Potatoes are one of the most important staple food crops in the world. It has many valuable ingredients such as vitamins, proteins, fibres and minerals. Above all, it can be cultivated in nearly all regions and climate zones in the world – even at altitudes up to 4,700 m AMSL. In comparison to other important food crops as e.g. wheat, maize or rice, potato produces by far the highest yields, but uses less water.

For this reason, potatoes have spread to many countries of the world: In more than 100 countries, potatoes are being cultivated on more than 19 million hectares. They are consumed by 1 billion people worldwide, and they are still on the rise: in view of their advantageous properties, potatoes are bound to play also an important role in emerging or developing countries.

Worldwide, there are some 4,000 different potato varieties that can be distinguished by features such as

  • use: potatoes for crisps or chips (French fries), table potatoes, starch potatoes etc.
  • cooking type: salad (waxy), smooth, fluffy (starchy)
  • maturity (first early, second early, early maincrop, late)
  • appearance: colour of skin, colour of flesh, tuber form

Despite this diversity, the enormous (genetic) potential of potatoes is far from being exhausted. Plant breeders and scientists, including those of the GSA shareholding company Solana, are relentlessly striving to develop potato varieties with improved properties that are even better adapted to the demands of farmers and customers or to the regional soil or climatic conditions. They thereby increase the yield potential and yield stability, and enable reduced use of fertilizer, plant protection products and water.

Our work is guided by the following objectives:

  • high marketable yield
  • resilience: potato varieties which are tolerant or resistant against pests or potato diseases as e.g. nematodes (roundworms) or potato wart disease (black scab)
  • physiological characteristics: conformity with requested size grade, good storage capability or resistance to bruising or skinning
  • good processing qualities: e.g. optimized for deep frying (French fries) or for baking (for crisps)
  • cooking type: mealy (floury type), fairly firm (multi-purpose type) or firm (salad type)
  • skin/flesh colour

The Solana Group offers approximately 60 different potato varieties that cover any use, nearly all climatic zones and tastes. Solana varieties are marketed and cultivated in approximately 40 countries.

Since its foundation in 1905, it has always been the mission of the Solana Group to breed resistant and high-yielding potato varieties. Solana Group is now seated in Hamburg, Germany. In eight other countries, including Russia, the Solana Group has subsidiaries for the production and marketing of seed potatoes, some of which are also involved in the breeding.
For further information on Solana Group, its plant varieties as well as your contacts in the respective countries, please visit www.solana.de/home-en.html.
List of Sources:
CIP – Intern. Potato Center; https://cipotato.org/potato/facts; downloaded 4 May 2017
AMI Marktbilanz Kartoffeln; p. 113 (Global Potato Production: General Overview)