(Photo: CEO of Sidus Group, Marcelo Arguelles (center), during the presentation of the new potato)

Buenos Aires, October 15th. After being de-regulated during August 2018, the National Council of Technical and Scientific Research (CONICET) started last week the formal process to register the first transgenic potato cultivar in Argentina in the National Seed Institute’s register. In partnership with biotechnological company Sidus, the CONICET developed a potato with resistance to the virus Y, called SPT TICAR.

The development was formally presented in December 2018 with the presence of the ministry of Agriculture. Livestock, and Fisheries, Miguel Etchevehere; the secretary of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao and the CEO of the Grupo Sidus, Marcelo Arguelles.

Arguelles remarked that this new technology will provide potato farmers with a 10% saving cost, a total saving around 40/45 million dollars, lower use of insecticides and a general improvement of competitivines across the value chain.

The Potato Virus Y (PVY) is present in all the production zones of the country. The presence of this virus obligates the farmers to acquire potato seed each season. “Since now, the farmer will able to save his own potato to use as seed during the next three or four campaigns”, the manager of Tecnoplant (a company of the Sidus Group)  Gustavo Napolitano told to the audience during the presentation.

The TICAR project started twenty years ago. Now, the partners are developing two new GMO products: a potato with drought tolerance, and other stacking virus resistance traits.

The goal of the company is to launching the TICAR potato next year.