Crop Biotech Update

US Backs Biotech Potato Research for Asia, Africa

February 2, 2022

Late blight is one of the major potato diseases that can cause crop and income loss to farmers. The United States has pledged funds to address this problem in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, and Nigeria.

The Feed the Future Global Biotech Potato Partnership led by the Michigan State University (MSU) aims to bring Late Blight-resistant (LBR) potatoes to the four countries and possibly to other Feed the Future target countries through funds provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the next five years. The award will help bring the LBR potato to the most challenged potato-producing regions and provide millions of farmers with a safe product with the potential to increase yield and lower production costs while contributing to the attainment of food security. It also aims to capacitate the partner country National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) to conduct scientific research in the four countries and use a science-based approach to navigate each country's biotechnology regulatory system to ensure proper food and environmental evaluations of the LBR potato.

The Global Potato Partnership comprises MSU, the International Potato Center, University of Minnesota, University of Idaho, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, and country NARSs.

To learn more about the Partnership, read the news release from MSU.

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