Experts link up to improve South Asia’s potatoes


Experts link up to improve South Asia’s potatoes                                                                                                                          

  • Public-private partnership for new varieties for smallholder farmers

 Metslawier (The Netherlands) and Lima (Peru), 28 April 2016 – The International Potato Center (CIP), global seed potato company HZPC and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) have announced a new partnership. Their joint aim is to develop better potatoes for tropical and subtropical conditions.

CIP and HZPC will combine their experience and resources to breed and select potato varieties suitable for local markets in South Asia. SFSA will provide support. This public-private partnership demonstrates the organization’s’ joint aim of raising the quality and quantity of food production for a growing world population.

 Under the agreement, CIP and HZPC will focus on research and development. HZPC will also apply its strength in the commercialization of potato varieties and seed potatoes; CIP will contribute its know-how in the development of varieties for sustainable production in the tropics. Both HZPC and CIP are contributing potato germplasm to the endeavor. Their scientists will aim to find the best combination of traits from HZPC potatoes for temperate regions and CIP’s varieties adapted for tropical lowlands and smallholder farmers. Improved, market-preferred varieties will enable smallholders to raise their yields and income. The breeding program is intended to run for five years.

As well as helping improve farmers’ livelihoods, the partnership is also breaking new ground in connection with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Plant Treaty). It is the first such agreement in which partners have committed to contributing a percentage of the income from royalties to the Treaty’s benefit-sharing fund.

“It’s a privilege to combine forces with HZPC in benefiting smallholder farmers in the developing world”, said Barbara Wells, CIP Director General.

The Plant Treaty is an international agreement with 139 signatory countries. Its aim is to guarantee food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. CIP maintains and distributes its germplasm all over the world in accordance with this treaty.

“We are excited to be a part of this effort to deliver improved tropical potato varieties that fulfil a need in all sectors and are resilient to biotic and abiotic stresses”, said Mike Robinson, Chief Scientist for the SFSA.

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 About International Potato Center

The International Potato Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIP, was founded in 1971 as a root and tuber research-for-development institution delivering sustainable solutions to the pressing world problems of hunger, poverty, and the degradation of natural resources. CIP is truly a global center, with headquarters in Lima, Peru and offices in 20 developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Working closely with our partners, CIP seeks to achieve food security, increased well-being, and gender equity for poor people in the developing world. CIP furthers its mission through rigorous research, innovation in science and technology, and capacity strengthening regarding root and tuber farming and food systems.

CIP is part of the CGIAR Consortium, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. Donors include individual countries, major foundations, and international entities.

 About Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA*) focuses on smallholders, productivity, and markets. The Foundation works with partners in developing countries and emerging markets. The Foundation’s aim is to help small farmers become more professional growers. This is done by extending science-based know-how, facilitating access to quality inputs, and linking smallholders to markets in profitable ways. This adds value for rural communities, and sustainably improves food security.

 About HZPC

HZPC is the innovative world leader in potato breeding, seed potato trade and product concept development. HZPC breeders develop seed potato varieties that optimally match local growing conditions. With HZPC, local potato growers are able to respond dynamically to the needs of their market and market segments such as industry, retail chains and traditional consumer market channels.

HZPC operates worldwide with 300 employees in more than 10 countries and exports to over 80 countries. HZPC is owned by 800 of its international seed potato growers and employees. By using HZPC varieties and seed potatoes, potato growers worldwide can achieve a sustainable and healthy crop growth, while taking responsibility for people and the environment into account.

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Asia, Potatoes