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Scottish and Kenyan potato experts strengthen collaborative links

Potato meeting in Nairobi, Kenya (c) James Hutton Institute
"The meeting allowed Kenyan farmers to hear about the new bilateral agreement to allow importation of Scottish seed potatoes and to connect seed importers in Kenya with exporters in Scotland

Scientists, plant health officials, representatives from farmers’ organisations and potato growers from Scotland and Kenya participated in a workshop held in Nairobi to discuss findings from BBSRC and Scottish Government funded research on virus resistance, heat tolerance and early maturity of potato crops. 

The meeting, funded by a BBSRC GCRF Impact accelerator account award to the University of St Andrews, featured research conducted by Mark Taylor, Lesley Torrance, Alison Roberts, Glenn Bryan and colleagues at the James Hutton Institute.

Delegates also heard about potato varieties suited to Kenyan growing conditions including varieties developed by the Institute’s commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Ltd, in collaborative breeding contracts.

Lesley Torrance, Hutton Director of Science and Professor of Biology at St Andrews University, organised the meeting with Prof Hassan Were, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and the Kenyan Potato Council with representation from AHDB Potatoes and plant health officials from SASA, Edinburgh.   

The meeting allowed Kenyan farmers to hear about the new bilateral agreement to allow importation of Scottish seed potatoes and to connect seed importers in Kenya with exporters in Scotland.

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and Kenyan institutions have collaborated in the past to introduce popular UK potato cultivar Mayan Gold in Kenya, in an effort to boost food security and strengthen potato production systems in the East African country.

Mayan Gold is a variety originally bred at the James Hutton Institute from a South American potato species called Solanum tuberosum L. group Phureja, and successfully commercialised in the UK by the company Greenvale AP, longstanding partners of James Hutton Ltd.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/scottish-and-kenyan-potato-experts-strengthen-collaborative-links on 19/07/19 02:06:09 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.