Dutch potato breeding company HZPC is fully committed to developing robust, durable varieties.
These varieties should perform optimally in more extreme conditions such as heat, drought and salinization, and will be able to overcome diseases, the company reports with its presentation of the recent sustainability report. This report indicates that the new generation of potato varieties is performing better and better under extreme climate conditions.
‘The current climate developments have a negative effect on the availability of healthy and affordable food, especially in poorer countries,’ explains CEO Gerard Backx. ‘We therefore remain fully committed to developing varieties and producing seed potatoes with a minimal ecological footprint, but with maximum performance. Also in countries where good results have to be achieved under challenging climatic conditions. We expect a lot from our latest innovations so that we can further make our chain future-proof.’ Therefore, the optimal genetic variety traits are developed in the high-tech research environment of the company’s Research center in Friesland (The Netherlands).
To ensure yields, HZPC uses new breeding techniques such as marker technology and hybridization. According to the breeding company, if current developments continue, seed of hybrid varieties can mean a lot for potato distribution and cultivation where food security is under pressure. The company is referring to locations that, due to limited infrastructure or for phytosanitary reasons, are difficult to reach such as the Sub-Saharan region and Central Asia. HZPC expects these regions to have access to high-quality starting material through the supply of hybrid potato seed, adding that the first tests of hybrid varieties on a trial field in Kenya last year were promising.
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