02 March 2022
Centre of excellence set up
A RESEARCH partnership, which will include a Centre of Excellence for Potato Research and Extension, is to be launched in New Zealand's Canterbury region.
The launch follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the country's board of Potatoes NZ Inc and Lincoln University.
Lincoln University Associate Professor of Plant Science, Clive Kaiser, who will be the establishment Director for the
centre, said it will be extension-led and "grower-centric".
The partnership aims to extend the knowledge gained through research, typically conducted by universities and research centres, to growers in the field.
“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,” he said.
Prior to joining Lincoln University, Clive was Interim Director of the Hermiston Agricultural and Research Extension Center (HAREC) – a world-renowned research centre for potatoes – based at Oregon State University.
“At present HAREC is the go-to global hub where potato growers from New Zealand and all over the world go for advice, education, problem-solving and inspiration. Now New Zealand growers and other potato industry participants will be able to find that support and practical assistance at the new Centre at Lincoln University,” he said.
PNZ CEO Chris Claridge said solving grower and industry problems is the key purpose and it is hoped the partnership will
enable this to be done 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.