The James Hutton Institute’s commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited, has entered into a five-year agreement with Technico Agri Sciences, a subsidiary of Indian company ITC Limited, for the provision of 16 potato varieties and 600 clones to be trialled and tested in India.
It is hoped that the introduction of new potato varieties will benefit India’s potato growers and industry by addressing the demand of processors and exporters and improving yields, thereby enhancing farmgate prices and farmer incomes.
Mr Sachid Madan, Chief Executive of Technico Agri Sciences, said: “We have been engaging extensively with farmers and processors across different geographies to help improve farm yield in potatoes significantly. The improvement in yields, along with better prices for such varieties, has contributed to the doubling of farmer incomes in states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and others and has also facilitated exports and processing.
“This landmark agreement is yet another substantive step in maximising returns for farmers, particularly for the potato crop farmers.”
The potato varieties supplied by James Hutton Limited will now be assessed to identify the most suitable ones for cultivation in India’s different states.
Dr Jonathan Snape, Head of James Hutton Limited, added: “Our mission is to be at the forefront of innovative and transformative science for sustainable management of land, crop and natural resources that supports thriving communities.
“Since potato farming provides livelihood to a significant section of India’s agricultural community, we are hopeful that our tie-up with Technico will help these communities effectively.”
Andrew Ayre, British Deputy High Commissioner in Chandigarh, commented: “Agritech is a key area of bilateral co-operation and a core UK strength. I am delighted that this partnership will improve farmer incomes and bring more choice to consumers.”
Technico Agri Sciences Limited is India’s largest seed potato producer, meeting diverse requirements for special quality potatoes for making high-quality potato chips and French fries as well as home use and exports. It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of the potatoes used for processing in India originate from Technico.