IPM Potato Group and Teagasc Extend Potato Partnership for Another 15 Years
IPM (the IPM Potato Group) – a subsidiary of Donegal Investment Group – and Teagasc – the Irish agriculture and food development authority – have extended their partnership for another 15 years. The two associations have been collaborating since the early 1970s when they first joined forces to breed new varieties of potatoes for the Irish and global markets.
Over 45 varieties have been released by the partnership. For example, Rooster, which was released in 1991 is now the most popular variety in Ireland, and occupies over 65% of total production in Ireland, while also enjoying success in the UK and North America. Nectar, released in 2005, has recently grown to be the fourth largest variety in the UK based on its yield, taste and storage.
“This new agreement will enable us to continue our focused efforts to develop potato varieties which can perform under the diverse set of challenges that lie ahead. We plan to introduce robust varieties, which are resistant to pests and diseases, less dependent on pesticide input, energy and water efficient and meet end-users’ specifications,” stated Colm McDonnell, R&D manager at IPM Potato Group.
During the same period the IPM potato Group has expanded globally now supplying seed potatoes in over 40 countries on all continents (except Antarctica).
“The potato is seeing growth globally, as no other crop produces as much food as efficiently in terms of land use, water and other inputs. The partnership between IPM Potato group and Teagasc will allow continued growth for IPM and a commercial route for Teagasc innovation and research,” explained Marcel de Sousa, director of the IPM Potato Group.
The acquisition of Plant Breeders’ Rights for new varieties is supported by the technology transfer department in Teagasc. The collection of royalties on new varieties ensures a steady income to support the on-going research and development.
“The enduring relationship between Teagasc and IPM is a real example of successful knowledge transfer and we look forward to offering continued support in the future,” noted Sean Mulvany, head of Technology Transfer at Teagasc.