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ITC along with James Hutton Institute to introduce new Potato varieties in India
The Economic Times - 12 Dec 2018

Technico  Agri Sciences, a subsidiary of ITC Limited, has entered into an agreement with  Scotland-based James Hutton Institute to source 16 new varieties and 600 new  clones of potato for trialing and testing in India. These varieties promise to  benefit Indian farmers, the potato processing industry as well as help in the  tuber exports.

Speaking on  the agreement, Sachid Madan, chief executive of Technico Agri Sciences said, "We  have been engaging extensively with farmers and processors to help improve farm  yield in potatoes significantly. The improvement in yields along with better  prices for such varieties has contributed to the doubling of farmer incomes in  states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and others and has also  facilitated exports and processing. This landmark agreement is yet another  substantive step in maximising returns for farmers, particularly for the potato  crop farmers."

The  agreement is initially for a period of five years and is extendable. These  varieties will grow through a process of R&D and evaluation to identify  varieties suitable for growing in India in different states, said a company  statement. They will help address the demand of processors and exporters for  new varieties and are expected to further improve yields by 15 per cent to 20  per cent and enhance farmer incomes by better realisation. Exports and  processing help improve farmgate prices and manage crop surpluses.

Dr Jonathan  Snape, Head of James Hutton Limited, the commercial subsidiary of the James  Hutton Institute stated, "Our mission is to be at the forefront of innovative  and transformative science for sustainable management of land, crop and natural  resources that supports thriving communities. Since potato farming provides  livelihood to a significant section of India's agricultural community, we are hopeful  that our tie-up with Technico will help these communities effectively."

Andrew  Ayre, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chandigarh said, "Agri-tech is a key  area of bilateral co-operation, and a core UK strength. I am delighted that  this partnership will improve farmer incomes and bring more choice to  consumers."

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