Effective marketing strategies for sweetpotato seed

Mar 12, 2018 RTB

The second edition in this blog series for by scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) and the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) explores effective marketing strategies for sweetpotato seed. The sustainable production of Early Generation Seed (which includes pre-basic/foundation seed and basic seed) is one bottleneck to increasing the availability of […]

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Can the sweetpotato Early Generation Seed business attract private players?

Mar 9, 2018 RTB

This is the first in a series of blogs for by scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) and the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) discussing key issues in the sweetpotato seed system. The sustainable production of Early Generation Seed (which includes pre-basic/foundation seed and basic seed) is one bottleneck […]

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Building momentum for gender-responsive breeding

Mar 7, 2018 RTB

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, this year with the theme ‘Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives’. Gender research is a core part of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), and in the following Q&A, Graham Thiele, RTB Program Director, shares his thoughts on gender research within […]

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Agricultural mechanization: how far do women farmers benefit?

Mar 6, 2018 RTB

Agricultural machinery saves both time and labor for small-scale farmers and is increasingly available in rural areas. However, women’s needs and interests are often not fully considered when these machines are developed, introduced and adopted by communities. As a result, they are often used and controlled by men more than women. Despite this, our research […]

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World Bank book on Peruvian agriculture highlights native potato value chains

Mar 2, 2018 RTB

A book on Peruvian agriculture recently published by the World Bank highlights the dynamism of the sector and its impressive growth in the past decade. However, closer analysis shows how most of that growth has been the result of large-scale farming in the country’s coastal lowlands, whereas the vast majority of smallholders in the Andean […]

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CGIAR centres and research programs combine forces to reduce the damage of banana disease in Uganda

Feb 7, 2018 RTB

Bananas and plantains (Musa spp.) provide a major source of food and income for over 30 million people in Eastern and Central Africa (ECA). Uganda produces an estimated 10 million tonnes annually valued at about US$550 million. Most ECA bananas are domestically consumed with the highest global per capita consumption of over 200 kg. Banana Xanthomonas […]

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The role of culture in banana seed systems in Uganda

Feb 1, 2018 RTB

In Uganda, bananas are considered more than just food or a source of income – they are entrenched in local meaning and culture. In this blog, Fleur Kilwinger of Wageningen University and Bioversity International explores what this means for banana seed systems research and interventions.  In September 2016 I started my internship at the Bioversity International […]

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Global cassava coalition calls for support for cassava transformation in Africa

Jan 29, 2018 RTB

Press release for immediate release Ahead of the international conference on cassava, the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) has called on policy makers, donors and the international community to support all efforts that will bring about cassava transformation in Africa. The call is coming at a time when cassava is becoming central […]

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New network analysis approach to mitigate spread of potato disease

Dec 23, 2017 RTB

The spread of disease in potato seed systems is a major risk to production and livelihoods. As root and tuber crops are propagated vegetatively, pathogens and pests can accumulate in planting material over successive cycles of propagation and lead to poor quality seed. Balancing the need to manage and control this, while also facilitating the […]

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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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