Agricultural and economic impact of true potato seed technology on the EU potato industry: an ex-ante assessment
Adequate supply of healthy planting material, at reasonable prices, is of critical importance to the functioning of the potato industry. True Potato Seed (TPS) technology offers an alternative way to produce potato planting material, based on the use of botanical potato seeds.This study investigates the hypothesis that the use of TPS technology, in a similar way as practised in the USA, will be beneficial to the European Union. It is assumed that the TPS varieties that have been bred in the USA are also capable of meeting the demands of the EU marketsThe current status of the EU potato industry and the working of TPS technology are reviewed. As part of this study botanical potato seeds from nine TPS varieties that are commercially available in the USA, have been imported into and used to initiate the first ever field trials within the European Union.A large mathematical model has been purposely build to simulate the uptake of TPS technology by the EU potato industry, and to assess the agronomic and economic effects. The modelling results, of various scenario’s all indicate that the use of TPS technology would bring economic and agricultural benefits to the EU. The annual savings could be as high as 130 million ECU per year, whilst reducing the potato growing area with up to 72,000 haImplications of these finding, and current limitations to the uptake of TPS technology inside the EU are discussed.