Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Two potato varieties snapped up

Two new potato varieties developed by plant breeder breeder Dr. Benoit Bizimungu have been snapped up by companies hoping to turn them into profit-spinning sensations.

Progest 2001 Inc. based out of Sainte-Croix, Quebec, took AAC Confederation and Canadian Eastern Seed Growers Inc. of New Brunswick took AAC Canada Gold Dorée.

Both come out of the federal agriculture department’s research station at Fredericton, New Brunswick, and are getting an advanced release under a program that leaves final stages of commercialization up to companies who get to choose what they want during a field day when about 10 to 15 lines are on display.

Both company presidents are really excited about the commercial potential these potatoes possess and feel they could rival Yukon Gold, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in a news release. Bizimungu says both varieties have good yield and disease resistance profiles that make them more profitable and can be considered an improvement over Yukon Gold.

“Taste and texture are important,” André Gagnon, president of Progest 2001 Inc., said. “We need tasty special potatoes that fit customer needs! We feel that AAC Confederation has the potential to become a popular yellow variety for consumers.”

André Côté and his brother, Eric, own Eastern Seed Growers Inc. and said “we chose AAC Canada Gold-Dorée for its golden flesh and its golden potential as a winner in the markets.”

Bizimungu said “a lot of work goes into developing a new potato variety. For instance, the AAC Canada Gold-Dorée was six years in development before being released in 2015 to the potato industry to be evaluated of commercial potential.
“It is no surprise that the potato was taken up so quickly by the industry because it has great attributes.”

Bizimungu said this latest licensing demonstrates the breeding program is making progress in identifying the kind of potatoes the industry needs and shows the value of the department’s national breeding program.