International Potato Center celebrates its role in ending hunger throughout the world.
By Aime Ndayisenga & Donata Kizza
Every 16th of October of the year, the countries, organizations, agriculture scientists and farmers celebrate the “World Food Day”. It was established by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945.
Very well known that food is the most essential basic need for every human being, it is unfortunate that over eight hundred (800) million people across the world still face hunger problems according to FAO report.
It is therefore an honor that International Potato Center was established to fight the same cause. An agricultural research center that focusses on promoting growing of potatoes and sweetpotatoes across the World, over the years, CIP has done a tremendous role in finding solutions to the most world threatening issues including hunger, malnutrition, stunting and climate change.
Ending hunger is something that cannot be done within just a day, or even a year, however organizations like CIP are at the forefront to fight hunger and poverty through developing strong and reliable potato and sweetpotato seed systems, in collaboration with governments throughout the world, most specifically in developing countries.
Giving an example of the main Karama research station in the Eastern province of Rwanda, where a lot of activities are being carried out in breeding and multiplication of sweetpotato varieties, including the nutritionally famous, Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato varieties, Rwandan farmers have had a relief from poverty and hunger.
The issue of malnutrition, hidden hunger, stunting and other nutrition related diseases were rampant in the days in Rwanda but as for today, the country has been relieved of this issue.
All thanks to CIP and its partners. These Vitamin A-rich, Orange-fleshed Sweetpotatoes (OFSP) are the most planted and consumed food especially in the south, west and eastern provinces of the country. Since I started to grow them, life in my household came to normal’’ says Nyirandikubwimana Vivine, a casual worker in the research farms managed by CIP and Rwanda agriculture Board (RAB) in the east.
CIP works closely with government institutions like Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) in maintaining research stations from which they jointly multiply sweetpotato clean planting materials used for dissemination within farmers from across the 18 districts in which CIP operates. Over the period of 5 years close to half a million of farmers in Rwanda, have accessed clean planting materials which have quite changed a lot in terms of food accessibility and income generation activities based on food processing small animal livestock.
Thanks to International Potato Center (CIP) together with partners like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) who are continually partnering in their best to fight hunger, eliminate poverty and other related nutrition related threats, to save lives of mostly those in urgent need from across the world.