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The global programme, led by the International Potato Center will seek to advance knowledge and practice on for sustainable production of bananas, roots and tubers through conservation and access to genetic resources; breeding robust and high-yielding crop varieties; and managing pest and disease.

March 2012: Seeking to tap potential synergies for increasing food security and incomes, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has developed a Global Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, to be led by the International Potato Center (CIP) in collaboration with Bioversity International, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

The programme will address challenges related to poor seed quality, climate change stresses and poor management practices. According to CIP, roots, tubers and bananas are among the ten most consumed crops in the world and contribute to up to 60% of daily calories. The crops are particularly important to poor women who often grow them in remote areas. The crops are linked by the fact that they are genetically complex, and propagated clonally, as opposed to being grown from seed. Considering that roots, tubers and bananas are often not well positioned within policy and agricultural extension, CGIAR has identified the opportunities to advance work through key programme areas including: conservation and access to genetic resources; breeding more robust, and high-yielding varieties; managing pests and disease; making low-cost, high quality planting materials available to farmers; developing tools for robust cropping systems; improving post-harvest technologies, value chains, and market opportunities; and developing partnerships for better impacts.

The programme will be carried out in Latin America, West Africa, Central and Southern Asia, and the Pacific. [CIP Press Release]

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