New Zealand, Australia, Organizations in the News, Research

New Zealand’s potato Centre of Excellence to be grower-centric, identify problems and devise solutions

The board of Potatoes NZ Inc. (PNZ) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Lincoln University to launch a research partnership which includes a Centre of Excellence for Potato Research and Extension, based in Canterbury.

Lincoln University Associate Professor of Plant Science, Clive Kaiser, will be the establishment Director for the Centre of Excellence for Potato Research and Extension, and he says the new Centre will be extension-led and grower-centric. He believes it will be a game changer for the potato industry.

The fundamental tenet of the concept of ‘extension’ is to extend the knowledge gained through research, typically conducted by universities and research centres, to growers in the field.

According to Prof Kaiser, “the research conducted at the Centre will be focused on working with potato growers to identify and understand the problems confronting them and to devise solutions to those problems.

“The solutions will be developed through discovering new knowledge, as well as by using existing knowledge in new ways, and will be underpinned by strong local, national and international collaborations. This cooperative, collaborative research approach will have immediate, significant and long-lasting benefits for NZ growers.”

The CEO of PNZ Chris Claridge says “Solving grower and industry problems is our key purpose, this partnership will enable us to do so more effectively”. The NZ Potato industry is valued at over $1 billion per annum, with 175 growers across the country and multiple frozen chip and crisp processors.

Stuart Wright, the Chair of PNZ’s board says “We’re very excited to be involved with Lincoln University, especially with their track record in agricultural research and education”.

Source: Potatoes NZ. Read the full release here
Photo: Courtesy Potatoes NZ

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