Introduction to CIP
The International Potato Center (CIP) is an agricultural research and development institution specializing in roots and tuber crops to deliver sustainable solutions to the pressing world issues of hunger, poverty, gender equity, climate change, and the degradation of natural resources. Headquartered in Peru, with offices in 20 countries, CIP brings 45 years of global experience in potato and sweetpotato research and development. CIP is a member of CGIAR, a global agricultural research partnership for a food secure future. CIP has developed climate resilient and nutritious varieties of sweetpotato, potato, and vegetables, including biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), for which CIP scientists received the 2016 World Food Prize. CIP is also the recipient of the 2016 Al-Sumait Prize for Food Security for advancing the contribution of sweet potato to African farmers and households to address vitamin A deficiency (VAD), one of the most pernicious forms of undernourishment. CIP’s R&D Programs, together with the delivery of crop science products and best practices, put the tools for better harvests, incomes, and health into the hands of millions of farmers and families around the world. At CIP, ending hunger is a marriage of rigorous scientific research and an in-depth understanding of human behavior. Our team works to mine the nutrient-rich properties of roots and tubers while putting demand-creation campaigns in place that account for local tastes, customs, and market opportunities.
CIP has successfully implemented a broad portfolio of projects and programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that demonstrably delivered nutrition and economic benefits for smallholder farmers and their communities. Around the world, activities have been implemented for potato, strengthening value chains, emphasizing its role for the diversification of diets and food security, and introducing biofortified potato varieties rich in iron and zinc. In addition, CIP has established OFSP as the prime biofortified crop globally and as an excellent source of vitamin A for children and women, and has led the development and delivery of OFSP technologies and accompanying nutrition interventions in Africa and Asia through partnerships with national institutions, civil society, and the private sector.
CIP’s programs are:
- CIP has developed seed, technology, and training delivery systems that improve access for smallholder farmers to advanced nutritious technologies and associated skills. These delivery systems are managed by small enterprises and farmer networks working together with national extension services in agriculture and health.
- CIP is providing advanced food science and food technology research to partners from government and private sector for the analysis and development of nutritious food products based on root and tuber crops.
- CIP has combined these technical interventions in an Integrated Agriculture-Nutrition-Marketing Approach that has been adapted to conditions in over 12 countries and has proven to be scalable by a variety of partners from governments and civil society.
- CIP has decades of experience in developing both potato and sweetpotato seed systems in developing countries, including early generation seed innovation (tissue culture laboratories, sand-hydroponics, and other rapid multiplication techniques).
- CIP has extensive experience developing gender responsive and inclusive approaches to value chain development, including gender responsive variety selection, engendered value chain tools, and gender sensitive practices and technologies suitable for men and women’s needs. CIP has been working with women farmers and traders to expand their income opportunities and break into larger and more competitive markets.
- CIP has recognized experience in developing partnerships with local research and development partners and with international research organizations. USAID can leverage not only the technologies and methodologies developed by CIP, but also the knowledge and know-how held by our global community of breeders, researchers, curators, technicians, development practitioners as well as our network of international, national, and local institutional partners.
- CIP is the recognized global leader in the development and dissemination of biofortified, vitamin A-rich locally adapted OFSP varieties that can provide reliable yields under stress conditions, such as the negative effects of severe climatic changes including droughts, floods, rising temperatures, increased soil salinity, and new pests and diseases.
- CIP has pioneered the production of shelf-stable OFSP puree in Africa as a strategic intermediary product to address perishability of sweetpotato and open up a wide range of commercial uses of OFSP for nutritious products in rural and urban markets.