Participants in short-term trainings and scaling activities
All degrees
Only PhD

developed and disseminated
from all years

Reported in 2020 as new innovations, updated stage or same stage with new evidence
OUTCOMES case facts
Policies and regulations in the agriculture and nutrition sector developed and adapted based on scientific evidence provided by RTB participants
Households benefited from RTB improved varieties and practices in SSA and Asia
Households using vines of improved varieties in 17 countries of sub-Saharan Africa countries
Farmers adopted practices to control Xanthomonas wilt of banana in East Africa

Households adopted improved varieties in Nigeria

Households using improved varieties in China, India and Nepal



in short-term trainings
and scaling activities.


involved in academic
programs (PhDs).

OUTCOME Case Facts
have adopted some BXW control practices. Adoption of these practices is higher among subsistence farmers.
per year per ha

is the average increased value of
banana production for farmers using
the entire BXW control package.


policies and


in the agriculture and nutrition
sector developed and adapted
based on scientific evidence
provided by RTB participants.

at a glance
The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) was launched in 2012 to harness the untapped potential of banana (including plantain), cassava, potato, sweetpotato, yam, and other root and tuber crops to improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods. RTB is a partnership collaboration led by the International Potato Center (CIP) implemented jointly with the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and the Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), which represents several other French partners in the research program. The centers have teamed up to collaborate on common issues affecting RTB crops, mobilize complementary expertise and resources, avoid duplication of efforts, and create synergies.

This collaborative approach contributed to increase the benefits of the centers’ research and interventions for smallholder farmers, consumers, and other actors in root, tuber and banana agri-food systems. RTB consolidates research in five interdisciplinary flagship projects (FPs), described throughout this report. Each flagship has a dynamic leader based in one of the centers. A flagship is a set of interrelated research ‘clusters’ with clear impact pathways through which RTB centers and their partners collaborate to achieve impact.

The nested impact pathways at the cluster and flagship project levels are at the heart of the program’s results-based management. A monitoring and evaluation system, aligned with the overall CGIAR performance management framework is implemented through MEL, an online planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning platform, collaboratively developed with several CRPs and centers. In 2020, RTB collaborated with 221 partners, primarily national agricultural research organizations, academic and advanced research institutions, private companies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). These partnerships play an increasingly important role in scaling ensuring that research benefits women and men alike and engages youth.

RTB developed a set of collective knowledge assets through the RTB partnership collaboration in addition to crop-specific innovations that we call “golden eggs”. These are available as an online resource for wider use. Golden eggs can be defined as frameworks, approaches, tools together with their community of developers and users that show the value-added of the RTB partnership collaboration. These golden eggs can contribute to an array of research for development activities with wide applicability for roots, tubers and bananas as well as other crops. The golden eggs in the transition to the One CGIAR framework will contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

The contribution of RTB golden eggs to the One CGIAR structure for transforming global food systems
Sustainable Development Goals
Selected RTB Program Targets (2022)

20 million people (50% women) increased their income

30,000 small and medium enterprises operating profitably in the RTB seed and processing sectors
8 million farm households increased RTB crop yield through the adoption of improved varieties and sustainable management practices
10 million people (50% women) have improved their diet quality
1.9 million ha of current RTB crops production area converted to sustainable cropping systems
At least 2 million households with increased capacity to deal with climate risks and exrtremes
9,500 individuals (50% women) with improved capacities in partner organizations
At least 5 partnership and scaling models tested in a minimum of 5 target countries
Where we work

RTB Where We Work 2019 Placeholder
RTB Where We Work 2019




Flagship Project 1
is developing cutting-edge science for faster and more efficient breeding of the crop varieties that consumers demand. Modern genetic science is overcoming the limitations of conventional breeding for vegetatively propagated crops. Plant breeders across the RTB program are developing new genomic tools in collaboration with top universities and research centers worldwide. “FP1 is not just using the most up to date genetic science, but also helping to further advance it,” says Luis Augusto Becerra, FP1 leader and principal research scientist at CIAT.

varieties and
quality seed

Flagship Project 2
is about breeding better crop varieties and improving seed systems. FP2 supports RTB’s plant breeding teams to create the varieties that are demanded by male and female farmers and consumers. FP2 also strengthens the seed systems so that farmers receive quality seed of new varieties. “We make sure that farmers are partners in plant breeding. Now breeders are aware of the specific demands of different stakeholder groups for the root, tuber and banana varieties of the future,” says Maria Andrade, FP2 leader, plant breeder at CIP, and World Food Prize winner.

roots, tubers
and bananas

Flagship Project 3
develops and supports the strategies and tools needed to keep root, tuber and banana crops healthy and productive. Pests and diseases continue to evolve and to emerge in new countries, such as banana bunchy top disease across Africa and cassava mosaic disease in southeast Asia. “FP3 is improving its user-friendly apps that farmers and extensionists can use with an inexpensive smart phone. We are also combining satellite images with drone photography to create digital technology that smallholders can use to manage crop pests and diseases,” explains James Legg, FP3 leader, and scientist at IITA.

food and
value added

Flagship Project 4
harnesses the nutritional potential of roots, tubers and bananas, expanding their use sustainably, and adding value through post-harvest innovation. “At FP4 we have an exciting partnership with RTBfoods that is helping us to turn our crops into nutritious foods that farmers and consumers love,” says Tawanda Muzhingi, FP4 leader and food scientist at CIP.

at scale

Flagship Project 5

helps take innovations to scale by developing and implementing tools and approaches that benefit more efficient and equitable scaling of the broad spectrum of RTB and CGIAR innovations. The RTB Scaling Fund provides a unique space to nurture the scaling of RTB innovations with our partners and to “practice what we preach” says Marc Schut, FP5 leader and senior innovation and scaling scientists with IITA and WUR.


African Agricultural Technology Foundation

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Austrian Development Agency

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Cornell University

Department for International Development/UK Aid

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

Directorate-general Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Belgium

European Commission

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Government of Liberia

Government of Norway

Government of Tanzania

Government of Uganda

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

International Development Research

International Development Research Centre, Canada

International Fund for Agricultural Development

Iowa State University

Irish Aid

Japan International Cooperation Agency

McKnight Foundation

Mennonite Economic Development Associates

North Carolina State University

Queen’s University Belfast

Queensland University of Technology

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

United States Agency for International Development

United States Department of Agriculture

Université of Lausanne


Government of Uganda

Financial Report
CGIAR Funding Windows
  • Windows 1&2: funds are provided by the CGIAR to RTB for allocation across the agreed portfolio. Window 1 funds are allocated by the CGIAR System Organization to different CRPs including RTB, while Window 2 funds are designated by donors specifically to RTB.
  • Window 3: funds are allocated by a Donor to a center using the centralized CGIAR trust funding facility. The Projects are mapped into RTB when they are consistent with the RTB portfolio.
  • Bilateral: funds are contracts directly negotiated and signed between a center and a donor.  The Projects are mapped into RTB when they are consistent with the RTB portfolio.

The total 2020 budget for RTB was USD 90.8M, USD 20.5M (23%) from W1&2, and USD 70.2M (77%) from W3, bilateral and RTB participant centers’ own funds. The initial W1&2 budget was USD 19.0M. During the year the following risk mitigation measures were taken to reduce the COVID-19 impact on implementation: i) review the budget allocated to travel/workshop ii) reorient towards activities that would be more feasible to deliver, iii) reduce the overall budget allocated due to uncertainty of funds from donors. The final allocation was USD 18.1M. Additionally, RTB had USD 2.5M from carryover from 2019. Hence, the total budget for RTB in 2020 was USD 20.5M.
2020 Expenditure

RTB total expenditure in 2020 was USD 69.5M, or 77% of the budget, of which USD 17.6M (25%) was from W1&2, and USD 51.9M (75%) from W3, bilateral and centers’ own funds. W1&2 expenses reached 86% execution of the final budget and W3, bilateral and centers’ other own expenditure, reached 74% execution. The RTB flagships have an average execution of 87%. No flagship overspent.

The chart right shows the W1&2 budget and expenditure by flagship and the Program Management Unit (PMU) expenditure of USD 1.3M.

RTB 2012 – 2020

The distribution of budget by funding sources shows a relatively stable contribution of W1&2 over the two-last years with a reduction of USD 1.0M from USD 21.5M in 2019 to USD 20.5M in 2020.

The implementation rate in 2020 was 77%, a decline from 2019 (87%) and 2018 (85%). This was mainly because of the challenges of Covid-19, the late confirmation of W1-2 funds from Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (USD 0.63M) and SMO additional supplemental W1 (USD 0.26M) funding that was not feasible for program participants to spend before the end of the year.

The cumulative expenditure reached USD 682.0M over the nine years of the program (USD 191.3M from W1&2, and USD 490.7M from W3, bilateral and center funds).

Flagship 2020 W1&2 Budget vs Expenses
(USD Millions)
Flagship W1-2  Budget
 CIAT   CIP   IITA   CIRAD   WUR   Partners   Add. Funds   PMU   TOTAL 
FP1 : Enhanced Genetic Resources 0.76 0.91 1.49 0.67 0.30 - 0.13 0.21 - 4.48
FP2 : Productive Varieties & Quality Seed 0.51 0.47 2.19 0.67  0.02 0.08 - 0.28 - 4.23
FP3 : Resilient Crops 0.83 0.46 0.69 1.37 0.08 - -  0.37  - 3.81
FP4 : Nutritious Food & Added Value 0.17 0.50 0.65 0.53 0.24 - 0.08  0.11  - 2.27
FP5 : Improved Livelihoods at Scale 0.59 0.58 0.85 1.09  0.02 0.38 -  0.17  - 3.68
CRP Management & Support Cost 0.04 0.07  0.08 0.08  - - - 0.06 1.75 2.07
TOTAL 2.90 3.00 5.96 4.41 0.67 0.46 0.20 1.19 1.75 20.54
Flagship W1-2  Expenses
 CIAT   CIP   IITA   CIRAD   WUR   Partners   Add Funds.   PMU   TOTAL 
FP1 : Enhanced Genetic Resources 0.76 0.80 1.38 0.67 0.28 - 0.12 - - 4.01
FP2 : Productive Varieties & Quality Seed 0.51 0.40 1.98 0.71  0.02 0.07 -  -  - 3.70
FP3 : Resilient Crops 0.83 0.42 0.61 1.32 0.08 - -  -  - 3.25
FP4 : Nutritious Food & Added Value 0.17 0.49 0.63 0.46 0.17 - 0.08  -  - 2.00
FP5 : Improved Livelihoods at Scale 0.59 0.46 0.70 1.08  0.00 0.29 -  -  - 3.12
CRP Management & Support Cost 0.04 0.05  0.08 0.08  - - - - 1.27 1.52
TOTAL 2.90 2.63 5.37 4.31 0.56 0.36 0.20 - 1.27 17.61
* Add. Funds: corresponds to the final confirmation of funds by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), SMO transferred an additional as supplemental W1 to ensure RTB received at least 90% of the planned budget and Scaling Funds 2nd Year.
RTB Expenditure: 2012 – 2020