The potato starch manufacturer AVEBE and the plant biotechnology company BASF Plant Science announced yesterday a research and development alliance in plant biotechnology.
The companies are combining their competencies in biotechnology discovery and genetically modified potato breeding with the aim of bringing farmers modern and fungal resistant starch potato varieties.
They will start developing a late blight resistant amylopectin starch potato. Late blight is a serious problem in potato farming in Europe. The companies expect the first varieties to be available on the market by 2019 onwards.
Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
"Innovation is of major importance to AVEBE and is a crucial part of our strategy. The use of biotechnology offers new possibilities for the development of crops with better composition and starch content as well as resistance against diseases," said Gerben Meursing, Managing Director of Commerce from AVEBE. "Higher yields per hectare and a better control of fungal diseases will lead to a more sustainable production of starch potatoes and starch processing," he added.
"We are proud to partner with the world´s leading potato starch company. This cooperation ensures European potato farmers the access to best traits," said Marc Ehrhardt, Senior Vice President, BASF Plant Science. "The cooperation underlines our strategy and our aim to increase efficiency in farming by bringing BASF's competence in plant biotechnology to farmers around the world in cooperation with the best partners."
Both companies will bring in their know-how in the field of developing genetically modified amylopectin potato varieties. The companies complement each other with BASF Plant Science providing the regulatory approval experience and AVEBE contributing its breeding and starch application development expertise.