About 2021 Symposium


Lusaka, Zambia,  20-24 September 2021


The International Society for Tropical Root Crops-Africa Branch (ISTRC-AB), symposia serves as a unique platform and a non-profit making professional society for interaction among scientists from around the world working on all tropical root and tuber crops (Sweet-potato, Cassava, Potato, Andean roots and tubers, Yams and Aroids). The Society was created to foster, stimulate, and support any activity leading to the general improvement of the world tropical root and tuber crops production and utilization. 

The Society organizes regional symposia every three years. The last three were held in DR Congo (2010), Ghana (2013) and Tanzania (2017).  A platform where African and world-leading Scientists, academia, young next-generation scientists, policymakers, donors, emerging farmers, private entrepreneurs, and funding agencies of research for development, working on tropical root and tuber crops meet. At this symposium, they share current research outputs, decide future patterns, and make wide-ranging decisions on the position of tropical root and tuber crops on the  African continent and global agenda.

The 14th International Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops -Africa Branch (ISTRC-AB) will be held in Lusaka, Zambia on 20-24 September 2021.  The theme is: “Exploring climate smart, nutritious and healthy root and tuber crops for African business solutions”

This symposium will provide once more an opportunity for scientists and other stakeholders from throughout Africa and around the world to come together for networking, exchange information and ideas, and to initiate new collaborative studies. Several renowned scientists, young researchers, and other stakeholders are expected to attend this important meeting.


The proposed symposium sub-themes as it relates to climate smart, nutritious and healthy root and tuber crops are: 

  • Genetic resources use and management
  • Breeding of root and tuber crops deploying molecular tools 
  • Root and tuber crops pests and diseases management under climate change
  • Commercial Sustainable Seed System
  • Agronomy/Cropping systems and weed management
  • Postharvest technologies, value chains, and market opportunities
  • Nutrition of root and tuber crops for food and nutrition security
  • Enhancing innovative impact and partnerships 
  • Policy challenges and opportunities for market linkages 


  • 5 May 2021 -First announcement
  • 28 June 2021 – Second Announcement
  • 30 July 2021- Deadline for submission of abstract
  • 01 August 2021 – Intimation of abstract acceptance
  • 6-15 August 2021 early bird registration
  • 16 August 2021 – On-line registration of participants
  • 23 August 2021 – Submission of full Papers /Participation in Exhibition/ Early bird registration closes
  • 30 August 2021 – Submission of PowerPoint Presentation
  • 20 September to 24 September 2021 – Conference

Organising Institutions (to be completed) To be updated 

  • The Government of Zambia (Ministry of Agriculture) 
  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria 
  • CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Banana
  • Zambian Agricultural Research Institution (ZARI)
  • Harvest-Plus, CIAT
  • GCP21
  • Cassava Weed Project
  • International Society of Root and Tuber Crops (ISTRC)
  • Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO)
  • Others ..

Local Organising committtee 

  • Dr Martin Chiona, Chairman, LOC, ZARI
  • Mr Moses Mwale, ZARI            
  • Mr. Mathias Tembo, Secretary, LOC, ZARI
  • Dr. PatrickChikoti, ZARI
  • Dr Pheneas Ntawuruhunga, IITA
  • Dr Emmanuel Alamu, IITA
  • Mrs. Cynthia Konie , CEEC
  • Mr. Brighton Mulonga, ZANACA
  • Dr. Isaac Knafo, Private
  • Mrs Susan Chipandwe, CEEC
  • Dr. Nathan Phiri, SCCI
  • Mr. Charles Mulombwa, CEED
  • Mr. Lubasi Yuyi. 
  • Mr Rabson Mulenga, ZARI
  • Mr. Thierry Kalonji, COMESA
  • Mr. Joel H. Okwir, COMESA

List of ISTRC-AB Executive committee 2017 to 2021

Posts Name Email  Tel
President: Dr Richardson Okechukwu r.okechukwu@cgiar.org (+234)8039784010
First Vice President: Dr. Kiddo Mtunda kjmtunda09@yahoo.co.uk (+255)754466201)
Second Vice President: Dr. Martin Chiona martinchiona@yahoo.com (+260) 977125692
Secretary: Dr Pheneas Ntawuruhunga p.ntawuruhunga@cgiar.org (+260)971235177
Assistant Secretary: Prof. Simon Eze simon.eze@unn.edu.ng (+234)8036419427
Treasurer: Dr Elizabeth Parkes e.parkes@cgiar.org (234) 8106916442
Editor-in-Chief: Dr Godwin Asumugha gasumugha@gmail.com (+234)-8035086533
Associate Editor:
Fund Raising Officer Dr. Bosola Oladeinde bosola@gmail.com (+234)8129059937
Ex-Officio: Dr. Nzola Mahungu n.mahungu@cgiar.org (+243)992 253 355
Ex-Officio:  Dr. Robert Asiedu r.asiedu@cgiar.org (+234)8039784007
Ex-Officio:  Dr. Chief Alfred Dixon a.dixon@cgiar.org (+234)8034576082
Ex-Officio:  Dr Peter Kulakow p.kulakow@cgiar.org (+234)8138338751
Ex-Officio:  Prof. Lateef Sanni sannilateef5@gmail.com (+234)8033467882
Regional Representatives:
Western Prof. Kanayo Chukwuka kanayodrchukwuka97@gmail.com (234)8033960610
Eastern Kwame Ogero k.ogero@cgiar.org (+255)689457461
Central Ms Moita Nassy Laurentine Marielle m.moita-nassy@cgiar.org (+234)8152501105
Southern Mr Vito Sandifolo vsandifolo@gmail.com (+265)888850025


Registration fees 

All Participants: $250 (the registration fees will cover $150  for membership of ISTRC-AB for three years, and services related to the organization of the symposium (e.g., Virtual hosting, IT support)

  • Self-sponsored students with proof: $200
  • New life member: $1000
  • Corporate registration: $2000

Exhibition of products and services: $450

Special Plenary Sessions: $5,000



Dr Richardson Okechukwu

ISTRC-AB President


Email: r.okechukwu@cgiar.org 

Dr. Elizabeth Parkes

ISTRC-AB Treasurer


Email: e.parkes@cgiar.org 

Dr. Chiona Martin

Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC)

Plant Breeder, National Root and Tubers Programme Team Leader

Mansa Research Station

Box 710129, Mansa, Zambia

Mob: +260 977125692

Email: martinchiona@yahoo.com

Dr. Ntawuruhunga Pheneas 

ISTRC-AB Secretary General, 

IITA Regional Hub for Southern Africa, 32 Poplar Road, Avondale

P.O. Box 310142, Lusaka, Zambia

Tel. office:  +260211840365 | mobile: +260 971 235 177


Skype: pheneas.ntawuruhunga