Nieuws - 4 februari 2010



The interview with Aalt Dijkhuizen

Did I note in the interview with Aalt Dijkhuizen in the 21 January issue of Resource that he thinks a new crop needs to be developed instead of that oh-so-thirsty rice (i.e. I am assuming not another rice variety)? Something that uses less water, is nutritious and gives high yields? Well, that crop already exists: the potato.
The FAO book 'Sustainable Potato Production' notes that potatoes use water almost three times more efficiently than rice. The efficiency of land use for potatoes is also very favourable when compared with cereals.
We know a vast amount about them in the Netherlands, as shown by major initiatives such as the CBSG for potatoes and tomatoes, the sequencing of the potato genome and the DuRPh cisgenesis project aimed at making the crops resistant to the dreaded potato blight Phytophthora.
In September 2009, the managing directors of the International Potato Center (Lima, Peru), Cornell University and the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen UR in Emmeloord signed a joint letter of intent during Potato 2009 aimed at cooperation with developing countries in tackling Phytophthora. I would hereby like to propose the possibilities offered by the potato to Daan van Doom, chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the Wageningen Ambassadors, as an attractive research subject.
Anton Haverkort