AvaGrow successfully demonstrates that the quality of Hybrid True Potato Seed (HTPS) starting material makes all the difference in Namibia
Potato farming in Namibia is an important occupation for the country’s food security and economic development. Potatoes are a staple food for many Namibians, and they provide an important source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. Namibians eat more potatoes than local farmers can produce, so import of potatoes is necessary. By cultivating more potatoes locally, Namibia will be able to reduce its dependence on imported food and strengthens its ability to feed its population.
High quality starting material (seed tubers) from conventional potato varieties are hard to come by in Namibia. Local farmers are predominantly reliant on the imports of seed tubers from surrounding countries in the region. Recognizing the advantage of innovation, local knowledge-driven agricultural solutions provider AvaGro tested the effectiveness of this form of local production with potatoes grown from one of Solynta’s hybrid true potato seed varieties in Namibia. For this trial, AvaGro germinated Solynta’s hybrid true potato seeds (HTPS) in their nursery. From there, they planted the seedlings into the field to produce Generation One (G1) hybrid tubers. After 120 days, the G1 tubers were harvested and sorted.
Planting organic Solynta seedlings
About 480 G1 (first generation hybrids) tubers that were produced from approximately 60 plants were replanted in one of the local test fields in Swakopmund. From the G1 replanted tubers, each tuber planted produced 13 tubers. These promising results show that production can increase with the use of hybrid seed tubers, making it profitable and also more sustainable for farmers to grow hybrid potatoes.
According to AvaGro CEO Leonie Hartmann, “Complex supply chains create logistical bottlenecks and affect the lifespan of the potatoes. With new hybrid potato varieties grown from Solynta’s Hybrid True Potato Seed (HTPS) we can address these challenges. After these successful trials, we are confident that the issues of local supply and food security can greatly improve, as well as farmer economics and sustainability in Namibia, using new hybrid potato varieties grown from hybrid true potato seed (HTPS)”
About Hybrid True Potato Seed
Hybrid true potato seed is disease-free and quality starting material. From one tiny seed, a new potato plant can grow, delivering new healthy, sustainable and delicious potatoes with desirable traits. These new potatoes can be planted again as seed tubers by local farmers to grow a new, even more abundant yield locally, without the need for transportation. This local production system leads to a more sustainable production chain.
Next steps will be taken to scale up this pilot to show the farming communities the potential yield, quality and sustainability increases that can be seen when using hybrid true potato seed and G1 hybrid potato tubers as quality starting material.
Would you like to learn more about the opportunities Hybrid True Potato Seed can offer you? Contact our Business Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org