CIP Newsletter – December 2015




Crop wild relatives may hold key to counteract effects of climate change in agriculture 



They grow in some of the world’s most inhospitable conditions. Unlike their pampered domesticated relatives in order to survive they’ve needed to adapt on their own to high temperatures, high saline conditions, drought, and disease. Scientists now believe that these wild plant species related to domesticated crops, known as Crop Wild Relatives (CWR), might just hold a key to counteract the devastating effects of climate change on the world’s food supply. 



As the earth’s temperatures rise harvests are expected to fall short. Models show possible yield losses of 6-10% for every 1° C increase in temperature. Crop diversity is more important than ever and yet in the U.S. alone 90% of the fruit and vegetable varieties were lost in the past century. Investing now in preserving and mining the resilient traits of CWR can help safeguard the world’s food supply.



Read more.







CIP Delegates Attend COP21 


Dr. Barbara H. Wells, CIP director general will lead the CIP delegation to COP 21 in Paris, France where CIP told the story of our efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change on the world’s poor by achieving food and nutrition security on a sustained basis in developing countries through scientific research and related activities on potato, sweetpotato, and other root and tuber crops and through improved management of natural resources.  

Mitigating and adapting to climate change with potato and sweetpotato. – By 2030 an additional 100 million people might be forced into poverty due to climate change according to a study by the World Bank. Agriculture is facing increased pressure from pests and diseases, drought, and rising temperatures. Crop yields are expected to decline by 5% and reach as much as a 30% decline by 2080. 

Hundreds of millions of people in developing countries depend on potato, sweetpotato for food security and income, as they can be grown in marginal conditions with few inputs.

Read more. 

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Drones offer improved perspectives 

on agricultural landscapes 


Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are no longer a thing of the future. From their perspective high in the sky, these hovering insect-like machines grant researchers new and valuable insights on how crops evolve across landscapes and over time. 

One of the biggest challenges to making smart investments in agriculture is the lack of evidence to base decisions on. Especially in developing countries, the lack of basic data makes it difficult for decision makers to assess the opportunities and trade-offs of different investments or interventions. But with the use of drones, that status quo may be about to change. 





CIP farmers receive 

Standard and Chartered Bank award 


The International Potato Center (CIP) Horticulture project in Bangladesh received national recognition when two of its participating farmers; Reshma Begum an orange fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) vine nursery owner and Billal Hossain a tomato farmer, were each honored with a prestigious AGROW award. Bestowed by Standard & Chartered Bank the award seeks to recognize outstanding contributions to the agriculture sector.

Award will encourage more women. Reshma Begum is one of 300 women farmers trained by the Feed the Future USAID funded CIP horticulture project in vine multiplication in nursery for producing healthy/disease free planting material. Through her training she was able to establish a nursery and begin selling vines to her local community. While the average nursery produces 11,000 vine cuttings for sale, Reshma’s nursery produced a whopping 50,000. Farmers like Reshma are helping to revolutionize the taste for OFSP in southern Bangladesh. 





Coming El Niño presents both threat and opportunity to smallholder farmers 


A jumbo El Niño expected in the months ahead is likely to have significant effects on global potato crops – perhaps both positive and negative. Yet CIP researchers are harnessing strategies now to help offset losses and maximize yields in the face of an unknown set of variables. 

The full name of the climate phenomenon – the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO – is characterized by periodic increases and decreases in sea surface temperatures over the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean, says Roberto Quiroz, leader of CIP’s crop systems intensification and climate change center of excellence, which looks at the interaction between climate and agriculture.  When temperatures rise, it’s referred to as an El Niño cycle; when they drop, it’s a La Niña phase. 





Want some french fries? 

Why not try orange fleshed sweetpotato fries from Malawi!


The experiences of a sweetpotato chip maker at Liwonde Township, Malawi.

Tanzania, as Tiyesi is fondly known by fellow market vendors, struck gold in April 2014 when he started to produce and sell sweetpotato chips. 

After toiling for years, working for other potato vendors preparing and selling french fries, he decided to start his own small enterprise.  Sensing that potatoes were expensive he decided to use sweetpotato for his chips. Tiyesi secured a small loan of K2, 500.00 to buy cooking oil and fuel wood. He borrowed a firewood burner and a frying pan. And convinced a sweetpotato dealer to give him a bag of sweetpotato worth K5, 000.00 as a loan in order to start the business. He was able to get a gross income of K9000.00 from the first proceeds and about K1, 500.00 as profit.




Think Tank of the year 2015:

A new award for CIP for its work with 

native potatoes


For its excellent work with native potatoes and awareness raising campaigns, the International Potato Center (CIP) was awarded the annually by PODER magazine prize and the On Think Tanks initiative, in the Category of Applied Science, Technology and Research for 2015. 

This prize awarded to Think Tanks in Peru is inspired by a similar initiative by Prospect magazine in Great Britain.  Its goal is to give recognition to excellent research and communication work done by applied research centers from academia, the state, civil society, or the private sector to find solutions to development problems based on innovative research.





CIP In the News






CIP Publications 



Innovación agrícola pro-pobre para seguridad y soberanía alimentaria en la región andina: El caso IssAndes en Ecuador. 


Learning the Smart Way: Lessons, learned by the Reaching Agents of Change Project.


Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato Investment Guide.

Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato Investment Implementation Guide.

Tecnología para hombres y mujeres: Recomendaciones para reforzar la temática de género en procesos de innovación tecnológica agrí­cola para la seguridad alimentaria.

Technology for men and women: Recommendations to reinforce gender mainstreaming in agricultural technology innovation processes for food security.



CIP International Potato Center.


Healthy Eating for Mothers, Babies and Children. Facilitator Guide.


Training of Trainers’ Module for Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP). Utilization and Processing.

Gendarização da Planificação, Implementação, Monitoria e Avaliação do Projecto da Batata Doce de Polpa Alaranjada: Um Kit para Aprendizagem. VOL 1.


VOL 2. / VOL 3. / VOL 4. VOL 5.

Tout ce que vous avez toujours voulu savoir à propos de la patate douce. Manuel de FDF pour le projet Atteindre les Agents du Changement.  VOL 1.

   VOL 2. / VOL 3. / VOL 4.

   VOL 5. / VOL 6. / VOL 7.

Catalog of ancestral potato varieties from Chugay, La Libertad – Peru.

Annual Report 2014. Cross-Cutting Efforts Optimize Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihood.


CIP Scientific Articles: 



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Donors 2015


  • Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
  • Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bioforks 
  • Bioversity lnternational 
  • Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University 
  • Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) 
  • CGIAR Centers & Research Programs
  • The Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 
  • European Commission 
  • Generation Challenge Program 
  • Global Crop Diversity Trust 
  • Inner Mongolia University
  • International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) 
  • Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) 
  • International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) 
  • Irish Aid 
  • Michigan State University 
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) 
  • North Carolina State University 
  • Rural Development Administration (RDA) of the Republic of Korea 
  • State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF QLD) 
  • Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 
  • Syngenta Crop Protection AG 
  • Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture 
  • The Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor 
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 
  • The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) 
  • The Mcknight Foundation 
  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Cooperatives of Tanzania 
  • The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) 
  • The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) 
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) 






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