Root and tuber crops have a central role to play in building resilience in Asian agri-food systems

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As developing countries cope with the effects of climate change and its impact on agriculture and rural livelihoods, a recently-concluded study from the International Potato Center (CIP) finds that root and tuber crops – such as cassava and sweetpotato – have a key role to play in helping smallholding farmers respond and adapt to changing environmental pressures. This conclusion and … Read More

Understanding partnership dynamics to facilitate innovation scaling

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Research for development organizations like the International Potato Center (CIP), which develop science-based solutions to the challenges faced by millions of smallholders, introduce and test those innovations with communities before taking them to scale. But taking even the most promising innovation to scale can be a challenge in and of itself, which is why researchers are increasingly focusing on approaches to scaling … Read More

The regional congress “Root and Tuber Crops for Food Security and Climate Change Resilience in Asia” puts these crops in the spotlight and marks the end of the FoodSTART+ journey

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Roots and tubers (RTCs) are notably versatile crops with various uses in the agriculture and food sectors and in climate change resilience and recovery efforts. After Typhoon Haiyan passed over the Philippines in 2013, cassava and sweetpotato were the first crops distributed and planted for food relief and rehabilitation. However, despite this proven value, RTCs are often overlooked and undervalued. … Read More

Inspiring stories from the field: Farmers turned entrepreneurs through farmer business schools in Indonesia

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On the island provinces of Maluku and Maluku Utara in Indonesia, small farmers have been equipped with skills to become entrepreneurs through the farmer business school (FBS) approach. The FBS is a participatory learning approach that strengthens a farmer’s involvement in agricultural value chains. Ten farmer groups from Maluku and Maluku Utara participated in an eight-month FBS, an approach adopted … Read More

A look into the FBS members’ lives in the Philippines under a gender lens

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In the Famer Business School (FBS) approach promoted by FoodSTART+, having social diversity among members can strengthen FBS activities by sharing different ideas and experiences. On the other hand, social diversity involves power dynamics, and careful analysis is required to understand whether and how members participated. The Philippines is a well-known country with excellent women’s empowerment. It is recognized as … Read More

CIP and MBDA organize the first symposium on organic potato in Meghalaya and Northeast India

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Organic potatoes hold great potential for improving farmer incomes with far fewer health and environmental costs. As market demand for organic potatoes and other crops continue to develop, profitable value chains can be established to generate economic development in rural areas but without exacting a high toll on the environment. With these ideas in mind, farmers, researchers, extension professionals, and … Read More

Changing perspectives, changing lives: The Farmer Business School experience

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The Farmer Business School (FBS) has gone a long way in the Philippines since introduced by the International Potato Center in 2012. Hopes were kindled through the opportunities offered by the FBS. The comprehensive training allowed farmers to become entrepreneurs, develop new products and enter the market. At the end of the FBS process, a business launch is held as … Read More

From Smallholders to Entrepreneurs, Growing Farmer Resilience through Farmer Business Schools

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Rural Filipino farmers are reinventing themselves from smallholders to food-processing entrepreneurs through a participatory learning approach known as the Farmer Business School (FBS). Implemented by the International Potato Center’s (CIP) project on Food Resilience through Root and Tuber Crops in Upland and Coastal Communities of the Asia-Pacific (FoodSTART+), the FBS methodology deepens farmers’ understanding of value chains while providing the … Read More

Sweetpotato Jams and Juices Contribute to Forest Conservation in the Philippines

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Once considered a survival food during times of drought or severe rains, sweetpotato cultivation is quickly turning into a lucrative business opportunity for entrepreneurial farmers while promoting forest conservation in the process. In a swath of the Philippines where the forests offer a buffer against the damage posed by severe storms, a staggering poverty rate of 46.9 percent threatens to … Read More

Analyzing Farmer Business Schools from gender and social perspectives in Meghalaya, India

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FoodSTART+ considers gender as an important component for inclusive and equitable development. Having social diversity among group members can strengthen group activities by sharing and building on different ideas and experiences. On the other hand, social diversity involves power dynamics, and careful analysis is required to understand whether and how members participated. To explore these gender and social dimensions in … Read More