Teagasc used its presence at this week’s World Potato Congress (WPC) to network with comparable organisations, in particular those undertaking similar projects regarding breeding new potato varieties.
In the words of Teagasc’s head of knowledge transfer Michael Hennessy: “Collaboration with international partners provides opportunities to deliver more complete outcomes from research and development.”
Hennessy confirmed that Teagasc remains committed to a vibrant potato-development research programme reports www.agriland.ie
“Teagasc has been involved in numerous projects of this nature over many years. The final payback for Irish farmers can also be significant,” he said.
Much of this work is centered on the breeding of new potato varieties that can deliver real benefits for Irish farmers and growers in many other countries.
“Developing new varieties that are resistant to Potato Cyst Nematode, or PCN, is a key focus of the work ongoing at Oak Park,” said Hennessy.
“The development of the new variety Buster is extremely exciting in this regard. It is resistant to both species of PCN.”
Climate change, reducing pesticide use and feeding an expanding global population presents a lot of challenges for potato breeders.
Currently, Teagasc research scientists are focussed on developing potato varieties that are resistant to drought, as well as a range of important diseases affecting potato crops.