CIP marks 45 years of research, innovation

International Potato CenterNearly half a century ago, when the International Potato Center (CIP) was founded, potato collectors in remote regions of Central America traveled for “weeks on end” with dwindling tanks of gas to find new specimens, as Director General Barbara Wells put it in her remarks at CIP’s 45th anniversary celebration September 16. “They traveled to small villages or on horseback when their four-wheeled drive vehicles could go no further to collect the thousands of varieties of tubers that now populate CIP’s genebank,” she said. “They used local knowledge and their years of experience to gather these treasures of the Incas. One researcher was known to travel on a remote stretch of road when he would tell the driver to stop because he could smell the potatoes. Apparently he was correct in nine out of 10 times.” Reflecting back over four and a half decades since CIP’s inception, Wells and other notables had much to celebrate. CIP will be celebrating key events in its history and sharing news about the work ahead. Be sure to follow them on Twitter, Like their Facebook page and visit www.cipotato.org regularly to keep abreast of it all. More