KWS Potato officially started its new improvement station in Nagele in the environment of Emmeloord on 10 September last. The KWS group invested more than 12 million Euro in the project. By increasing the improvements and the investment in new research arrangements the company will concentrate on growth in the potato market. On the day before the start of the Potato Europe the KWS station, in the presence of more than 200 guests and employees, was officially inaugurated.

In Nagele, situated in the Northeast, KWS increases its premises at its centre for seed-potatoes. The Dutch subsidiary KWS POTATO BV will from here further coordinate the worldwide potato activities and develop these. Cultivation, production and sales are combined for this by KWS POTATO. On an area of 96 HA of agricultural land a 2,000 m2 large hall was erected with cool and climate areas, basis laboratories and office building within a period of a year. In the Spring of 2014 a glasshouse with an area of about 2,200 m2 will complete the infrastructure.

Worldwide research network
The new improvement station is a vital part of the worldwide KWS research network. It offers sufficient space for demonstration and testing fields for all kinds of culture crops of the KWS group, such as sugar beet, maize and grain. "In Nagele however, the emphasis is clearly on potatoes," Heike Draisbach, directress of KWS POTATO, stresses. "As we have recently announced already our basic activity is about the development of products for the worldwide growing processing sector and for the traditional export markets."

Transfer of knowledge
The new improvement station has already been part of the production portfolio of KWS since the twenties. With the cultivation of potatoes we are in the transfer of knowledge from other plants. With modern improvement methods, for instance molecular technologies, we want to define the potato anew," Peter Hofmann, head of the KWS department for sugar beets and potatoes says. "In the long term we want to become a market leader in the technological area of the potato market. The new improvement station is a critical element in this."

The chairman of NAO and of Europatat, Kees van Arendonk, says: "New potato varieties are the best guarantee for a dynamic and healthy market, for a continuous growth of the worldwide potato production and for a quick growth of the potato processing industry."

Lasting and efficient production
"The seed and seed-potato supply a decisive addition to the lasting development of agriculture. The permanent improvement of the genetic potential plays a key factor, so that the worldwide agricultural production has been equal to the demand for decades already: Philip von dem Bussche, CEO of KWS SAAT AG stresses. "Thanks to the new improvement station in Nagele we can speed up the development of new varieties, optimize processes even better and grow high-grade potatoes durably and efficiently."