Seed World

Solynta Signs Agreement to Develop True Potato Seeds for Kenya

Solynta's true potato seeds. Photo: Solynta

Dutch company Solynta has signed an agreement with FreshCrop Limited, Kenya’s largest producer of seed tuber, to collaborate on the development of hybrid true potatoes for Kenya, a Feb. 2 news release said.

The release noted the partnership aims to put an end to the shortage of clean starting material in the region, allowing farmers to benefit from access to disease-free seed tubers. With seed tubers grown from Solynta’s non-GMO breeding technology, farmers can grow potatoes with specific beneficial traits and optimize their yield considerably, with limited risk.

“Existing potato diseases diminish yield and affect the overall potato quality considerably. We are continuously looking for new ways to provide our customers with solutions to their problems,” Chris Gasperi, founder and CEO of FreshCrop, said in the release. “We are currently working very closely with Solynta to ensure FreshCrop brings the most innovative and adapted products to its customers in the Kenyan market.”

The partnership will allow FreshCrop to not be reliant on existing potato genetics by having access to new, robust potato varieties from hybrid true potato seed, the release said.

“We strongly believe in empowering local farming communities by providing clean high quality starting material that is adapted to local growing conditions. We believe we can add value to local farmers with the introduction of specific genetic traits that are tailored to the Kenyan climate and soil,” Charles Miller, Solynta’s director of business development, said in the release.

The release noted FreshCrop has the production and distribution infrastructure in place to facilitate easy and fast distribution of clean starting material to the rural communities of Kenya, meaning all farmers can benefit, even in the most remote areas. By linking the Solynta innovative seed technology with FreshCrops distribution network, the local potato supply chain can be made more efficient, more sustainable, and flexible.