Together with partner Agris, Solynta is currently working on the path to introduce Hybrid True Potato Seeds in 6 different countries within Central Europe.
After several meetings and visits to each other, a powerful collaboration has emerged. The Hybrid True Potato Seeds from Solynta and the plant raising facilities and skills from Agris are turning out to be a golden combination.
Several areas have already been planted and from both sides, experience has been gained in 6 different countries. Already, the autumn crops in southern Greece (see picture) look very promising.
The Hybrid True Potato Seed (HTPS) system differs from the conventional system with seed tubers. Hybrid potatoes are grown from growing potato seedlings from true seed in a controlled environment, preferably a greenhouse. After a few weeks, these are transplanted into the field. Weed management also differs slightly from the seed tuber weed management, as the canopy closes a few weeks later than by the conventional method.
Most importantly, the Hybrid True Potato system allows every grower to have access to clean, quality starting material for potato crop cultivation. The past years, interest has grown for this new method, partly due to the lack of both quality and quantity of seed tubers.
“We are looking forward to scaling up and spread the system to more places,” says Theologos Koufakis from Agris. “With HTPS (Hybrid True Potato Seeds), every potato grower can have access to clean starting material at any place and any time. Seeds are available throughout the year, as storage issues and disease play no part in the logistics. In fact, transportation is extremely easy, as the material is light weight. 25 grams are enough to plant an entire hectare. There is no need for heavy truckloads anymore.”
Distribution is facilitated by Agris through their existing infrastructure. “We distribute the seedlings grown from hybrid true seed via our outlets and our regular shipments to the entire region. Many small potato growers are excited about the new concept; the best quality starting material will offer them the chance to grow a better yield than ever before.” he concludes.
Central European region's market
Since 1983, Agris has been active in Greece and 5 other countries in the Central European region. “We want to be our customer’s first choice, so we offer the highest quality horticulture solutions on the market. We supply and support our customers with a team of dedicated professionals in horticulture. Hybrid potatoes from true potato seed is innovative and already proven in the marketplace in various parts of the world. We believe it has immense potential within our regions. Potato growers need good yields, knowledge, and quality starting material. I am confident that we now have all the tools at our disposal to deliver this to our customers. “, Koufakis continues.
With 5 office locations, Agris serves the markets in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania. These areas are for a considerable extent reliant on seed tuber imports from Western Europe, especially The Netherlands. Last year, they met with Solynta for the first time.
Agris strives to produce better vegetables to create a better world. “Quality seeds are the answer to a much-needed improvement of the agricultural situation of many small holder farmers in the region South, Central and Eastern Europe. The Solynta hybrid potato seeds hold a solid promise to these farmers, to produce optimal yields to feed their communities and improve their livelihoods.”, Koufakis concludes.
Solynta's Business Development manager Jos Aben says: “We aim to facilitate them in achieving these goals. Solynta has a revolutionary technology that will make potato growers less reliant on expensive seed tuber imports from Western Europe. We have visited Agris several times and given them agronomical support to successfully grow strong potato seedlings from hybrid true potato seeds. Through this business model, potato growers in this region have an excellent opportunity to increase their economic position and feed their communities and be less reliant on seed tuber imports to grow their crops. That is really what our work is all about. “
Hybrid true potato seed is clean, easy to ship, store and cultivate; making it an excellent alternative to bulky and diseased seed tubers that are imported to the region each year. “We are not only improving the livelihood of farmers, but we are also changing the game completely. “, Jos concludes.
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