Funding campaign outlined for International Potato Innovation Centre


15 August 2022
Developing heat-tolerant and early-maturing varieties should be priority, says scientist.

THE vision of a new International Potato Innovation Centre, and a funding campaign to support its formation, were outlined recently at Potatoes In Practice, the UK’s largest field event for potatoes and a highlight of the season.

Professor Lesley Torrance, Scientific Director at the James Hutton Institute, was amongst those speaking at the event, which was held at UK research provider The James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm, Dundee.

Lesley told those gathered at the event that the potato crop faced an “existential threat” in the UK, and called for an additional £40 million of research funding to establish the Potato Innovation Hub where developing heat-tolerant and early-maturing varieties would be a priority. It would enable all stake-holders to work together for the common good, she said.

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“It will focus on industry-demanded research and we think this is the best model to write submissions to practical problems and ensure the widespread adoption of the innovations that are given out so that we achieve the best outcomes for the industry,” she said.

Potatoes In Practice, which is supported by The James Hutton Institute, Agrii UK, SRUC and Potato Review, was returning for the first time since the Covid 19 pandemic. In 2020 the show was cancelled, and last year a socially distanced event was held, but this year Potatoes in Practice was back in full force, with demonstration plots and field exhibits.

A full review of the event, insights shared by speakers, and photos, will be featured in the September issue of Potato Review. You can subscribe here if you don't already receive a copy.

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