World Potato Congress Inc. Welcomes New International Advisors

Douglas (Doug) Harley, Group Managing Director of Alexander Harley Seeds Ltd

Douglas (Doug) Harley, Group Managing Director of Alexander Harley Seeds Ltd

November 13, 2023
The World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC) is pleased to welcome Douglas Harley and Derek Roulston as International Advisors.

Peter VanderZaag, President of World Potato Congress:
 
"The WPC looks forward to working with Doug and Derek. They bring a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the world of potatoes, particularly in Europe and Africa."

"As such, they will provide significant contributions to understanding the potato profile within those regions and on a global scale."
Douglas (Doug) Harley is Group Managing Director of Alexander Harley Seeds Ltd., a family-owned group of seed companies involved in breeding and marketing a broad range of crops.

Its potato activities are undertaken by Cygnet which is the largest breeder of potatoes in the UK. Cygnet has successfully introduced several varieties, its latest being Kingsman and Elland.

Cygnet is a vertically integrated company that produces their own minitubers and controls the production of over 30,000 tonnes of seed potatoes in Scotland which are then exported to over 40 countries around the world.

Doug has an Honours Degree in Agriculture and Crop Science from Aberdeen University and has held several roles representing Cygnet and Scottish seed potatoes on organizations in the UK and abroad including BPTA, BSPB, Euroseeds and Breeders Trust.

As a previous Director and Chair of the Awards Committee, he has previously served with WPC for several years. Derek Roulston was brought up in a farming family in Co. Donegal Ireland. He was the third generation to grow certified potato seed on the farm which he took over from his father in 1990.

In 1998 he, along with his family, moved to Kenya to serve as missionaries in rural and community development. While in this role he realized the huge lack of quality potato seed and in 2010, focused his efforts on the development of a combined potato seed project with Kisima Farms in Kenya.

Present day, they are still one of the largest producers of certified potato seed in Sub-Saharan Africa.
 
Derek Roulston

Derek Roulston

In 2013, upon returning home to Ireland, he studied the methodology used for trialing new potato varieties and disease management with the Agri-Food & BioScience Institute. In 2015, he formed his own consulting company Moyle Hill Enterprise (MHE) and has worked with organizations such as the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), the International Potato Center (CIP), IPM Potato Group, as well as Vita.

Through this work, Derek has had the privilege of assisting potato projects in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique. He is currently the director of Africa Potato Initiative (API) formerly known as the Irish Potato Coalition.

API was set up by several NGOs, research institutions and members of the private sector. who felt the need to create linkages and meaningful relationships between science, rural development and the private sector. API played a leading role in developing the Declaration of Dublin and sees its role in implementing the Declaration in Africa.

The WPC community looks forward to working with Doug and Derek as they plan for the 12th World Potato Congress to be held in Adelaide, Australia in June 2024.