The business case for seed – a public-private partnership takes root in Kenya

Apr 11, 2018

Nearly every production manual for farmers begins with some version of the same statement: “for good production, make sure to use healthy, disease-free seed”. These well-meaning declarations can only be met with a sigh from many developing country farmers, for whom access to tested and certified clean materials often ranges from limited to nonexistent. This […]

Read More

FoodSTART+ and SOLID build capacity of facilitators for Farmer Business Schools in Indonesia

Apr 6, 2018

The Food Resilience Through Root And Tuber Crops In Upland and Coastal Communities of The Asia-Pacific (FoodSTART+), and the Smallholder Livelihood Development Project (SOLID), both funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), are collaborating to implement Farmer Business Schools in Maluku and Maluku Utara provinces of Indonesia. As the first step in this process, […]

Read More

Public-private partnerships and the sustainability of sweetpotato Early Generation Seed production

Mar 21, 2018

The third instalment in this blog series for by scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) and the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) discusses how public-private partnerships can contribute to the long-term sustainability of sweetpotato Early Generation Seed (EGS) production. The sustainable production of EGS (which includes pre-basic/foundation seed and basic seed) is one […]

Read More

Using gender research to increase the adoption of agricultural technology

Mar 15, 2018

Vivian Polar, Gender, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist with the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tuber and Bananas, shares insights on the importance of considering gender when developing agriculture technology. Do men and women approach agriculture differently? Men and women approach agriculture differently. Each one of them looks at farming based on their constraints and their […]

Read More

RTB and CIP scholarship for Peruvian students to attend World Potato Congress

Mar 14, 2018

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) and the International Potato Center (CIP) are pleased to announce a new scholarship for Peruvian university students to attend the upcoming 10th World Potato Congress in Cusco, Peru, from 27 – 31 May 2018. The scholarship will cover the attendance of 15 students from public […]

Read More

Effective marketing strategies for sweetpotato seed

Mar 12, 2018

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 […]

Read More

Can the sweetpotato Early Generation Seed business attract private players?

Mar 9, 2018

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 […]

Read More

Building momentum for gender-responsive breeding

Mar 7, 2018

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 […]

Read More

Agricultural mechanization: how far do women farmers benefit?

Mar 6, 2018

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 […]

Read More

World Bank book on Peruvian agriculture highlights native potato value chains

Mar 2, 2018

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 […]

Read More

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

Feb 7, 2018

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 […]

Read More

The role of culture in banana seed systems in Uganda

Feb 1, 2018

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 […]

Read More

Global cassava coalition calls for support for cassava transformation in Africa

Jan 29, 2018

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 […]

Read More

New network analysis approach to mitigate spread of potato disease

Dec 23, 2017

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 […]

Read More

Taking agricultural innovations to scale: RTB scaling fund awards first grants

Dec 13, 2017

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 […]

Read More

RTB Symposium at International Conference on Global Food Security to address the challenges of scaling agricultural innovations

Nov 28, 2017

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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) […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More