Potato researchers and farmers have significant concerns about producing enough food under the stressors of climate change. That is why they are looking at other members of the potato family. Wild relatives of potatoes are genetically-related to potatoes that we grow and consume and they contain valuable traits that can be built into consumer varieties to help ensure reliable yields and high-quality potatoes for shoring up food and nutrition security. Although many crop relatives are not edible, their valuable traits mean we should preserve this diversity for future use to strengthen our food systems.
That is why the Crop Trust and International Potato Center (CIP) recently hosted “Using Potato Wild Relatives in Pre-Breeding” to discuss the current state of work with crop wild relatives and how these important potato species can be used to support global food systems.
The two-day panel included a variety of researchers of the private and public sectors who are combined their efforts to ensure food production keeps pace with global population growth.