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Solynta and FreshCrop sign hybrid potato collaboration agreement in Kenya

February 03, 2023

The Dutch company Solynta and the Kenyan seedpotato company FreshCrop team up to facilitate future introduction of clean potato starting material in Kenya through hybrid true potato seed. The goals is to end to the shortage of clean starting material in the region.

Solynta – hybrid potato breeding technology company from The Netherlands and FreshCrop Limited, producer of seed potatoes in Kenya, have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of hybrid true potato innovation in Kenya. By joining forces, the companies goal is to work closely to facilitate future introduction of hybrid potato seed tubers produced from hybrid true potato seeds. With the partnership the companies aim to put an end to the shortage of clean starting material in the region, allowing farmers to benefit from access to disease-free seed tubers, the companies states in a press release.

Growing demand for clean starting material

The mission of FreshCrop is to support local farmers with clean and high-quality seed tubers, that will produce abundant yields and improving living standards throughout Kenya. ‘There is a growing demand for clean starting material in the Kenyan potato market. Existing potato diseases diminish yield and affect the overall potato quality considerably. We are continuously looking for new ways to provide our customers with solutions to their problems. We believe Solynta’s hybrid technology and true seeds are the type of innovation needed in our industry’, says FreshCrop founder Chris Gasperi. ‘We are currently working very closely with Solynta to ensure FreshCrop brings the most innovative and adapted products to its customers in the Kenyan market’, he emphasizes. He explaines that FreshCrop’s mission is to revolutionize the potato value chain from tissue culture to consumption through the empowerment and education of farmers, the implementation of climate smart agricultural practices, and the utilization of appropriate agro technology. With operations in Nakuru, Nyandarua and Narok, FreshCrop aims to optimize land management, traceability and share best practices among the Kenyan farming community. He explaines the agricultural sector in Kenya is the backbone of the economy, contributing approximately 33 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product, and employs more than 40 percent of the total population and 70 percent of the rural population. Kenya’s 4.5 million farmers produce potatoes throughout the year, and export potatoes to its surrounding countries.

Fast distribution

According to Charles Miller, Solynta’s Director of Business Development, the partnership expresses the shared values of the two companies. ’Just like FreshCrop, Solynta’s focus is on supporting the potato farming communities and ensuring that good nutritious food is available to the world’s population’, the Solynta’s director explaines. Solynta also aims to revolutionize the potato value chain, from seed to consumption, by introducing hybrid true potato seed. ‘We strongly believe in empowering local farming communities by providing clean high quality starting material that is adapted to local growing conditions. We believe we can add value to local farmers with the introduction of specific genetic traits that are tailored to the Kenyan climate and soil’, he concludes. ‘In addition, we have the production and distribution infrastructure in place to facilitate easy and fast distribution of clean starting material to the rural communities of Kenya. This way, all farmers can benefit, even in the most remote areas’, is the belief of Gasperi. By linking the Solynta seed technology with FreshCrops distribution network, the local potato supply chain can be made more efficient, more sustainable and flexible, the new partners concludes.


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