China Daily: China and Scotland to build £3 million potato laboratory

Mr Liang (left) and Jonathan Snape of JHI at PiP 2016, with cans of a potato drink – manufactured by Xisen Potato Industry Group.

ChinaDaily.com reports today that Scottish potato experts have joined forces with China’s potato processor Xisen Potato Industry Group to create a 3 million-pound ($3.87 million) potato research facility in Shandong Province. Xisen and the Chinese government will fund the lab which will be run in collaboration with potato scientists from the James Hutton Institute, an agricultural research center based in Dundee, Scotland. The announcement of the new lab follows a visit to the Potatoes in Practice event Scotland last August by Xisen Potato Industry Group founder Liang Xisen. Liang Xisen is China’s self-proclaimed “King of Potatoes” and his company is one of the largest processors of potatoes in China. 

The lab will look to breed new varieties of potato and conduct research into storage, processing, pests and disease. James Hutton researcher Ian Toth said both Chinese and Scottish researchers will work together and results will be shared.

Last year the Chinese government set out guidelines to promote potato consumption and production in China in order to bolster food security. China’s vice minister of agriculture Yu Xinrong said last summer that the development of the potato industry is an important step in China’s agricultural development.

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