10 October 2023
International project underway to develop late blight-resistant potato varieties.
A NEW project entitled the Global Biotech Potato Partnership, is being conducted by scientists in Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
The project is coordinated by Michigan State University and involves a number of partners, such as the International Potato Center (CIP) in Africa, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).
According to project leader in Kenya and from CIP, Dr. Eric Magembe, farmers experience heavy losses as a result of potato late blight disease besides high costs of chemical spraying to control the disease. In Kenya, the project is past the confined field trials (CFTs) stage at Njabini, Muguga and Molo potato-growing districts where the experts are currently assessing potentials of the four genetically modified biotech potato types.