Across Regions, Breeding, News April 2024, Organizations in the News, Research, Sustainability, Varieties

Seeding the future: CIP and SFSA’s partnership develops climate-resilient potatoes for a warmer world

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) continues its long-term collaboration with the International Potato Center (CIP), emphasizing the second phase of a critical public-private partnership. This initiative aims to develop and distribute new, climate-resilient potato varieties tailored for tropical and subtropical climates, addressing urgent global challenges of food security and climate change.

Simon Heck, PhD, General Director of CIP and a seasoned leader in international agricultural research, and Hugo Campos, PhD, Deputy General Director for Science and Innovation at CIP, shared insights into their organization’s strategies and recent advancements in potato and sweetpotato agriculture in a recent article published by SFSA, titled “Like in any relationship, a partnership needs to grow and evolve“.

Fast-Tracking Potato Development

In a recent discussion, Campos highlighted the progress made in Vietnam, where a rapid breeding program has allowed for the swift identification and development of elite potato varieties. “Our approach integrates advanced germplasm from both HCPZ and CIP, which accelerates the entire process from research to commercialization,” Campos explained. This method has already seen success with the release of a new potato variety, with another expected to hit the market next year.

Sweetpotato: The Rising Superfood

Turning to sweetpotatoes, Heck emphasized their significance in enhancing food security across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. “Sweetpotato is not only a vital food source but is increasingly recognized as a superfood in premium markets,” Heck noted. This crop’s resilience to harsh conditions like drought and saline soils makes it particularly valuable as climate challenges mount.

Heck also highlighted innovative applications of sweetpotato in processed food products, which offer significant economic benefits for smallholders. “From snacks substituting traditional ingredients to commercial baby food production in Kenya, sweetpotato is proving to be versatile and profitable,” he added.

Beyond Research: Empowering Communities

Both leaders discussed CIP’s commitment to going beyond conventional research. “Our work in the Andes involves equitable partnerships with local communities, focusing on the repatriation of native potato varieties,” Heck stated. This approach not only fosters local agriculture but also ensures that benefits flow back to the communities that contribute to their gene banks.

Campos touched on the role of CIP in supporting nutrition through collaborations with organizations like the World Food Program, particularly in providing refugees with access to nutritious potato and sweetpotato varieties.

Addressing Future Challenges

Looking forward, Campos and Heck are mindful of the evolving needs of a rapidly urbanizing global population. “We are exploring how food systems will need to adapt to serve not just rural smallholders but increasingly urban populations in developing regions,” Heck explained. This forward-looking strategy underscores the necessity of innovative agricultural practices that can meet the diverse needs of a changing world.

CIP and SFSA: A Model Partnership

Reflecting on the partnership with SFSA, Campos praised the collaborative efforts that have led to substantial advancements in potato and sweetpotato research and development. “Our joint initiatives with SFSA are examples of how strategic partnerships can effectively address global agricultural challenges,” he said.

This ongoing collaboration between CIP and SFSA is a testament to the power of combining scientific research with practical applications to improve the lives of millions in the Global South, paving the way for a food-secure future amid climatic adversities.

Source: Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA). Read the original article here
Photo: Credit SFSA

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


Feel free to get in touch with Lukie!
He’ll be happy to share your company’s news stories on Potato News Today:
lukie@potatonewstoday.com
Connect on LinkedIn
Follow on Twitter
About us

Stay updated with breaking news

Enter your email below for news story notifications.

Translate this site

Blog Stats

  • 1,840,190 reads of our news stories

LOCKWOOD Mfg

PULSEMASTER

FPS Food Process Solutions

FAM STUMABO

AVR

Scotts Precision Manufacturing

TOMRA FOOD

GRIMME