The Sepia Foundation targets potato sector transformation in Sub Saharan Africa, with the Hybrid True Potato Seed (HTPS) technology as the main driver. The urgency of a solution for the poorly performing seed potato sector is high. Therefore the HTPS technology should be adopted rapidly in local and national potato systems to make the East African potato sector a front-runner.
The Sepia foundation’s activities will be developed through partnering with Dutch HTPS companies, African seed potato multipliers, Dutch and African applied knowledge institutes and regulators and funding organisations.
What is Hybrid True Potato Seed about?
Potato breeding companies in The Netherlands are working on hybrid potato breeding, which yields Hybrid True Potato Seed varieties (HTPS).
The technology that has four crucial advantages: (i) seed production has a high multiplication rate, (ii) it is easier to handle and distribute seed compared to tubers, (iii) the seeds are pathogen free, and (iv) the technology allows for rapid breeding.
HTPS can solve the systemic constraints that keep African potato farmers from benefitting from the full production, food security and commercial potential of the crop. African potato farmers are perpetually facing poor access to high quality seed and slow breeding for well adapted, disease resistant and drought tolerant varieties.
The objective of the Sepia Foundation is to strengthening food security in Africa through sustainable cultivation of hybrid potatoes. The Sepia Foundation is a non-profit organisation.
The policy plan of the Sepia Foundation for 2023 is to develop- and to explore projects which support the objective of the Foundation. Currently there is a focus towards the East African countries Kenia, Burundi, Uganda and the Democratic Republic Congo. The Foundation aims to appoint in 2023 a coordinator who will have the task to develop, to initiate and to implement locally projects which promote and support the cultivation of hybrid potato.
The activities and the annual financial report of the foundation will be published in Q2 of each calendar year.
The board members of the Sepia Foundation receive no income for their activities in the Sepia Foundation, only a renumeration for cost made, if relevant. The board members of the Sepia Foundation are
dr. B. de Geus (chairman),
dr. J. W. Lindhout (secretary)
dr. P. R. Gildemacher (secretary).