Bio-tweaked potato to benefit 300,000 smallholder farmers

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IN Uganda, stakeholders working on the new bioengineered late blight-resistant potato dubbed as the “3R Victoria” are confident of its wide adoption. The yet to be released potato could help 300,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda achieve higher yields at lower production costs and less exposure to chemicals. The stakeholders estimate 40-50% adoption rate for the new variety after its release.

Studies conducted by the International Potato Center (CIP) and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) scientists since 2015 have confirmed that 3R Victoria potato is completely resistant to late blight disease and safe for human consumption and the environment.

Dr Marc Ghislain, senior biotechnologist at CIP and cluster leader for CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas said, “An estimated adoption rate of 40 to 50% represents strong evidence that farmers in this country want to have access to these late blight-resistant potatoes and will benefit from them in multiple ways.”