The announcement of £3million towards a new international laboratory for scientists from Dundee and China underlined Scotland’s global reputation for potato research at the Potatoes in Practice event.
The Chinese Government and potato processing company, Xisen Potato Group have committed the funds to a collaboration with James Hutton Limited (JHL) to breed new varieties and research resistance to pests and diseases, storage and potato processing.
The shared facility is likely to be located in China’s Shandong province, and a top-level delegation from Xisen attended the Potatoes in Practice (PiP) event at Balruddery farm on the outskirts of Dundee.
Professor Ian Toth said James Hutton Institute scientists would work with Chinese researchers and share ideas between Scotland and China.
“We’re still talking about how we will do it, but there’s £3million of Chinese money to get the lab up and running and we have high hopes that it will cement the relationship between us and move it forward in the future,” he said.
Xisen Potato Group’s head of management, Dr Hu, attended PiP for the second time and said potatoes were now the fourth most important crop in China after rice, wheat and corn.
He said: “We’re not just looking for bigger and bigger potatoes, we are looking for new varieties with high dry matter for processing but which also look nice.”