12 October 2023
Global potato organisation says potatoes provided stability during supply chain disruptions, and now the industry deserves to prosper.
PROSPERITY remains a primary focus for the International Potato Center (CIP) which has just launched its annual report.
The significant economic value that root and tuber crops (RTCs) generate for farmers worldwide is highlighted in opening speeches by Director General Simon Heck and the Board of Trustees Chair Helen Hambly Odame.
"The pandemic highlighted the importance of RTCs as they provided stability during global supply chain disruptions. Studies indicate that by 2050, RTCs and fruits and vegetables will account for the largest gains in agricultural economic value in Africa, with similar trends underway in South Asia and Latin America," the report states. "This transformative shift, driven by increased reliance on RTCs under climate change scenarios, allows smallholder farmers in resource-poor communities to benefit from increased market demand. CIP’s work empowers them to share in the prosperity built on RTCs."
Resilience is crucial, the organisation stresses, so it is continually leading developments of climate-resilient varieties. Its breeding programs are addressing major stresses such as drought, salinity, higher temperatures, floods, and disease pressures.
The organisation's reach has now extended to more than seven million households across Africa and South Asia, where it has focussed on improving food security and addressing health challenges. Advances made by communities in the arid regions of Northern Kenya and Uganda and by vulnerable households in Southern Madagascar showcase the transformative impact of these efforts, the report states.
CIP’s biofortified potato and genebank work is now well recognised globally and global collaborations are helping to maximise the impact of its climate resilience research and innovations for future generations.