After 20 years of biotechnological research, the first potato that is resistant to the PVY virus will go on sale next year. Its productive and economic benefits are estimated at 45 million dollars per year in the Argentine market alone.
This potato is an achievement of Tecnoplant, of the Sidus group. On August 8, this new potato variety got all the phytosanitary approvals it required and yesterday it was officially launched at la Rural with the presence of Government officials, scientists, and entrepreneurs of the agro-industry.
"The Spunta TICAR potato is the culmination of a long process and the achievement of the country's first plant biotechnology event. We arrived first and that implies we have to continue working to contribute solutions to the sector," said Marcelo Argüelles, the president of the Sidus group, who was accompanied by the Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, and the Minister of Agro-industry, Lino Barañao and Luis Miguel Etchevehere, respectively.
In addition to increasing productivity and having a better quality, this type of potato "will prevent losses in the productive performance, which can decrease by 70% due to viral infection, and offer environmental benefits, as producers will use less agrochemicals."
Sidus' new bet
Potato crops are susceptible to many diseases caused by different phytopathogenic agents, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. This causes considerable losses for producers dedicated to the cultivation of potatoes. Thus, the development of varieties that are resistant to these diseases is of interest for national and international producers.
For several decades, the Sidus group has been investing a large amount of human, scientific and financial resources to promote this initiative. The PVY virus-resistant potato is an unprecedented case at the international level as a national company achieved a transgenic plant event that will impact the value chain thanks to the joint work of scientists, producers, entrepreneurs, and the State.
"These processes prove that there is a technology beyond computing and the digital world. This biological technology is a clear demonstration that we must bet as a country to the development of other technologies," said Argüelles.