Currently the introduction of the ‘hybrid potato’ raises interest in understanding how a different breeding system (in the case of potato: hybrid breeding at diploid level instead of open pollination at tetraploid level) results in shifts in the value chain, i.e. different actors appearing on the stage, re-organisation of relations between actors, and associated shifts in knowledge and power.
The case of onion, leek or sugerbeet
In order to understand the possible consequences of a success of this novel breeding technology for the potato value chain, we want to study similar changes in other crops where the introduction of hybrid breeding and seed, or seed-based planting (and multiplication) has taken place, i.e. unions, sugar beet, leek. Such study could be the topic of an MSc thesis of ambitious students who have some basic knowledge of breeding/genetics and some experience with interview techniques/use of qualitative data. In exceptional cases we may consider the topic for a BSc thesis.
The study is part of a larger research project in collaboration with the Rathenau Institute and involves a PhD-er and 2 post-docs.