KENYA – Solynta, in collaboration with local partners, has been at the forefront of providing African farmers, particularly in Kenya, with Hybrid True Potato Seeds (HTPS) to combat late blight, reduce fungicide use, and stabilize yields.

The success stories are emerging from various Kenyan partners, including smallholder farms and co-ops, which have experienced robust potato yields, surpassing the average for the season.

Scott Montague, a partner at Mlango Farm, reported strong results with the latest hybrids, noting their resistance to late blight.

The impact is evident at Mlango Farm, one of the largest organic farms in Kenya, where organic, hybrid, and chemical-free potatoes have been successfully harvested without the use of pesticides.

This breakthrough not only signals a lucrative opportunity for organic smallholder farmers but also showcases the potential of hybrid breeding in enhancing crop resilience against late blight.

Scott Montague emphasized the significance of this innovation, stating, “The resilience of these hybrids against late blight represents a significant innovation.” This success not only bolsters local food production but also holds promise for sustainable agriculture in Kenya.

Collaborative efforts involving seed producers, farmers, associations, and regulators are vital in driving agricultural innovation in Kenya.

Solynta’s commitment to supporting local growers aligns with the broader goals of enhancing crop resilience and sustainability in the face of challenges like late blight.

The collaboration extends to organizations like the Kenyan Potato Council, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), and industry associations like the Africa Seed Trade Association.

Moreover, Solynta is expanding its partnerships in Kenya, encompassing various stakeholders, from potato growers and seed tuber producers to off-takers and processors.

The aim is to make hybrid potato seeds accessible to every farmer, reinforcing Solynta’s dedication to the growth of the Kenyan agricultural sector.

Late blight, a historical adversary of potato farmers globally, has found its nemesis in HTPS, offering a beacon of hope for Kenyan farmers facing this destructive disease.

Kenya witnesses severe repercussions when late blight strikes. However, the adoption of Solynta’s hybrid potato seeds is proving to be a game-changer for local farmers.

Promising results in Egypt

In addition to Kenya, Solynta’s innovative approach to potato farming extends to Egypt, where a collaboration with Greenbridge has shown promising results.

Growing potatoes from Hybrid True Potato Seeds (HTPS) in Egypt has the potential to reduce dependency on seed tuber imports, providing a more stable and sustainable alternative. The first trial near El Minya yielded 40 tons/ha, a promising result for this new potato-growing system.

Rian Stekelenburg, Solynta’s Business Development Manager, highlighted the advantages of hybrid potato breeding, stating, “We are now at the start of an exciting path to introduce our innovative products and a new production system to the world.”

Omar Doughan, Managing Director of Greenbridge, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are eager to continue working with Solynta and gain experience with growing potatoes from hybrid true seeds, as this is a real game-changer for the potato industry and potato farming communities.”

The success in both Kenya and Egypt exemplifies the transformative potential of hybrid potato seeds in addressing longstanding challenges and paving the way for sustainable and resilient agricultural practices.

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