Alliance for Science – New potato variety could be a game-changed for farmers in East Africa

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An article from Alliance for Science with details on the new 3R Victoria potato variety.

Imagine being a potato farmer in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda or Nigeria. On a small piece of land, which you depend on for food and income, you have spent months planting, weeding and watering. Up to twice a week, you manually spray your field, sometimes with limited equipment, or hire someone to do it, spending much of your income on fungicides to avoid crop diseases.

And yet within a week of cold and humid weather, your entire field has been destroyed by late blight, a disease that wipes out a third of all potato yields worldwide.

But there is a solution. Researchers from the National Agricultural Research Organization Uganda and the International Potato Center have developed a new variety of potato which is resistant to late blight. Using new molecular techniques, they transferred late-blight resistance genes into the popular East African potato variety Victoria.


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