Asian appetites

Nearly 3 million farmers embrace CIP-bred potatoes, raising revenues and resilience

Rising investment in infrastructure, people and research across Asia over the last 20 years has produced dramatic improvements in living standards. Nowhere is this more visible than the agricultural sector, where crop yields have grown six-fold in China and two-fold in India over the last 40 years.

Rising potato production has played its part in growing farm incomes and more diverse diets. Over the last 10 years, potato production in seven Asian countries—Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam—has risen by more than 50%, while the value of farmgate sales have more than doubled to nearly USD 37 billion per year.

Decades of success

An assessment published in 2018 found that 19% of the total land area devoted to potato production in these seven countries was planted with varieties bred at the International Potato Center (CIP) or by national partners in collaboration with CIP. Between 2008 and 2015, the area planted with those varieties more than doubled to 1.43 million hectares. Over the past 40 years, CIP scientists have helped 2.93 million potato farming households overcome challenges such as limited land and climate change to produce more food and generate more income, while diversifying the diets of rural and urban consumers.

CIP’s collaboration with Asian partners continues to result in new varieties. An example is Kufri Lima, a heat-tolerant and virus-resistant potato bred at CIP headquarters in Peru and released in India in 2018.

Asian appetites

Nearly 3 million farmers embrace CIP-bred potatoes, raising revenues and resilience

Rising investment in infrastructure, people and research across Asia over the last 20 years has produced dramatic improvements in living standards. Nowhere is this more visible than the agricultural sector, where crop yields have grown six-fold in China and two-fold in India over the last 40 years.

Rising potato production has played its part in growing farm incomes and more diverse diets. Over the last 10 years, potato production in seven Asian countries—Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam—has risen by more than 50%, while the value of farmgate sales have more than doubled to nearly USD 37 billion per year.

Decades of success

An assessment published in 2018 found that 19% of the total land area devoted to potato production in these seven countries was planted with varieties bred at the International Potato Center (CIP) or by national partners in collaboration with CIP. Between 2008 and 2015, the area planted with those varieties more than doubled to 1.43 million hectares. Over the past 40 years, CIP scientists have helped 2.93 million potato farming households overcome challenges such as limited land and climate change to produce more food and generate more income, while diversifying the diets of rural and urban consumers.

The Chinese variety Cooperation-88 (C88) is one success story. The result of collaboration between CIP and Yunnan Normal University, C88 was growing on more than 160,000 hectares by 2015. A follow-up analysis found that C88’s cumulative value for farmers and consumers in Yunnan Province alone was approximately USD 2.84-3.73 billion.

C88 and five other CIP-related potato varieties together constitute about a quarter of the potatoes grown in China. Those six and dozens of other CIP-related varieties have been successful in Asia thanks to a combination of disease resistance, adaptability to challenging climates and environments, and characteristics that local consumers want. They include early-maturing potatoes that are key to recent work on sustainable intensification, which enables farmers to grow more food on the same amount of land with fewer inputs.

New varieties

CIP’s collaboration with Asian partners continues to result in new varieties. An example is Kufri Lima, a heat-tolerant and virus-resistant potato bred at CIP headquarters in Peru and released in India in 2018. Because Kufri Lima is ready to harvest 80-90 days after planting, it is ideal for sustainable intensification, able to be grown between rice crop cycles on land that would otherwise be fallow.

In 2019, the Potato Technology Centre Shamgarh Karnal, in Haryana, began using cutting-edge technologies to produce enough seed potatoes to allow thousands of farmers to start growing this new variety.

“We expect that Kufri Lima will be popular for both fresh consumption and processed markets, and are hopeful it will help to transform the potato economy in India,” said Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General for Horticulture at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

Singh added that he hopes Kufri Lima will be as successful as Kufri Chipsona-1, a disease-resistant variety bred by Indian scientists using CIP germplasm and released in 1998. Thanks to strong market demand, Kufri Chipsona-1 is now grown on approximately 60,000 hectares, and farmers in Uttar Pradesh have reported earning 30% more with this variety.

The potato’s power to boost incomes and resilience in Asia will continue to grow in the coming decade, as new climate-smart varieties are taken to scale. These include Kufri Lima and several new heat- and salt-tolerant varieties being grown in Bangladesh, where a cyclone storm surge left coastal farmlands too saline for most crops. As CIP and partners produce other high-yielding varieties suited to such conditions, more and more farmers across the region will use the humble potato as a tool to overcome the challenges of today and the unforeseen ones that lie ahead.

Funders: CGIAR Trust Fund donors; Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, Germany; Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea; Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture; United States Agency for International Development. 

Partners: Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute; Central Potato Research Institute/Indian Council of Agricultural Research; Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Ganzu Agricultural University, China; Hebei North University, China; Heilonjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China; HZPC Holding BV; Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam; National Institute of Crop Science, Republic of Korea; Nepal Agricultural Research Council; Potato Technology Centre Shamgarh Karnal, India; Potato, Vegetable and Flower Research Center, Vietnam; Tajikistan Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Qinghai Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, China; Yunnan Normal University, China; Vietnam National University of Agriculture; Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences.

Associated CGIAR Research Programs or Platforms:  Excellence in Breeding Platform; Roots, Tubers and Bananas.

ABOUT

CIP is a CGIAR research center with a focus on potato, sweetpotato and Andean roots and tubers. It delivers innovative science-based solutions to enhance access to affordable nutritious food, foster inclusive sustainable business and employment growth, and drive the climate resilience of root and tuber agri-food systems. Headquartered in Lima, Peru, CIP has a research presence in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. www.cipotato.org

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners across the globe. www.cgiar.org

CIP ACHIEVEMENTS

CREDITS

Discovery to Impact
Science-based solutions for global challenges

International Potato Center | Annual Report 2019
© 2020, International Potato Center
ISSN 0256-6311
DOI: 10.4160/02566311/2018
Hecho el Depósito Legal en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú  N° 2005-9640 

Readers are encouraged to quote or reproduce material from this report. As copyright holder, CIP requests acknowledgement and a copy of the publication where the citation or material appears. Please send this to the Communications Department at the address below. 

International Potato Center
Av. La Molina 1895, La Molina, Peru
Apartado 1558, Lima 12, Peru
cip@cgiar.org
www.cipotato.org 

Direction
James Stapleton 

Managing editor
Christopher Butler 

Writing 
David Dudenhoefer (consultant) 

Production coordinator
Cecilia Lafosse 

Multimedia productions
Sara Fajardo
Hugh Rutherford
Isabel Corthier 

Web development
Moises Rosario
Andrea Prado 

Design and infographics
José Enrique Torres 

Photo captions and credits 

Sliders:
Sweetpotato vine distribution in Mozambique (CIP/I. Corthier).
Jan Kreuze in the lab. (Credit CIP/J. Torres).
Genetic markers facilitate breeding resilient potatoes with characteristics local people want. (Credit CIP/H. Rutherford).

Sub-menus:

Discovery:
Jan Kreuze in the lab. (Credit CIP/J. Torres)

Innovation:
Ms Tirhas Woldu and her daughters, of Tigray, Ethiopia, enjoy orange-fleshed sweetpotato. (Credit CIP/A.Frezer)

Impact:
A combination of sweetpotato planting material, agronomic training and nutrition education has helped millions of rural families improve their food and nutrition security. (Credit CIP/I. Corthier)

Next-generation breeding:
Research assistant Monica Santayana works on a project to crossbreed potato and its wild relatives (Crop Trust/M. Major).

Stopping sweetpotato pathogens:
Scientist Barack Wanjawa tests the LAMP assay for sweetpotato viruses in Kenya (KALRO/A. Mulwa).

Triple advantage:
By storing sweetpotatoes in dry sand and using them to produce planting material, farmers are able to plant and harvest the nutritious crop earlier (CIP/M. Cherinet).

Potatoes for prosperity:
Farmer Doris Kagendo Gikunda, of Meru county, with the high-yielding CIP potato variety Unica (CIP/V. Atakos).

Sweet resilience:
Thousands of farmers received sweetpotato planting material to replace crops destroyed by Cyclone Idai (CIP/I. Corthier).

Asian appetites:
Nutrition education in Bangladesh (CIP/S.Quinn)

CIP at a glance:
Credit CIP/H. Rutherford

CIP in CGIAR:
Credit CIP/I. Corthier

Board of Trustees:
Credit CIP/J.Torres

July 2020 

CREDITS

Discovery to Impact
Science-based solutions for global challenges

International Potato Center | Annual Report 2019
© 2020, International Potato Center
ISSN 0256-6311
DOI: 10.4160/02566311/2018
Hecho el Depósito Legal en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú  N° 2005-9640 

Readers are encouraged to quote or reproduce material from this report. As copyright holder, CIP requests acknowledgement and a copy of the publication where the citation or material appears. Please send this to the Communications Department at the address below. 

International Potato Center
Av. La Molina 1895, La Molina, Peru
Apartado 1558, Lima 12, Peru
cip@cgiar.org
www.cipotato.org 

Direction
James Stapleton 

Managing editor
Christopher Butler 

Writing 
David Dudenhoefer (consultant) 

Production coordinator
Cecilia Lafosse 

Multimedia productions
Sara Fajardo
Hugh Rutherford
Isabel Corthier 

Web development
Moises Rosario
Andrea Prado 

Design and infographics
José Enrique Torres 

Photo captions and credits 

Sliders:
Sweetpotato vine distribution in Mozambique (CIP/I. Corthier).
Jan Kreuze in the lab. (Credit CIP/J. Torres).
Genetic markers facilitate breeding resilient potatoes with characteristics local people want. (Credit CIP/H. Rutherford).

Sub-menus:

Discovery:
Jan Kreuze in the lab. (Credit CIP/J. Torres).

Innovation:
Ms Tirhas Woldu and her daughters, of Tigray, Ethiopia, enjoy orange-fleshed sweetpotato. (Credit CIP/A.Frezer).

Impact:
A combination of sweetpotato planting material, agronomic training and nutrition education has helped millions of rural families improve their food and nutrition security. (Credit CIP/I. Corthier).

Next-generation breeding:
Research assistant Monica Santayana works on a project to crossbreed potato and its wild relatives (Crop Trust/M. Major).

Stopping sweetpotato pathogens:
Scientist Barack Wanjawa tests the LAMP assay for sweetpotato viruses in Kenya (KALRO/A. Mulwa).

Triple advantage:
By storing sweetpotatoes in dry sand and using them to produce planting material, farmers are able to plant and harvest the nutritious crop earlier (CIP/M. Cherinet).

Potatoes for prosperity:
Farmer Doris Kagendo Gikunda, of Meru county, with the high-yielding CIP potato variety Unica (CIP/V. Atakos).

Sweet resilience:
Thousands of farmers received sweetpotato planting material to replace crops destroyed by Cyclone Idai (CIP/I. Corthier).

Asian appetites:
Nutrition education in Bangladesh (CIP/S.Quinn).

CIP at a glance:
Credit CIP/H. Rutherford

CIP in CGIAR:
Credit CIP/I. Corthier

Communication data 2019:
Credit CIP/S. Quinn

Board of Trustees:
Credit CIP/J.Torres

July 2020 

ABOUT  | CIP ACHIEVEMENTS | CREDITS

ABOUT  | CIP ACHIEVEMENTS | CREDITS

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