CIP’s San Ramon Station celebrates birthday with open door field day

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May 9, 2011By: cip_admin

San Ramon, Peru. As part of its 23rd anniversary celebrations, the International Potato Center’s Experimental Station in San Ramon is opening its doors today, with a field day showcasing its research projects.

Events kick off at 8.30am with representatives of the press, local and regional authorities, public officials, and the general public all invited to this very special opportunity to experience the station’s work with potato, sweetpotato, and ahipa. Experts will explain how they are developing new crop varieties, improving yields, strengthening pest and disease tolerance, and adding value to generate new sources of revenue for producers. A unique feature of the San Ramón station is its geography. Located in an area of tropical rainforest, the varieties developed there are particularly suited to other developing countries across Asia and Africa with similar ecosystems. The station therefore plays a key role in achieving one of CIP’s primary objectives: to ensure food security, and fight hunger and poverty worldwide. This challenge is becoming ever more significant in the face of increasing global population and a growing threat to crops from natural disasters putting food supply at risk, especially in the world’s poorer countries. With 2010 declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations, the field day also serves as an important opportunity to emphasize the importance of Peru’s natural biodiversity in potato, sweetpotato, and Andean roots and tubers regarding scientific efforts to improve crops and address these emergent challenges. One of the field day’s attractions will be a presentation of the station’s work on the American yam bean (Pachyrhizus spp.) otherwise known as ahipa, a nutrient-rich crop which was cultivated and used by pre-Inca cultures. The Ahipa Project is a 4-year CIP initiative, funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation, working simultaneously across three continents (South America, Europe and Africa) to exploit the full potential of this highly nutritious crop, which is especially well suited to the needs of small farmers. For more information, please contact Dr. Bettina Heider CIP San Ramón Experimental Station Calle Las Margaritas s/n (Located next to Colegio Nacional) Tel. 064-331086 – email: b.heider@cgiar.org