Sweetpotato Last News
Tropical cyclone Winston ripped through the south Pacific in February this year, leaving a wide trail of destruction. The genebank at the Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees, or CePaCT in Fiji, run by Pacific Community’s (SPC) Land Resources Division, helps preserve diversity in such staple crops as sweetpotato, taro, yam, and banana. The cyclone however meant they weren’t in any position to quickly multiply up their sweetpotato stocks. The head of CIP’s genebank, Dr. David Ellis, got in contact with Valerie Saena Tuia, Coordinator of the Genetic Resources facility (CePaCT) at SPC, in Fiji. Would they need some help with getting hard-hit farmers back on their feet?
On November 16 at the Global Landscapes Forum in Morocco, the International Potato Center team led by World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Maria Andrade will present an innovative program to help climate vulnerable countries prepare for inevitable weather shocks due to climate change using resilient nutritious orange-fleshed sweetpotato.
A video on how World Food Prize winning scientists Jan Low, Maria Andrade and Robert Mwanga used orange-fleshed sweetpotato to fight vitamin A deficiency and blindness.
“Root and tuber crops (RTCs) [are] survival crops in times of food crises: during post-disaster periods (usually post-typhoon), lean months during monsoon season, and harvest failure caused by drought or pest infestation,” said Mavic Relayson, a CIP Philippines spokesperson. “Farmers and fisherfolk grow them, as they are easy to manage and require the least inputs. They have exhibited less vulnerability to extreme weather conditions because they grow underground.”