural technologies, showing researchers how to reach more farmers, much sooner. Scaling up agricultural innovations is one of the biggest challenges facing research and development organizations. Projects have often tried to scale technologies at the end of the intervention, in an ad […]

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Gender mainstreaming in value chain development triggers women’s empowerment in Uganda

Oct 15, 2018

A gender focus introduced in value chain development in Uganda has allowed women and men to start new seed businesses, to train other farmers, and to share planting material of varieties that consumers want. Banana is a major staple in Uganda. However, traders and other value chain actors face post-harvest loses that limit their incomes. […]

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From science to scaling: 2017 Annual Report

Oct 10, 2018

We are pleased to share the 2017 Annual Report from the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, entitled ‘From science to scaling’. We invite you the explore the report as an interactive website where you can also download the PDF. 2017 was a notable year for our program. It marked the start-up of […]

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Scientists’ breakthrough brings hope for banana resistance breeding to deadly bacterial wilt disease

Oct 8, 2018

A team, led by scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), have announced a breakthrough in the search for banana varieties that are resistant to the lethal bacterial banana wilt disease. This debunks the notion that all banana varieties are susceptible to the disease and opens the possibility of breeding resistant varieties.   The […]

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Southeast Asia responds to industry-threatening cassava mosaic disease

Sep 17, 2018

Government representatives, development partners and cassava researchers from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam gather this week to devise a regional plan to contain the potentially devastating Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) in Southeast Asia. They convene from September 18-20 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Researchers from Zhejiang University and Holley Group Co. in China first reported CMD […]

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Potato minituber boom in sub-Saharan Africa: tenfold increase in ten years

Sep 13, 2018

In less than a decade, potato minituber production increased ten-fold in seven countries across sub-Saharan Africa according to a recent study by the International Potato Center (CIP). Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda have increased their production of Early Generation Seed from 483,000 to 4,921,000 minitubers thanks to country-level investment in seed potato […]

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Getting Kenya’s seed potato production right

Sep 6, 2018

Isaiah Kemei is one of the most progressive seed potato multipliers in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County. Before becoming a seed potato multiplier in 2016, Isaiah had been planting potatoes for sale at the local markets for more than seven years. “At that time I used to experience high disease incidence, especially bacterial wilt, in my […]

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Farmer-to-farmer in the internet age: smartphone extension videos reach thousands in Southeast Asia

Jul 19, 2018

As reported by Google, Southeast Asia has the fastest growing internet user base of any region on earth. With a monthly mobile internet connection often costing $US 2-3, an estimated 3.8 million new connections are added every month, and the region is expected to reach a staggering 480 million users by 2020. As internet continues […]

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African farmers get new help against cassava diseases: Nuru, their artificially intelligent assistant

Jun 27, 2018

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Pennsylvania State University, USA, have collaborated to develop and launch Nuru, an Artificially Intelligent Assistant. Nuru (Swahili for light) uses machine learning to accurately recognize leaves damaged by two important viral diseases of cassava (Cassava Mosaic Disease and Cassava Brown Streak Disease) as well as damage by red and green […]

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A “wicked” challenge – understanding root, tuber and banana seed systems and coordination breakdown: A multi-stakeholder framework

Jun 20, 2018 RTB

By Jorge Andrade-Piedra and Margaret McEwan of the International Potato Center (CIP), co-leaders of the RTB cross-cutting cluster on access to quality seed. “Why are the seed systems for roots, tubers and bananas (RTBs) so complex?” As a social scientist, this is an exciting challenge – to understand the interactions between technologies and social conditions […]

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Triple S method helps sweetpotato farmers plant and harvest earlier

Jun 19, 2018

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) is an impressive crop, able to grow on marginal lands and produce nutritious roots within three months from planting. However, farmers plant vine cuttings rather than seeds, and getting enough vines to plant at the beginning of the rainy season can be a challenge for smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This is […]

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Global cassava conference highlights major progress in crop research and development

Jun 18, 2018

The IV International Cassava Conference brought together over 300 cassava scientists, farmers, private sector, government and donor representatives in Cotonou, Benin from June 11 – 15. Convened by the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21), the triennial event presented a unique opportunity for a diverse set of stakeholders to exchange scientific, technical and […]

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Recognition Award presented to Dr Claude Fauquet at International Cassava Conference

Jun 14, 2018

The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) convened its fourth scientific conference this week in Cotonou, Benin. Spread over five days, the conference – a collaboration between the scientific world and the private sector – facilitated plenary presentations, technical and scientific sessions and state-of-the-art presentations on a wide range of issues from biological, […]

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Researchers take stock of promising technologies to tackle emerging pests and diseases of RTB crops

Jun 8, 2018

Pests and diseases pose one of the most significant challenges for root, tuber and banana crops and can be particularly devastating for small-scale farmers in developing countries who depend on their produce for food and income. And with the impact of pests and diseases expected to intensify under climate change, developing and piloting novel approaches […]

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New research provides recommendations for more effective disease management in potato and banana

Jun 7, 2018

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) supports a number of young scientists to conduct innovative PhD research. In Ethiopia, Shiferaw Tafesse and Elias Damtew work with the International Potato Center (CIP) to study how and to what extent joint learning, disease monitoring and information sharing would contribute to collective management of […]

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A second climate smart agricultural revolution in the Andes

Jun 4, 2018

Climate change is impacting the lives of potato farmers in the Andean region, intensifying damage from pests and diseases, increasing risk of soil erosion and contributing to loss of biodiversity. In an award-winning presentation at the 10th World Potato Congress in Cusco, Peru, Graham Thiele, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and […]

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Global meeting brings together world’s foremost potato experts

May 31, 2018

More than 800 potato scientists, industry representatives, government officials and other interested parties from 50 countries have gathered in the Andean city of Cusco, Peru for the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) and the 28th Congress of the Latin American Potato Association (ALAP), held from May 27 – 31. The event, which includes prominent participation […]

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Does the scaling of sweetpotato technologies reduce or reinforce gender inequalities?

May 29, 2018

A recent paper published by scientists from the International Potato Center examines how processes of scaling up technologies to promote adoption can reinforce or reduce gender inequalities. The article, entitled ‘Scaling up of sweetpotato vine multiplication technologies in Phalombe and Chikwawa districts in Malawi: A gender analysis‘, is based on a gender analysis in those […]

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