Climate change is creating many problems for farmers. A new potato variety called CIP-Matilde, developed by the International Potato Center (CIP) with support from the Crop Trust, is the latest example of using the wild relatives of crops to adapt.
Potatoes all around the world are threatened by late blight, a wind-borne disease that can destroy a field in a matter of weeks. Though this disease is widely controlled with agrochemicals, millions of farmers are unable to afford or apply them as often as needed, resulting in about USD 14 billion in crop losses annually, primarily in developing countries.
Luckily, Peruvian farmers will soon have a new option for dealing with this devastating disease as CIP prepares to release a potato variety with almost complete resistance. This new potato, called CIP-Matilde, is the product of a breeding effort that crossed wild potatoes with cultivated ones to produce commercially viable potatoes that are able to withstand late blight.