KENYA – Solynta, a Dutch potato breeding technology company, has ushered in a new era of potato farming in Kenya by introducing Hybrid True Potato Seed (HTPS) breeding technology.
This groundbreaking approach offers disease-resistant and resilient seeds, providing farmers with more precise yield predictions compared to traditional tubers.
The HTPS seeds, immune to diseases and rotting, promise increased yields and minimized losses, a stark contrast to conventional tubers.
Charles Miller, Director of Strategic Alliances and Development at Solynta, underscores the pioneering role of the company in successfully breeding hybrid potatoes that yield true seeds.
“This non-GMO technology ensures a consistent supply of clean seeds for year-round planting,” he explained.
“Additionally, the speed at which new varieties are bred using HTPS exceeds the capabilities of traditional seed-tuber methods.”
Since its introduction in 2020, HTPS seeds have undergone successful field trials in key potato farming regions like central and Rift Valley, where farmers have praised their disease resistance and enhanced storage capabilities compared to traditional tubers.
Greenbridge and Solynta spearhead revolutionary potato farming in Egypt
Meanwhile, in a groundbreaking collaboration, Greenbridge and Solynta embarked on their maiden hybrid potato trial in Egypt earlier this year bolstering the country’s potato exports to the EU.
The partnership, initiated in 2023 by Solynta’s Business Development Manager, Rian Stekelenburg, and Greenbridge’s Managing Director, Omar Doughan, aimed to transform Egypt’s potato farming landscape.
Their goal was to reduce reliance on erratic seed tuber imports, notorious for quality fluctuations and supply uncertainties.
In the inaugural trial near El Minya, Egypt, plantlets from hybrid true potato seeds yielded an impressive 40 tons per hectare after roughly 120 days.
“This initial trial involving small plantlets has shown exceptional promise,” expressed Omar Doughan, buoyant about the method’s success despite requiring initial attention.
Rian Stekelenburg, Solynta’s Business Development Manager, emphasized the trial’s significance as the foundational step in cultivating a diverse range of potato varieties tailored to varied markets and climates.
He highlighted the rapid innovation enabled by hybrid potato breeding, ensuring adaptability to diverse market demands within a short span of two to five years.
The triumph of the trial sets the stage for Greenbridge to employ a selection of harvested tubers for the upcoming potato growth cycle during the winter season, anticipating even higher yields compared to previous trials in different countries.
Omar reiterated the shift to hybrid potato cultivation to mitigate price fluctuations and quality concerns associated with seed tubers, paving the way for innovation and sustainability in Egypt’s potato farming sector.
Solynta remains steadfast in developing hybrid potato varieties tailored for diverse climatic conditions, crucial for stability and sustainability in Egypt’s potato farming.
The collaboration between Greenbridge and Solynta marks a transformative leap in potato farming practices, potentially reshaping industry dynamics and bolstering the progress of farming communities.
Egypt’s surge in potato exports to the EU, totaling 211,000 tons in the first four months of 2023, further underscores the country’s growing prominence in the potato market.
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