Improving South Asia’s potatoes

A new partnership has been formed which aims to develop better potatoes for tropical and subtropical conditions. The International Potato Center (CIP), global seed potato company HZPC and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) will combine their resources to breed potato varieties suitable for South Asia markets.

The organisations will combine their experience and resources to breed and select potato varieties suitable for local markets in South Asia. This public-private partnership is aimed at raising the quality and quantity of food production for a growing world population.

Under the new agreement, CIP and HZPC will focus on research and development. Both organisations will provide support in different areas of expertise. While HZPC will apply its strength in the commercialisation of potato varieties and seed potatoes, CIP will contribute its knowledge in the development of varieties for sustainable production in the tropics.

Both organisations will contribute potato germplasm to the endeavour. The scientists will aim to bring together the best combination of traits from HZPC potatoes for temperate regions and CIP's varieties adapted for tropical lowlands and smallholder farmers. The five year breeding programme will aim to produce improved, market-preferred varieties that will enable smallholder farmers to raise their yields and income.

The partnership is also breaking new ground in connection with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as 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.


Contact: Gerard Backx, CEO, HZPC