National Potato Breeding program: Cultivar improvement
Potatoes are the fourth-largest food crop internationally, and account for 20% of all vegetable production in Australia. Although potatoes are a valuable food crop, the current main commercial cultivars suffer from a number of production and quality issues, and the Australian potato breeding program will develop new cultivars that address these issues. Prior to the start of this project the breeding program was reviewed on its scientific activities, and the involvement with industry members to establish a firm route to market. This required commercial investment for the development of improved cultivars, with the opportunity open to all the industry. In total 18 companies have participated. The program has distributed 217 cultivars for commercial evaluation over the last four years, with this season’s cultivars still to be identified. Twenty-five cultivars are progressing towards commercialisation.