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18th Triennial Symposium of The International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC)

October 22, 2018 - October 25, 2018

When, Where and How will Tropical Root and Tuber Crops Lead the Next Agri-Food Revolution

Background for the Symposium

Tropical roots and tubers (cassava, potato, sweet potato, yams and aroids) have both challenges and opportunities in:

  • Germplasm improvement
  • New variety adoption/impact
  • Access to quality seeds
  • Effective management of pests and diseases
  • Crop nutrition and low soil fertility
  • Mechanization of planting and harvesting
  • Climate change
  • Consumer preference and nutrition
  • Post-harvest losses
  • Agro-processing and trade

Strategies need to be developed to address these challenges to determine “When Where and How Root and Tuber Crops Will Lead the Next Agricultural Revolution”. Unquestionably, in the next 20 years, tropical root and tuber crops will play a significant role in ensuring a sustainable agricultural development in the tropics. Hence, this Symposium provides an opportunity for experts from around the world to meet and address this agenda. The Symposium will be jointly organized by the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) and the International Center of Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).  It will be an excellent opportunity for those interested in root and tuber crops from around the world to come together to share and compare knowledge and expertise. It will be an opportunity for Colombia and other Latin American countries to showcase their expertise and for workers from other parts of the world to learn and experience first-hand.


  • Bring together leading root and tuber crops researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines to review the state of the art on research and development activities involving these crops.
  • Identify key research and knowledge gaps with the aim of stimulating new research for development that will realize the next agri-food revolution.
  • Identify the research outputs that are ready to scale-up/out to contribute to food security, economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development.
  • Propose appropriate policy interventions that will support the contribution of root and tuber crops to development outcomes.
  • Propose how to strengthen public-private partnerships for root and tuber agribusiness innovation and development.
  • Assess 50 years of impact research and development on roots and tubers for improved livelihoods and nutrition.

Expected Outputs

  • Symposium attendees updated on the latest state-of-the-art scientific developments, innovations, and technologies.
  • The identification of new areas of investment in research, development and value chains.
  • Advice on strategies to engage in private-public partnership for capacity building, dissemination, and implementation of research and technologies and the impact of root and tuber crops on smallholder fields.
  • Raised awareness on the importance of strengthening national agricultural development policies for sustainable root and tuber production.

About the Venue

The ISTRC symposium will be held at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture CIAT, Cali, Colombia. The venue is close to Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport also known as Palmaseca International Airport, 5 minutes from Palmira and about 20 minutes from Cali, the capital of the department of Valle del Cauca in southern Colombia. Please note that 57 is the country code (Colombia) and 2 is the city code (Cali). For emergencies (24 hours): +57–2-445-0 000, ext. 3111.

32 participants can be accommodated at CIAT’s Guest House.  If you would like to stay in the CIAT’s campus please book your room at the CIAT’s Guest House as soon as possible.   Credit cards are NOT accepted at the CIAT’s Guest House, hence payment for your accommodation and additional services (that will not be covered by the ISTRC) must be made in cash, using local currency or US dollars. For those that would like to stay in Cali there are three hotels that will be providing their services during the event.  Please use the following information for booking  on your own with special fares for the ISTRC:




If you are staying at CIAT’s Guest House, CIAT will provide your transportation from the airport to CIAT and from CIAT to the airport. If you are staying in the hotels in Cali, they will offer their pick up airport services for you. Therefore, when doing your reservation, please make sure to ask for this service too. It is not possible for CIAT to provide transportation services to and from the airport for those staying in Cali in the three hotel selected.  Hotel selected will ofer that service and it is totally safe. In case you miss the hotel’s transportation, you are encourage to use taxis that depart from the airport which are totally safe as well.  The cost for this transportation would cost between COP$70.000 and COP$90.000 (around USD25).  We strongly recomend you have Colombian pesos in case you need to use it. Bus service will be provided during the event days from the three hotels in Cali. Buses will load from 6:30 am to 6:40 am in order to take participants to CIAT.  Please gather at the hotel reception at 6:25am in order to avoid being left behind. In the evening, buses will depart from CIAT’s Arches immediately after closing formal meetings, and after evening entertainment on a route serving the three hotels. For those living in Colombia and using their own vehicles please provide plates in advance in order to CIAT Security authorize your entrance.
If your international flight is not straight to Cali, you will be arriving first in Bogotá, the capital city. The Bogotá airport is called El Dorado. Upon arrival, you will go through Immigration (sometimes also through baggage claim) and Customs. If you have any inconvenience, please go to our travel agency office, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and indicate that you are a CIAT visitor. The contact information follows: Carlson Wagonlit Travel – Bogotá airport Erika Bernal, Head Office Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Section – Colombian Travel Agency Tourist El Dorado Airport, 2nd floor Office: +57(2) 6445820, ext. 501 Mobile: +57-3114912630 Office hours:  5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday-Sunday Email: aeropuerto2@colombiantourist.com
The power supply in Colombia is 120V-60Hz, with two- or three- pin plugs.
The weather in Cali, located at an altitude of 1,000 m, is typical of tropical areas, with temperatures ranging from 22o C in the morning and evenings to 24-35o C during midday. For a detailed weather forecast for Cali, visit www.cnn.com/WEATHER/sa/Colombia/CaliSKCL.html For a detailed weather forecast for Bogotá, visit www.cnn.com/WEATHER/sa/Colombia/BogotaSKBO.html
Very few stores in Cali accept U.S. dollars; therefore, you may want to have some Colombian currency for personal purchases. We do not recommend you change money or use the electronic cashiers in the city. The ITAU Bank has an office in CIAT that provides banking services from Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon) for money exchange. You can also exchange money at the CIAT Guest House reception desk. In addition, a 24-hour electronic ATM accepts most personal or corporate credit cards (Master Card and VISA).
Medical service is available on campus Monday through Friday from 07:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. In addition, Cali has excellent medical services and CIAT has agreements with the main private hospitals. CIAT has ambulance service 24 hours/day,7 days/week. In case of an emergency after office hours, please contact first the radio operator at ext. 3111 and ask that person to contact  Mrs. Beatriz Narváez.
Yellow Fever Vaccination We have been informed by CIAT that staff coming from the following countries will be required to present their yellow vaccination and immunization record upon entry to Colombia to ensure that they have been vaccinated for yellow fever: *** Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Uganda, Brazil and Peru *** If you are traveling from any of these countries, please make sure to have record of your yellow fever vaccination with you in advance of your travel. Cali is not a malaria risk zone; nonetheless, in the evening, mosquitoes can be a nuisance at CIAT.  The Guest House have screens on doors and windows. Please take care to keep them shut. It is also recommended to wear long sleeves and trousers, or use insect repellent, if walking around campus in the evening. You cannot consume water from the tap, the hotel and conference rooms will permanently have bottled water. According to CIAT’s policy you must have a health and life insurance during the period of the meeting.  CIAT will not assume any legal or financial responsibility related with health problems or accidents.


Hundreds of world-class experts in root and tuber crops will be attending the 18th ISTRC Symposium in Cali. The symposium organizers would like to invite you to present your company to this qualified audience. Sign up as an exhibitor at the Congress now, as the availability of exhibit booths is limited. With an exhibit booth at the 18th ISTRC Symposium, you could display information about your company, organization/NGO, industry, a specific project, or research and development activity, etc. More importantly, you will be able to directly interact with a highly attractive audience and make people aware of your off-the-shelf solutions.

IMPORTANT ON Visa arrangements:

  • Visa arrangements should only start first week of September as Colombian visas are only granted for 60 days or less.
  • CIAT will support this process. Please avoid to undertake this process by yourself. You need to receive support from CIAT. In order to do so please contact Nhora Bonilla at N.bonilla@cgiar.org providing a copy of your passport.
  • Visa process will take 15 working days which means three weeks. CIAT will only support those that have already paid their registration fees.
  • Please contact Claudia Zuñiga (c.s.zuniga@cgiar.org) for registering your payment which should be done in the following account:

Name of bank account: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical CIAT
Account number in USD: 193136341
Bank address: Doral Office 4090 NW 97th Avenue
Miami, FL, 33178
ABA FED 021001088
ABA ACH 067009390

  • Registration fees = $ 490 + $20 (Industry); $390 + $20 (Scientists); $290 + $20 (Students)
  • Registration fees are not covering accommodation nor transportation airport-hotel-airport.
  • Participants should book on their own following instructions at https://istrc18thtriennialsymposium.sched.com/info

           ► Registration fees are not refundable. 

Schedule for the 18th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops

Please see the schedule for technical sessions, speakers and more on the ISTRC 18th Triennial Symposium in the following link:

See the full event schedule


October 22, 2018
October 25, 2018