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Pawan Khera - Breeding Manager

(c)Solynta Pawan5

Very few times in your life you come by an idea as revolutionizing as diploid potato breeding. Growing up in India, I’ve seen the impact of the breeding revolution in rice. Now, I’m actually at the heart of a similar revolution in potato breeding.  That is why I joined Solynta in 2021, and today it still gives me energy every single minute of the day.

My team consists of 12 breeders. We make sure that the seedlings and seed tubers we deliver are not only of great quality, but are also perfectly fit for their purpose. For example: we need seedlings for a certain area in Kenya. As breeding department, we then need to trace the end goal back to the very beginning and define all the necessary steps to take and to make sure that the whole process is aligned to obtain the right result. A lot of my time goes into talking through our ideas and conceptualizing them into the process, to study what is happening and continuously steer the process. 

(c)Solynta Pawan4

The great thing about my job is that I get to work with many different disciplines within the company. One of the values here at Solynta is that we pioneer together. This is very true for our field, we really depend on other colleagues to make sure we grow great products. With so many smart and driven colleagues, the company is bursting with brilliant ideas. It’s a great challenge to incorporate these ideas into our products and processes.

Before coming to Wageningen, I worked in an international institute in India. I like working in the Netherlands. Of course, there are some cultural differences, but I’ve had a very welcoming experience at Solynta. The support from day 1, and even before, was amazing. Everyone is in this together, and together we’ll revolutionize potato breeding.