The content of this blog originates from the article on the Potato Variety Days 2021 published in PotatoWorld magazine 2022/01.
By Zindziwe Janse, Jaap Delleman and Leo Hanse.
During the Potato Variety Days 2021, we asked participating breeding companies about the key focus of their breeders in their search for new varieties. In this blog post you may read the answer given by Marc Hoogterp, Director of Van Rijn France, Aubergenville (F):
‘A good resistance to Phytophthora is very interesting’
‘For the export market, we’re looking for large tubers that can withstand the conditions in the countries where they’re cultivated: drought, a lot of sun, heat, not much water. Varieties such as Gazelle, Eclat, Harry and Eldorado are ideal for this, says Marc Hoogterp, Director at Van Rijn France.
‘We actually export to the same countries as Dutch companies do: the north-eastern countries of Africa, such as Algeria and Tunisia, and also a lot to Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and so on. The characteristics of the latter four varieties are ideal for this’, Hoogterp adds. ‘If someone is looking for a washable potato, our Libertat is highly suitable. In addition, this variety can also be stored well without CIPC thanks to its strong dormancy, and it’s a very sustainable variety,’ says Hoogterp. Dealing with the influences of political decisions such as the removal of CIPC can therefore be found in the variety package. ‘In addition, we’ve seen many problems with Phytophthora and dry rot in Europe this year. So good resistance to Phytophthora is very interesting. For a sturdy cooking type, we’re therefore focusing on Tentation, one of the best varieties in this segment with strong Phytophthora resistance. This variety is particularly suitable for Europe and a bit for Israel. In Europe, this potato is now mainly destined for Belgium and France, but it could also be of interest to Germany and the Netherlands’, he adds. Which variety from the package best represents the breeding choices of the company? ‘For me, Tentation is at the top, because of its strong Phytophthora resistance, a wonderful taste, and good storage results. As regards washability and good storage, it’s Liberta, with strong dormancy. For export, we have great confidence in Eclat, a very strong and promising variety with homogeneous and uniform tubers in a large size, with a good shape and strong resistance. Whereas we now have 20 hectares of Tentation, 60 hectares of Liberta and 40 hectares of Eclat, I think that within the next five years we may be heading for 100 hectares of seed potatoes for each of these three varieties. That’s what I hope for', says Hoogterp looking ahead.
Want to keep reading about the Potato Variety Days?
In the run-up to the event we published an e-book that you can download here!