Asia, India, China, Middle East, Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Research, Sustainability, Trends

UK’s potato sustainability research at risk: The rise of Chinese spud technology

The UK is at risk of being surpassed in potato sustainability research if it doesn’t embrace the latest technologies, as Callum Clarke reports for STV News.

The James Hutton Institute, situated near Dundee and in the process of establishing a national potato innovation center, emphasized the need for the UK to progress in sustainable potato farming during the Potatoes in Practice industry event in Scotland last week.

Lesley Torrance, the institute’s Director of Science, highlighted China’s significant investment in potato science, positioning the potato as a cornerstone of their food security strategy, saying, “we must make more strides in the sustainability of our spuds”. She also said, “…we’ll be overtaken probably.“

New technologies supporting this shift were showcased at the Potatoes in Practice event, including a novel machine that uses electricity for haulm desiccation.

Euan Caldwell, Head of Farming at the institute, mentioned the ongoing changes in the sector due to traditional chemicals losing approval.

Additionally, seed potatoes, which significantly contribute to the UK’s economy with Scotland accounting for over 75% of exports, face political challenges post-Brexit.

Source: STV News. Full story here
Photo: Credit STV News

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