Corteva Agriscience today launches Zorvec®  Encantia®, a new fungicide that specifically targets late blight, a detrimental pathogen currently compromising local potato growth. The solution, based on Zorvec® active, is the first member of a novel class of fungicides, which effectively utilises a unique biochemical mode of action, and has no cross-resistance with existing fungicides.

South Africa’s potato industry contributes significant nutritional and economic value, comprising 45% of the vegetables grown, with an average of 51 000 ha being planted per year, and employing approximately 60 000 farmworkers across the country. Additionally, close to 66% of all potatoes purchased at local fresh produce markets are bought by informal traders, further driving job creation opportunities.

“Zorvec® Encantia® is here to change everything in terms of effectiveness, protection and productivity, and will be a great ally for South Africa’s potato producers during all stages of cultivation and in challenging climatic conditions,” says Stephan Marais, Product Manager at Corteva Agriscience. “After more than a decade of research, we have created a novel chemical with an unrivalled level of consistency and control, especially when it comes to oomycetes management, allowing for lower operational costs and overall improved efficiency.”

Zorvec® Encantia® produces multiple effects on a pathogen’s life cycle for better efficacy and duration of control and protects leaves as they grow and expand, enhancing the protection of new foliage even if they have not been treated. The product also offers fast absorption, which allows for a high tolerance to wash off by rain or irrigation water and reduces the need for re-sprays and unscheduled applications.

Says, Unathi Mhlatyana, Managing Director, McCain Foods South Africa, “According to the industry body, Potatoes SA, Potatoes generate around R8 billion at the primary sector or direct production level, and a further R25 billion at the secondary or manufacturing level. With potato consumption doubling between 2011 and 2021, and the vegetable’s considerable impact on the country’s GDP, food security and livelihoods, innovative crop protection technologies are vital to the sector’s ongoing sustainability – especially against the backdrop of climate change, extreme weather conditions and rising input costs.”

Zorvec®  Encantia®, now available for purchase, features a favourable environmental profile and is effective on target organisms at very low use rates and has no harmful effects on beneficial species. Farmers looking for healthier, more uniform potato crops for better business should contact their local advisers or visit the Corteva website for more information.