New variety contains twice as much iron and zinc as conventional tubers

Peruvians are breeding super potato

An iron and zinc rich potato, designed to help fight anaemia, has been bred by Peruvian scientists from the National Institute of Agricultural Innovations in Lima (INIA). The genetically modified potato called INIA 328, unofficially known as "Kulli Papa" (lilac potato) because of its color, contains about 23 mg of iron and 19 mg of zinc per 100 g, according to the researchers. That is about twice the amount of conventional varieties.

Solution of the anaemia problem?
According to the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture, the new potato variety also has almost twice as many polyphenols and antioxidants, and it might prevent certain forms of cancer. At the recent presentation of the new crop in Cusco, Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Mostajo was convinced that this unique variety could make an important contribution to "eliminating hunger and anaemia".
 
The new potato is another important building block in achieving the government's goal of solving the anaemia problem caused by malnutrition in the Andean region. It is estimated that around 44% of Peruvian children suffer from this condition.

According to Mostajo, the new potato will soon be available, as the Ministry will distribute shoots, seedlings or small tubers to growers in the Andes. These should then be planted in the next season, to be available in a few months.
 
Yield to be around 21 tons per ha
The new breed, according to researchers, is resistant to disease and can be cultivated up to 4,000 m above sea level, with yields averaging 21 tons per ha. Due to the striking purple color and the associated high recognition value, there is also potential for export.
 
Source:  www.schweizerbauer.ch  

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