DASHBOARD

The CGIAR Research Program on
Roots, Tubers and Bananas in 2017


3.1 Million


Households in Nigeria using improved cassava with positive effects on yield*

 

403,590


Households in Peru using improved potato varieties. 28% are using CIP-related material*


106,477


Participants in short term trainings and scaling activities

 

558,634


Farmers in 14 sub-Saharan African countries who accessed clean sweetpotato planting material through 1,350 small seed enterprises


222


Trainees involved in academic programs (Bsc, MSc, PhD)

132


Peer reviewed journal articles published of which 103 are open access

*cumulated results of past and ongoing initiatives

 

RTB AT A GLANCE

More than 300 million people living below the poverty line in developing countries depend on root, tuber and banana crops for food and income, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Americas. RTB was launched in 2012 to harness the untapped potential of these crops – including banana, cassava, potato, sweetpotato and yam – to improve food security, nutrition, income and climate change resilience of smallholders, especially women and youth. During its second phase, which began in 2017, RTB better integrated food systems thinking with commodity-based research to build a comprehensive Agri-Food System CGIAR Research Program and identified program targets to be achieved by 2022.

Root, tuber and banana crops are some of the most important staple crops in the world’s poorest regions. They provide around 15% or more of the daily per capita calorie intake for 763 million people living in the least developed countries. Often rich in key nutrients such as pro-vitamin A, RTB crops can significantly improve nutrition and food security. Many can also be grown with few inputs and often under harsh conditions. They respond very well to intensification and are high yielders in terms of calories produced per hectare. As important cash crops they can help boost family incomes and are frequently grown or marketed by women.

However, RTB crops present several common challenges. They are propagated clonally rather than with seeds, which allows yield-reducing pathogens to build up over time. This calls for a strong design of private-public seed systems. The crops’ bulk and perishability put pressure on postharvest innovation. High genetic complexity also means breeding for improved varieties is especially difficult.

RTB is a partnership collaboration which brings together the expertise and resources of five centers: the International Potato Center (CIP), which leads the program; Bioversity International; the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT); the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA); and the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), which represents several other French partners in the research program. The centers work together on common issues affecting RTB crops by mobilizing complementary expertise and resources and creating synergies among different research teams.

RTB is also a broad partnership platform including a diverse set of upstream research partners and downstream scaling partners. In 2017, RTB maintained formal collaboration with 134 partners, primarily national agricultural research organizations, academic and advanced research institutions, private companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Together, RTB and its broad network of partners will work to achieve the program’s intermediate development outcomes – which are fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals – by 2022.

THE PROGRAM IS STRUCTURED AROUND FIVE FLAGSHIP PROJECTS

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

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SELECTED PROGRAM TARGETS

20 million people (50% women) increased their income

30,000 small and medium enterprises operating profitably in the RTB seed and processing sectors

8 million farm households increased RTB crop yield through the adoption of improved varieties and sustainable management practices

10 million people (50% women) have improved their diet quality

1.9 million ha of current RTB crops production area converted to sustainable cropping systems

At least 2 million households with increased capacity to deal with climate risks and exrtremes

9,500 individuals (50% women) with improved capacities in partner organizations

At least 5 partnership and scaling models tested in a minimum of 5 target countries

 

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

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SELECTED PROGRAM TARGETS

20 million people (50% women) increased their income

30,000 small and medium enterprises operating profitably in the RTB seed and processing sectors

8 million farm households increased RTB crop yield through the adoption of improved varieties and sustainable management practices

10 million people (50% women) have improved their diet quality

1.9 million ha of current RTB crops production area converted to sustainable cropping systems

At least 2 million households with increased capacity to deal with climate risks and exrtremes

9,500 individuals (50% women) with improved capacities in partner organizations

At least 5 partnership and scaling models tested in a minimum of 5 target countries

WHERE WE WORK

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RTB Where We Work Placeholder
RTB Where We Work

RTB PEOPLE

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ENHANCED GENETIC RESOURCES

Flagship Project 1 (FP1) is developing and applying leading-edge science to build advanced tools, methods and models that improve the accuracy and speed of root, tuber and banana breeding. It also adds value to genebanks through enhanced conservation research and the linking of genes or traits to genebank accessions.

A RTB breeding community of practice (BCoP) has been established to share tools and methods that are applicable to the different crops. The BCoP, by identifying and resolving in a cross-cutting manner the major challenges to RTB breeding, is contributing to accelerating genetic gains in the RTB breeding programs. “RTB molecular geneticists, physiologists and bioinformaticians are helping to co-develop new molecular and analytical tools, such as metabolite studies, which are contributing to the implementation of genomics-assisted breeding as well as high throughput phenotyping,” says Luis Augusto Becerra, FP1 Leader and a Principle Research Scientist at CIAT.

FP1 is using the latest genetic and genomic technologies to tackle major constraints in RTB crops, as well as enhancing quality traits. Moreover, stewardship and advocacy activities are being promoted to address the relevant risks associated with these innovations. In addition, research is being carried out to improve and refine existing ex situ conservation methods and tools as well as to improve understanding of how root, tuber and banana diversity is maintained on-farm and in wild habitats and the threats to this diversity.

Checklist guides breeding programs to develop varieties that benefit women and men

Widespread adoption of improved crop varieties depends on the benefits they provide for the resource-poor users who grow, eat, process and sell them. Farmers’ needs vary by gender, geography and market involvement. Social scientists and breeders especially have to understand the different priorities that women and men assign to traits like size, shape and taste, and reflect those priorities in breeding decisions.

The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative, led by RTB and the International Potato Center, produced a practical ‘decision checklist’ to help plant and animal breeding programs become more gender-responsive. Developed by an interdisciplinary group from 11 CGIAR centers and partner organizations who met in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 2017, the checklist lays out an approach for systemically including information about gender differences in critical decisions made at key points in the breeding cycle, including the definition of gender-responsive product profiles which describe a future variety to be developed.

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Flowchart of critical decision points for gender-responsive breeding. Credit: GBI/RTB

ADAPTED PRODUCTIVE VARIETIES
AND QUALITY SEED

Flagship Project 2 makes available high yielding varieties of roots, tubers and bananas that respond to the needs and preferences of different stakeholders in the value chain, while also ensuring the availability of good quality planting material.

The flagship uses participatory, gender-responsive tools to understand the traits and criteria that stakeholders consider when adopting or rejecting varieties and uses this intelligence to guide breeding processes. Predictive modelling and foresight work help identify what features RTB varieties need under future climate change scenarios.

To ensure that improved varieties are accessible to stakeholders, the flagship is strengthening seed systems through an integrated approach to promote inclusive seed value chains.

“Our scientists are making exciting progress in working with the private sector, national partners and farmers to reduce seed multiplication and distribution bottlenecks, improve seed quality and on-farm seed management, and creating enabling regulations and certification schemes,” explains Elmar Schulte-Geldermann, FP2 Leader and Program Leader: Seed Potato for Africa at CIP.

Farmers harvest Kufri Lima during multi-location trials. Photo: Central Potato Research Institute

A climate resilient potato variety developed by the International Potato Center (CIP) with resistance to early heat and drought has been tested in India and approved for release. The variety, called ‘Kufri Lima’, is ideal for early planting and resistant to the viruses PVX and PVY and is moderately resistant to late blight. Kufri Lima has 30% more marketable tuber yield than the popular heat-tolerant variety, Kufri Surya. It stores well, is attractive and tasty. Farmers who harvest early earn higher prices and can plant an additional winter crop, such as wheat. Kufri Lima also has a low degeneration rate so farmers can plant it for two to three generations, saving seed costs. 

Another drought-tolerant clone, CIP 397006.18, was tested under the All India Coordinated Research Project and was found to be flavorful, blight-resistant and to have higher yields than locally grown varieties. These promising new varieties are good news for India’s small-scale potato farmers.

Decentralized Vine Multipliers benefit communities in multiple ways, including reducing the distances farmers must travel for planting materials and providing casual employment. Credit: H.Rutherford/CIP

Decentralized sweetpotato vine multipliers provide smallholders with access to the vines needed to plant nutritious orange-fleshed sweetpotato. As demand for the vines grows in different countries, the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (SPHI) registers vine multipliers and has established a database of multipliers on the Sweetpotato Knowledge Portal so extension personnel and growers can locate them to make purchases. The database is updated annually, and studies are conducted to understand why some multipliers have stopped and others expanded.  

By 2017, more than 1,100 vine multipliers, of whom 34% are women, had been registered in 11 African countries – Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. Since the launch of the multi-partner, multi-donor SPHI platform in 2010, over 4.5 million households have benefitted, directly or indirectly, from improved varieties of sweetpotato.   

RESILIENT ROOTS, TUBERS AND BANANAS

Roots, tubers and bananas are vulnerable to several biotic and abiotic stresses that reduce yields for farmers, and which are predicted to intensify under climate change. Flagship Project 3 seeks to close these yield gaps. Monitoring pest and pathogen movement is critical to assess risks and design responses for emerging threats. The flagship also works to improve the agronomic practices and production systems of farmers, and so enhances the productivity and sustainability of RTB agri-food systems.

The flagship has developed pest and disease risk models related to climate change, conducted pest risks analyses, and advanced integrated pest management strategies. It is strengthening the capacity of plant health stakeholders to prevent and manage the risk of invasive and emerging pests and diseases which can undermine farmers’ livelihoods. Many of these pests and diseases are transboundary, so RTB provides a broad platform for cross country collaboration. Because patterns of disease build-up and spread are similar for all root, tuber and banana crops, solutions developed for one crop can, in many cases, be applied to others.

IMPROVING NUTRITION AND LIVELIHOODS

There is great scope in diversifying and improving the utilization of root, tuber and banana crops for nutrition and economic goals, resulting in healthier diets and better livelihoods for women, men, and youth.

Flagship Project 4 (FP4) on ‘Nutritious food and added value’ is harnessing the nutritional potential of roots, tubers and bananas, sustainably expanding their utilization and adding value through post-harvest innovation. Post-harvest researchers and nutrition specialists collaborate with breeders to design and develop more nutrient-dense crops, such as biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato and cassava, which also have other market-preferred traits such as high dry matter or starch content. Market development research strengthens demand for biofortified crops and accelerates the uptake of varieties that are both nutritious and profitable.

Among the common challenges shared by RTB crops are their bulky and perishable nature, which have typically restricted them from entering urban markets. “By improving storage, transportability and processing, while reducing postharvest losses, FP4 is working to increase consumption among growing urban populations,” adds Simon Heck, FP4 Leader, and a Program Leader with CIP.

New energy efficient dryers for small-scale cassava processors

Cassava is processed in to food products like gari. Credit: H.Holmes/RTB

Cassava deteriorates rapidly after harvest. In villages across Africa, roots are usually processed into semolina-type products (especially gari) and other foods using basic, locally made equipment. The lack of appropriate small-scale drying equipment is a barrier to expanding these enterprises. As part of collaborative research by CIAT, IITA and CIRAD, experiments were conducted with flash dryers at two cassava processing centers in Tanzania and Nigeria. Sensors were installed on the dryers and the mass and energy balance of the equipment was analyzed. The air mass flow rates of both dryers were then reduced by 24% in Tanzania and 14% in Nigeria. The modifications decreased the dryers’ heat input without jeopardizing evaporation rates, or the final moisture content of the dry products. The modification improved energy efficiency by 25% in Tanzania and by 14% in Nigeria. This research will allow practical flash dryers to be developed for small-scale, on-farm processors elsewhere in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

IMPROVED LIVELIHOODS AT SCALE

Achieving ambitious improvements in the lives of millions of beneficiaries is a central focus of RTB. Flagship Project 5 (FP5) works together with RTB’s four other flagships to enhance and scale innovations, while paying special attention to gender equity.

FP5 is developing pioneering tools, methods and approaches that enable researchers to analyze trends for RTB crops and identify new opportunities in a context of climate change. It conducts ex-post assessment to understand adoption processes and measure impacts of innovation. It provides tools to support decision-making on investments among competing enterprises for actors at household, landscape, value chain and policy levels. FP5 also supports strategic gender and youth research and capacity development.

Co-learning, capacity development and participatory testing of RTB innovations are used to guide innovation and scaling in Flagships 1 to 4 using the novel scaling readiness approach.

Peruvian potato farmers benefit from productive varieties

Field researchers interviewed 1,098 potato farmers in 11 regions of Peru during the adoption study. Photo: CIP

The International Potato Center has worked with the potato breeding program of the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation of Peru to develop and release more than 34 improved potato varieties over the past 40 years. These varieties have higher yields and lower production costs, increasing farmers’ income and reducing pesticide use.

A national survey of 1,098 potato producing households, published in 2017, showed that 62% of the potato area is under improved varieties – benefitting 202,676 farmers. Improved varieties have a net yield gain of 1.0 ton per ha, and an additional 2.7 tons of potato sold per farmer, resulting in an additional revenue of $US493 per farmer.

The new varieties reached women farmers as well as men with the survey revealing that 60% of female headed households adopted the improved potatoes, while 74% of male headed households adopted improved varieties.

KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTS


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Publications in ISI journals (83%)


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Open access journal articles (78%)


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Pubications downloaded from CGSpace


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Datasets published


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Peer reviewed journal articles


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Open access reviewed journal articles published of which 103 are open access

KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTS


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Publications in ISI journals (83%)


0

Open access journal articles (78%)


0

Pubications downloaded from CGSpace


0

Datasets published


0

Peer reviewed journal articles


0

Open access reviewed journal articles published of which 103 are open access

PARTNERS

Partnership is central to international agricultural research for development. Collaboration mobilizes research results through bringing together diverse actors at international, regional, national and local levels. Partnerships are crucial for RTB’s success and form an intrinsic part of the theories of change which make outcomes possible, with the scale and scope of partnerships changing along the continuum from research to development.

In 2017, RTB worked with 134 formally established partners, including private sector, national agricultural research organizations, advanced research institutions, academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations. Innumerable community-based organizations and farm households not individually listed here were also central to the program’s success.

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Donors



  • Government of Odisha

  • Government of Uganda

DONORS

RTB is grateful for the funding support provided by our donors, including through contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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Government of Odisha

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Government of Tanzania (Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives)

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Government of Uganda

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Government of Liberia (Ministry of Agriculture)

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FINANCIAL REPORT

RTB started 2017 with a conservative budget scenario of Window 1&2 (W1&2) of USD18.7M. During the year the budget was adjusted upward with a final allocation of USD20.6M (including carry-over from 2016 of USD0.1M).

The total 2017 budget for the program was USD107.4M: USD20.6M (19%) from W1&2, and USD86.8M (81%) from W3, bilateral funds and RTB participant centers’ own funds.

2017 EXPENDITURE

Total expenditure for 2017 was USD93.5M, or 87% of the budget, of which USD18.3M (20%) was from W1&2, and USD75.2M (80%) from W3, bilateral and centers’ own funds. W1&2 expenses reached 89% execution of the final budget and W3, bilateral and centers’ own expenditure, reached 87% execution.

RTB had an average execution of 86% of each flagship budget, with the exception of Flagship Project 1 which was overspent by 6% due to the execution of W3 and bilateral projects.

Expenditure for gender research was USD10.4M, representing 11% of RTB total expenditure in 2017.

The chart below shows the W1&2 budget and expenditure by flagship and the management expenditure of USD1.59M.

FLAGSHIP 2017 W1&2 BUDGET VS EXPENSES (USD Millions)

Flagship W1 & 2  Budget
 Bioversity   CIAT   CIP   IITA   CIRAD   WUR   Partners   PMU   TOTAL 
FP1 : Enhanced genetic resources 0.72 0.86 1.23 0.65 0.11 0.12 3.68
FP2 : Productive varieties and quality seed 0.63 0.56 2.56 1.12  0.03 0.07  – 4.97
FP3 : Resilient crops 1.34 0.41 0.81 1.32 0.07 0.10  – 4.04
FP4 : Nutritious food and added value 0.18 0.33 0.30 0.66 0.22 0.09  – 1.80
FP5 : Integrated livelihoods at scale 0.73 0.59 1.14 1.36  0.02 0.24  – 4.08
CRP Management & Support Cost 0.04 0.06  0.08 0.08  – 1.77 2.03
TOTAL 3.64 2.81 6.12 5.19 0.46 0.30 0.31 1.77 20.60
Flagship W1 & 2  Expenses
 Bioversity   CIAT   CIP   IITA   CIRAD   WUR   Partners   PMU   TOTAL 
FP1 : Enhanced genetic resources 0.71 0.87 1.16 0.61 0.13 0.03 3.51
FP2 : Productive varieties and quality seed 0.61 0.59 2.02 1.12  0.02 0.07  – 4.43
FP3 : Resilient crops 0.91 0.41 0.78 1.26 0.07  – 3.42
FP4 : Nutritious food and added value 0.19 0.30 0.29 0.48 0.17 0.09  – 1.53
FP5 : Integrated livelihoods at scale 0.72 0.46 1.10 1.36  0.02 0.16  – 3.81
CRP Management & Support Cost 0.04 0.06  0.08 0.08  – 1.33 1.59
TOTAL 3.17 2.69 5.43 4.92 0.40 0.23 0.12 1.33 18.30

CGIAR Funding Windows

Windows 1&2 funds are provided by the CGIAR to RTB for allocation across the agreed product portfolio. Window 1 funds are allocated by the CGIAR System Organization to different CRPs including RTB, while Window 2 funds are designated by donors specifically to RTB.

Window 3 funds are allocated directly to CGIAR Centers by donors and are mapped into RTB when they are consistent with the RTB product portfolio. Window 3 includes a deduction of 2% of the total budget as contribution to the CGIAR System Organization.

Bilateral funds are contracts directly signed between a center and a donor and mapped into RTB.

RTB 2012 -2017

The distribution of budget by funding sources shows an increased contribution of W1&2 between the last year of Phase I and first year of Phase II, rising from 15% in 2016 to 19% in 2017 – with an additional USD6.4M funds compared to 2016.

Total expenditure in 2017 increased by 10% compared with 2016 and 71% compared with 2012, showing an overall positive trend for the program (USD93.5M in 2017 vs. USD54.6M in 2012). The cumulative expenditure reached USD448.9M over the six years of the program (USD135.6M from W1&2, and USD313.3M from W3, bilateral and center funds).

RTB EXPENDITURE: 2012 TO 2017

 

For the full financial report, please visit the website on a larger device.