Richard Visser, cluster leader
Potato is vegetable crop number one in the world. Like its close relative tomato, it is one of the few food crops to be grown virtually everywhere! Potato production is directed towards three clearly distinct market sectors: fresh (for boiling), crisps and french fries (for deep fat frying) and potato starch (for industrial processing). The Netherlands is global leader in the breeding of potato varieties dedicated to each of these three markets. For example, ca 70% of the seed potatoes annually produced for the consumer potato industry, are of varieties coming from our industrial partners.
- The CBSG potato research programme is focused on two key traits of importance to all three industrial sectors: Resistance to late blight - Phytophthora is still the cause of the most devastating potato disease encurring several billion euro costs in crop losses annually, and this despite several billion Euros which are spent on fungicidal sprays.
- Potato tuber quality - in terms of e.g. cold sweetening, tuber size / appearance etc.