The Innovation Chain

The International Potato Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIP) is a research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweetpotato, and Andean roots and tubers. CIP is dedicated to delivering sustainable science-based solutions to the pressing world issues of hunger, poverty, gender equity, climate change and the preservation of our Earth’s fragile biodiversity and natural resources.


The potato has great potential for contributing to food security and development. It produces more calories per hectare than wheat or rice, requires less water than many crops and can be grown in a wide range of altitudes. World potato production has increased by 14.9 percent in the last 13 years, despite the fact that the area dedicated to the crop has decreased by 3.7 percent. The potato’s high productivity, adaptability and food value have led it to be cultivated in 163 countries. Currently, half of the world’s potato production is in Asia, mainly in China and India, where production has
increased by 109 percent and 145 percent respectively in the last 20 years.

Scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) focus their efforts on the main challenges of potato farming and tapping the crop’s potential for improving lives. We develop potato varieties with high yields, rich in iron and zinc, resistant to pests and diseases and tolerant to high temperatures and droughts, in order to help smallholders deal with climate change and contribute to the preservation of the environment. We also develop and promote the use of appropriate tools and farmer training  through participatory methods, with a gender responsive perspective. At the same time, we are cognizant of the need to help farmers gain access to better markets, which is why we work with different value chain actors to develop commercial innovations for national and international markets

International Potato Center (Brochure 2018)

The innovation chain. Biodiversity. Food security. Business. Services for science and innovation

Centro Internacional de la Papa (Folleto 2018)

La cadena de innovacion. Biodiversidad. Seguridad alimentaria. Negocios. Servicios para la ciencia e innovacion

CIP Annual Report 2016. Nutrition in a climate changing world.

RTB Annual Report 2016: Research for innovation and impact.

Informe Anual 2016. Nutrición en un mundo de cambio climático

Catálogo de nuevas variedades de papa: sabores y colores para el gusto peruano

Conserving Biodiversity for the Future

Maintaining Potato Diversity for Use by Humanity

The genebank at the International Potato Center (CIP) holds the world’s largest collection of potato genetic resources with over 10,750 potato accessions collected from over 40 countries. As of March 2018, the collection included 2,338 accessions maintained and distributed as seed populations from 140 wild potato species, 4,954 cultivated (mostly landrace) accessions distributed as clonal tissue culture material and 3,683 research and breeding lines also maintained in tissue culture.  The potato collection is held in trust for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and is available under the terms of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) worldwide, for research, training or breeding.  Secure long-term funding for the maintenance, phytosanitary cleaning, and distribution of this collection is ensured through long-term commitments by the CGIAR through the Genebank Platform, the Global Crop Diversity Trust and GIZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany.  Information on the collection and to order germplasm, is publicly available at .  In addition to safeguarding the global in trust potato collection, the CIP genebank also maintains the in trust sweetpotato collection, as well as, the global collection of nine different Andean root and tuber crops (oca, mashua, ulluco, yacon, maca, ahipa, mauka, arracacha and achira).

Samples of the multi-diverse potato landraces from the Peruvian Andean region, as well as, wild relatives, and demonstrations of the techniques used for enhancing the distribution, repatriation (Fig. 1) and long-term conservation of these valuable genetic resources will be exhibited in the stand “Conserving Biodiversity for the future”.  Methods for pathogen elimination and cryopreservation will also be shown.

To continue the goal of long-term conservation of the diversity of potato, CIP has partnered with the National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) in a project to collect new diversity from the field of crop wild relatives in Peru, the first such wide-scale collection of potato diversity in 20 years. This project is a good example of the partnership between INIA and CIP as all 14 collection trips have had both CIP and INIA staff, working as a team to ensure success in the conservation of potato diversity by providing the greatest expertise and knowledge available globally on where wild potato species occur in Peru. Current progress in this project will be presented.

Fig. 1. Number of potato landraces repatriated to Peruvian farmer communities along 20 years (1997 – 2017).


Collection of crop wild relatives in the potato genepool in Peru by INIA

The activity is a Project Partners forming part of an initiative entitled “Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives” that the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew UK are undertaking in partnership with national institutes, the Centers of the Constative Group on the International Agriculture Research and other specialized institutions.