Scoping Report on Forming an Impact Coalition on Hybrid True Potato Seed

The Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) has produced a report to present the findings of a scoping study on the feasibility of accelerating the implementation of Hybrid True Potato Seed (HTPS) in emerging economies. This scoping study does not focus on the promises and challenges of the hybrid breeding technology, but rather on the broader system context of African agriculture and potato cultivation that is needed to sustainably introduce and scale Hybrid True Potato Seed.

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photo by CGIAR

Download the Scoping Report Here

The idea of undertaking a scoping study ascended after the conference on ‘The Future of Hybrid Potato’ that took place on 30 November 2020. Important players from the worldwide potato sector discussed the future of the hybrid potato and exchanged their experiences of implementing hybrid potato seed in a variety of settings. Solynta, a Dutch company that works on diploid hybrid potato breeding, approached the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) with the idea to conduct a scoping study to explore how the innovation of HTPS can be implemented sustainably using a potato sector development approach.

The scoping report explains what is meant with a sector transformation approach and why such an approach is needed to sustainably transform agricultural sectors. It describes the challenges and opportunities that lie in creating an enabling environment and reflects on the different (groups of) stakeholders that need to be involved and the roles these stakeholders should play.

In the final chapter, possible forms of improved collaboration and coalition forming are discussed. In the pre-competitive sphere, opportunities for collaboration lie in developing a public-private pre-competitive agenda in the areas of:

  • An action-research agenda that moves from a technological focus towards what is needed to realise system change, from which 'roadmaps of change’ could be developed.
  • Improved collaboration on import and registration.
  • A joint-communication strategy, in order to stimulate a change of perception towards HTPS among farmers and other stakeholders.
  • Increased public-private collaboration, as there is a requirement to enable policies and regulations.

In addition, a lot can be gained in the competitive phase, if private sector companies find ways to overcome or work around competitive bottlenecks. Two concrete ideas came out of this scoping study:

  • Branding and awareness creation (for both public institutes and farmers) could be done through a local demonstration, information and innovation centre. In this centre companies working on HTPS work together to show the potential of HTPS.
  • As producing and cultivating HTPS requires farmers and stakeholders to acquire additional skills, developing a joint learning and training strategy could be a fruitful investment.

The scoping study concludes on three possible forms of impact coalitions:

  1. A coalition in the form of an Impact Cluster on HTPS. An impact cluster is a collaboration around specific outputs where public-private collaboration is essential.
  2. Form an implementing Impact Coalition; start a pilot programme with a coalition of Dutch and local breeding companies, local government (institutes), and (local) NGOs.
  3. Become part of an existing coalition, a coalition in development or develop a broad coalition. In this scenario, a company working on HTPS would become part of or larger potato or horticulture sector development programme.

The Netherlands Food Partnership will continue to support coalition building in the area of Hybrid True Potato Seed. A stakeholder meeting will be planned for early January 2022 to discuss the outcomes of the scoping report and explore how to move forward on the recommendations of the study.

For any remarks or questions on the scoping study or the stakeholder meeting you can contact Judith Jacobs - see details below.

Contact

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Judith Jacobs

Netherlands Food Partnership

jjacobs@nlfoodpartnership.com

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