In 2018 we saw the fruits of restructuring the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) around well-defined and impactful flagship projects for Phase II. That was evident at our annual meeting in Cali which showed the passion for great science, a coming together around key crosscutting topics such as gender, scaling, seed systems and breeding, and the commitment of our scientists and partners to achieving impact.
This report, like last year’s, is organized by our flagship projects; the highlights reported include: peering into the genomes of the tricky RTB crops, where breeders used innovative genomics tools to enhance future breeding; using network analysis to prevent seed-borne disease, where researchers have developed models to understand fast-changing seed systems; water management in potatoes, because conserving water is important for adapting to climate change; turning cassava peel waste into high quality animal feed and considering gender norms in controlling banana disease in the East African Highlands.
RTB is increasingly recognized as a well-run CGIAR Research Program that adds value to the work of its collaborating centers and partners, contributing to the many successful outcomes and impacts reported throughout this report. Our aim is to build on this tradition of excellence as we strive to ensure that the vitally important but still often neglected crops of RTB receive the recognition they deserve.
We thank all our partners and donors whose outstanding contributions have made these achievements possible.
Barbara H. Wells
CIP Director General
RTB Program Director