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 universities who are in their final year of study in agricultural science, and is part of RTB and CIP’s efforts to support Peruvian national institutions and the future of youth in agriculture.

The Congress will bring together more than 800 scientists and potato industry experts from across the world to share interests, innovations, research and information on the theme of “Biodiversity, Food Security and Business”. Organized by the World Potato Congress Inc., the event is dedicated to supporting the cultivation and development of potato around the world.

“RTB is proud to be supporting this initiative with our lead center, the International Potato Center, and giving this valuable opportunity for 15 Peruvian university students to attend the Congress and learn first-hand from some of the world’s foremost experts,” says Graham Thiele, RTB Director.

“It is important that we encourage the next generation of researchers and academics in the field of agricultural science, as we are seeing diminishing numbers of students who are pursuing studies and careers in this area.”

This will be the first time that the triannual event will be held in Latin America, and the selection of Cusco located in the Peruvian Andes is symbolic as it lies in the region where the potato first originated millennia ago.

This is also a region that is already feeling the effects of climate change, with reports that warmer temperatures are forcing farmers to grow their potato crops further up the mountains. Warmer weather is also expanding the reach of pests and diseases that target potato, adding further pressure to local farmers.

Climate change is the topic of a presentation to be delivered by Thiele at the event titled “A second climate smart agricultural revolution in the Andes for the 21st Century”, and is a key area of research RTB.

For more information about the scholarship and applications, in Spanish only, please visit the Congress website.