(qCOSTARICA) ELBE is the name of a new variety of potato available to Costa Rica farmers, developed after ten years of research by the Plant Biotechnology Laboratory (Laboratorio de Biotecnología de Plantas – LBP) of University of Costa Rica’s (Universidad de Costa Rica- UCR) Agricultural Research Center (Centro de Investigaciones Agronómicas – CIA).
The new material offers high resistance to blight, which is the biggest problem of crops worldwide and leafminer insects, a major pest of potatoes in the country. This allows farmers to reduce costs, by having to apply fewer fungicides and pesticides, also resulting in a benefit to the environment.
In addition, this new variety has a sustainable consistency in baking, can be used well in a “picadillo“, soups and other traditional Costa Rican dishes. The ELBE can also be used in industrialization, either as potato chips or French fries.
“With this material it is a win-win, because it is not only guarantees the farmer a reduction in costs, but will improve their income and have ability, for instance, to compete in the market for pre-fried potato of which 18,000 tonnes are imported each year,” said Arturo Brenes Angulo, head of the LBP.
As explained by Brenes, the development began in 2005, when first crosses were made and the first hybrids obtained.