FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 19th ISTRC Symposium Registration closes in 4 weeks!

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) (https://www.aatf-africa.org/) and the Government of Kenya are delighted to co-host the 19th International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) to be held from 21 to 25 November 2022 at the Safari Park, Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

The event will provide an opportunity for scientists from all over Africa and around the world to come together for networking, information exchange and innovative ideas, and to initiate new collaborative studies. It will also create an opportunity to bring together buyers, investors, and key decision-makers, to showcase the latest technologies, products, and services and create new ideas and partnerships for various stakeholders.

Registration for participation is still ongoing on the website: REGISTER TODAY until 28th October 2022.

Nairobi is a perfect venue for those seeking a balance between business and a brush with nature. Referred to as the green city in the sun, it is a vibrant hub that also boasts as one of Africa’s only first-rate introductions to a wildlife and safari experience right within the city at the Nairobi National park. The shopping experience, nightlife, and food are varied with a wide choice of shopping malls and restaurants serving African and exotic menus.

The 2022 19th ISTRC Symposium will be an excellent opportunity for those interested in root and tuber crops from around the world especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, to showcase their expertise and share and compare knowledge on how they can contribute to transforming the global agrifood systems.

The Symposium will give an opportunity to interested participants to exhibit their agricultural products alongside presentations of research findings. This announcement provides an update on the theme of the Symposium and details on the call for abstracts for presentations during the conference.

For more information, read the final announcement here: ISTRC 19th Triennial Symposium website

2nd Announcement and call for papers

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) (https://www.aatf-africa.org/) and the Government of Kenya are delighted to co-host the 19th International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) to be held from 21 to 25 November 2022 at the Safari Park, Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

The event will provide an opportunity for scientists from all over Africa and around the world to come together for networking, information exchange and innovative ideas, and to initiate new collaborative studies. It will also create an opportunity to bring together buyers, investors, key decision makers, to show case the latest technologies, products, and services and to create new ideas and partnerships for various stakeholders. Please register on the website: https://istrc.aatf-africa.org/

The 19th International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC)

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) (https://www.aatf-africa.org/) and the Government of Kenya are delighted to co-host the 19th International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) to be held from 21 to 25 November 2022 at the Safari Park, Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

ISTRC symposium to allow scientists to inch closer to African smallholder farmers

The symposium to allow scientists to inch closer to African smallholder farmers

 [Nairobi, October 7, 2021] Root and tuber crops are important food crops that have gained increased importance due to their role in food security, and ability to withstand drought as well as their potential for commercial processing, said Prof. Hamadi Boga, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries.

Prof. Boga said that the crops play a key role in contributing to the national economies for most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and their overall Gross Domestic Product.   

“These crops are the second most important food crops after cereals in Kenya that have the potential to contribute significantly to the food security needs of the Kenyan people, helping to drive the country’s ambition of addressing food and nutrition insecurity and hunger as stipulated in the Big Four Agenda of the Government of Kenya,” observed Prof. Boga who spoke on the side lines of ISTRC-Africa meeting in September during the virtual launch of the 19th International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) 2022 global Symposium.

The Big Four Agenda comprising of food security, manufacturing, affordable universal health care and housing is an economic blueprint that was developed by the government to foster economic development and provide a solution to the various socio-economic problems facing Kenyans. 

The government of Kenya and AATF were selected by the ISTRC Governing Council to co-host the 19th symposium of the Global ISTRC in Kenya in 2022.  The 18th symposium was held in 2018 in Cali, Colombia, and hosted by The International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

The Executive Director AATF Dr Canisius Kanangire noted that by hosting this meeting in Kenya, the country is opening opportunities for global scientists in tropical root crops to inch closer to African smallholder farmers, many of whom depend on root crops for their livelihoods.

He said that AATF is a major development partner in the transfer of technologies in the agricultural sector and has made huge investments in important staples of Africa including cassava and potato.  

“AATF brings together companies, governments, NGOs, researchers and farmers to work together towards getting innovative technologies that target specific production challenges and opportunities into the hands of African smallholders,” said Dr. Kanangire.

Dr Richardson Okechukwu, the ISTRC President noted that the ISTRC symposium has come a long way and has established itself as one of the forums bringing together international stakeholders especially those working on roots and tuber crops and has played a catalytic role in the development of these crops. 

“ISTRC is a unique platform that facilitates interaction among scientists from around the world working on all tropical root and tuber crops. The Society was established to foster, stimulate, and support activities that lead to the general improvement of production and utilization of tropical root and tuber crops globally,” said Dr Okechukwu. 

He pointed out that it is through such symposia that research outputs are shared and wide-ranging decisions on the position of tropical root and tuber crops on the African continent and global agenda are made. 

Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, the director of programme development and commercialisation at AATF, who is also the 1st Vice President of the 19th Global ISTRC 2022 Symposium noted that the choice to hold the symposium in Kenya is significant as the event will go a long way in supporting the Kenyan government to realise its Big Four Agenda to improve the country’s food systems resilience and strengthen its economy with strong focus on commodity crops including root and tuber crops. 

Dr Okogbenin confirmed that a Local Organising Committee has been formed and will feature membership from public and private sectors as well as key international and national organisations in Kenya who will execute the preparations of the ISTRC 2022 symposium.

About AATF (www.aatf-africa.org)

Founded in 2003 to address Africa’s food security prospects through agricultural technology, AATF believes that the agricultural sector is a key foundational pillar as Africa consolidates its economic growth and carves out its new position as a major global economic powerhouse and the next growth market in the world. It was formed in response to the need for an effective mechanism that would facilitate and support negotiation for technology access and delivery and formation of appropriate partnerships to manage the development & deployment of innovative technologies for use by smallholder farmers in SSA:

For more information contact:

George Achia, Communications Officer, East and Southern Africa, AATF; g.achia@aatf-africa.org  +254 785334163

 

AATF To Host 19th International Triennial Symposium Of Root Crops

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) in collaboration with the government of Kenya will host the 19th edition of the triennial symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) in Nairobi, Kenya, from November 21 to 25, 2022.

The symposium recognised globally as a platform that brings together key stakeholders at national and international levels to foster, stimulate and support the improvement of tropical root crop production and utilisation will be co-hosted by both collaborating bodies.

A statement issued by AATF’s secretariat for the 19th ISTRC symposium noted that: “The 2022 19th ISTRC Symposium will be an excellent opportunity for those interested in root and tuber crops from around the world especially Sub-Saharan Africa, to showcase their expertise and share and compare knowledge on how they can contribute to transforming the global agri-food systems,” said AATF director, programme development and commercialization, Dr Emmanuel Okogbenin.

The historical process leading to the establishment of the ISTRC began in 1964 in Trinidad and Tobago. A group within the University of the West Indies conceived the idea of holding a series of crop-orientated symposia and, given local relevance, “Tropical Root Crops” was selected as the first topic.

Since then, the symposium has moved around the globe with countries in Africa like Ghana and Nigeria hosting previous editions.

Okogbenin, who is also the first vice-president of the 19th ISTRC 2022 Symposium and chairs the local organizing committee in Kenya, promised that the 2022 symposium will provide a great opportunity for Africa to advance its production and utilisation of tropical root crops.

AATF to host 19th International Triennial Symposium of the InternationalSociety for Tropical Root Crops

AATF in collaboration with ISTRC and the Government of Kenya will host the 19th edition of the International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21st to 25th November 2022.
The Symposium recognized globally as a platform that bring together key stakeholders at national and international levels to foster, stimulate and support the improvement of tropical root crop production and utilization will be co-hosted by AATF and the Government of Kenya.
A statement issued by AATF, the 19th ISTRC symposium Secretariat noted that: “The 2022 19th ISTRC Symposium will be an excellent opportunity for those interested in root and tuber crops from around the world especially Sub-Saharan Africa, to showcase their expertise and share and compare knowledge on how they can contribute to transforming the global agri-food systems,” said Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, AATF Director Programme Development and Commercialization.
The historical process leading to the establishment of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) began in 1964 in Trinidad and Tobago. A group within the University of the West Indies conceived the idea of holding a series of crop-orientated symposia and, in view of local relevance, “Tropical Root Crops” was selected as the first topic.
Since then, the symposium has moved around the globe with countries in Africa like Ghana, Nigeria hosting previous editions.
Dr. Okogbenin, who is also the First Vice President of the 19th ISTRC 2022 Symposium and Chairs the Local Organizing Committee in Kenya promised that the 2022 symposium will provide a great opportunity for Africa to advance its production and utilization of tropical root crops.

AATF is driven by the vision of a prosperous and food secure Africa, where smallholder farmers’ livelihoods are transformed by innovation.
Founded in 2003, AATF believes that the agricultural sector is the foundation of Africa’s economic growth and development. The organisation was created in response to a need for an effective mechanism to support access to technology for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

AATF To Host 19th International Triennial Symposium On Tropical Root Crops

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) in collaboration with International Society for Tropical Root Crops ISTRC and the Government of Kenya will host the 19th edition of the International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21st to 25th November 2022.

The Symposium recognized globally as a platform that bring together key stakeholders at national and international levels to foster, stimulate and support the improvement of tropical root crop production and utilization will be co-hosted by AATF and the Government of Kenya.

A statement issued by AATF, the 19th ISTRC symposium Secretariat noted that: “The 2022 19th ISTRC Symposium will be an excellent opportunity for those interested in root and tuber crops from around the world especially Sub-Saharan Africa, to showcase their expertise and share and compare knowledge on how they can contribute to transforming the global agri-food systems,” said Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, AATF Director Programme Development and Commercialization.

The historical process leading to the establishment of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) began in 1964 in Trinidad and Tobago. A group within the University of the West Indies conceived the idea of holding a series of crop-orientated symposia and, in view of local relevance, “Tropical Root Crops” was selected as the first topic.

Since then, the symposium has moved around the globe with countries in Africa like Ghana, Nigeria hosting previous editions.

Dr. Okogbenin, who is also the First Vice President of the 19th ISTRC 2022 Symposium and Chairs the Local Organizing Committee in Kenya promised that the 2022 symposium will provide a great opportunity for Africa to advance its production and utilization of tropical root crops.

Weathering the storm: root and tuber crops boost climate resilience

As climate change advances, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, and they pose a major threat to poor smallholder farmers who produce most of the food in the tropics. The good news is that some crops and varieties can increase farmer resilience and help them bounce back from climatic shocks.

Research in the Philippines published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction examines how root crops – particularly sweetpotato and cassava – helped vulnerable households cope with the destruction and recovery from super-typhoon Mangkhut (a.k.a. Ompong), which tore across Luzon Island in September 2018. The super-typhoon’s 200 km-per-hour winds and massive rainfall caused flooding, landslides and other damage, killing 82 people, destroying thousands of homes and affecting more than 600,000 hectares of farmland.

Scientists conducted a survey of 423 households in the Cordillera Administrative Region, a mountainous area of northern Luzon that was severely impacted by Mangkhut, and where the root crops sweetpotato, cassava and taro are widely cultivated. They found that while the typhoon’s wind and rain damaged most of the region’s rice, banana and maize, root and tuber crops fared much better with just 8% and 15% yield loss in affected sweetpotato and cassava plots, respectively, compared to about 50% for maize and rice and 77% for banana. The authors noted that because root and tuber crops are more resistant to storm damage than other crops, they reduced farmers’ need to resort to negative coping strategies such as cutting food consumption, spending savings, borrowing money, or moving to another area, which vulnerable households often must do following natural disasters.

“One of the key messages of the study is that crop choice, in particular root and tuber crops, should be considered as an important resilience factor for households in areas prone to extreme climatic events,” says Marcel Gatto, an agricultural economist with the International Potato Center (CIP) and lead author of the study.

Sweetpotato is boosting food and nutrition security in areas vulnerable to climate shocks. (Photo S. Fajardo/CIP)

According to Gatto, survey respondents reported eating more sweetpotato and cassava than they would have normally, and about 50-60% reported that they planted sweetpotato and cassava following the storm. Because many sweetpotato varieties are ready to harvest within 90-100 days of planting, the crop has been used to help farmers recover from extreme weather events across the tropics, such as Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in 2019.

CIP scientist and co-author Diego Naziri explained that after super-typhoon Durian hit the Philippines in 2006, the government supported Visayas State University’s collaboration with CIP to distribute sweetpotato planting material to affected farming households, which facilitated access to food and income within months of the disaster.

Sweetpotato is increasingly being recognized as a climate-smart crop, but boosting resilience is just one of the ways it benefits rural families. While orange and purple varieties are important sources of pro-vitamin A and antioxidants, sweetpotato’s quick maturity and high productivity make it an excellent food security crop. Gatto noted that it is especially important for female farmers across the tropics, because it is often cultivated in small plots and requires low levels of work and inputs to grow.

“In the Philippines, root and tuber crops such as sweetpotato are often grown in backyards and contribute directly to food and nutrition security, particularly in coastal and mountainous areas, which are considered the most vulnerable environments to climate change,” observes Naziri. 

The study’s results add to ample evidence of root and tuber crops’ contribution to resilience, and the authors note that they are likely applicable to other countries plagued by extreme weather events, especially typhoons and tropical storms. They add that root and tuber crops’ potential for helping farmers cope with or recover from such natural disasters is too often ignored and needs to be recognized and exploited for the benefit of vulnerable farming communities in regions at high risk of climate shocks. Studies have determined that the Philippines is one of the countries most at risk from climate change, hit by an average of 20 tropical storms and typhoons each year. 

“A stronger focus on how crops can mitigate (climatic) shocks is needed. Governments, national agricultural research systems, and the international community should do a better job of informing farmers, development practitioners and policy makers of what works,” observes Gatto. 

“Research on root and tuber crops is underfunded, compared to cereals, pulses and other commodities” adds Naziri. “It is important to make government and funders aware of their potential in a climate changing world.”  

 

Read the full article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 

The Government of Kenya, AATF to co-host global symposium on tropical root and tuber crops

Root and tuber crops are important food crops that have gained increased importance due to their role in food security, and ability to withstand drought as well as their potential for commercial processing, said Prof. Hamadi Boga, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries.

Prof. Boga said that the crops play a key role in contributing to the national economies for most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and their overall Gross Domestic Product.

“These crops are the second most important food crops after cereals in Kenya that have the potential to contribute significantly to the food security needs of the Kenyan people, helping to drive the country’s ambition of addressing food and nutrition insecurity and hunger as stipulated in the Big Four Agenda of the Government of Kenya,” observed Prof. Boga who spoke on the sidelines of ISTRC-Africa meeting in September during the virtual launch of the 19th International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) 2022 global Symposium.

The Big Four Agenda comprising of food security, manufacturing, affordable universal health care and housing is an economic blueprint that was developed by the government to foster economic development and provide a solution to the various socio-economic problems facing Kenyans.

The government of Kenya and AATF were selected by the ISTRC Governing Council to co-host the 19th symposium of the Global ISTRC in Kenya in 2022. The 18th symposium was held in 2018 in Cali, Colombia, and hosted by The International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

The Executive Director AATF Dr Canisius Kanangire noted that by hosting this meeting in Kenya, the country is opening opportunities for global scientists in tropical root crops to inch closer to African smallholder farmers, many of whom depend on root crops for their livelihoods.

He said that AATF is a major development partner in the transfer of technologies in the agricultural sector and has made huge investments in important staples of Africa including cassava and potato.

“AATF brings together companies, governments, NGOs, researchers and farmers to work together towards getting innovative technologies that target specific production challenges and opportunities into the hands of African smallholders,” said Dr. Kanangire.

Dr Richardson Okechukwu, the ISTRC President noted that the ISTRC symposium has come a long way and has established itself as one of the forums bringing together international stakeholders especially those working on roots and tuber crops and has played a catalytic role in the development of these crops.

“ISTRC is a unique platform that facilitates interaction among scientists from around the world working on all tropical root and tuber crops. The Society was established to foster, stimulate, and support activities that lead to the general improvement of production and utilization of tropical root and tuber crops globally,” said Dr Okechukwu.

He pointed out that it is through such symposia that research outputs are shared and wide-ranging decisions on the position of tropical root and tuber crops on the African continent and global agenda are made.

Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, the director of programme development and commercialisation at AATF, who is also the 1st Vice President of the 19th Global ISTRC 2022 Symposium noted that the choice to hold the symposium in Kenya is significant as the event will go a long way in supporting the Kenyan government to realise its Big Four Agenda to improve the country’s food systems resilience and strengthen its economy with a strong focus on commodity crops including root and tuber crops.

Dr Okogbenin confirmed that a Local Organising Committee has been formed and will feature membership from public and private sectors as well as key international and national organisations in Kenya who will execute the preparations of the ISTRC 2022 symposium.