Across Regions, All latest monthly News, Pressreleases, Trends

It was said: Quotes worth remembering

Dear Potato News Today readers, please find here a few quotations that we selected from news items published on our site the past couple of weeks. We believe these reflect the current state of affairs in different sectors of the potato industry, and in several countries around the world.

2020 acreage [in Alberta province] is not yet tallied but process acres could be 20% less than in 2019. …A significant disappointment lies with the seed industry, now faced with burying 12,000 tonnes of seed inventory, after in mid-February facing a perceived shortage of seed.

Kevin MacIsaac, United Potato Growers of Canada

This year, the Irrico Group in Russia plans to harvest more than 50,000 tons of potatoes, a third of which will be delivered to several large processing plants of international and domestic companies producing chips, french fries, potato wedges and starch.

Potato System news item

The shipment of potatoes [from Malta] is set to leave on a two-month journey this Monday to the drought stricken African state [Namibia] to help address their food crisis. Malta’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said this act of goodwill will help at least half a million people who suffered intense drought during the pandemic and it would be mutually beneficial to both countries.

Lovin Malta news release

The best thing that has happened to me is that now I understand better how to manage pesticides. We used to buy supplies and apply them by eye. Now we always measure and use only the precise amount needed. We used to apply a few anti-blight products together; now we apply one at a time and change to another in the next application.

Farmer William Paredes in Ecuador, with respect to the use of a low-tech disc tool to manage late blight spraying – developed by CIP

In the past, women were seen as weak and unable to farm large farms. But we’ve proven that’s not true with the technology you have provided to us. Now, a single woman can comfortably manage a larger farm. I don’t have a degree. I never studied agriculture. But [now] I can be among the best farmers – male or female – and an inspiration to other women in the community. I like to say, women can do just as much as men, and some men can’t do as much as me.

PepsiCo demonstration farmer in Thailand, Ms Ketsarin Boonkerd

In our survey of our staff, more than 60 percent said they no longer want to return to their pre-pandemic work style. Each employee needs to think about how to work efficiently as their work style diversifies.

Calbee representative after the company announced it will extend telework indefinitely for 20% of its work force

Following the history of the potato helps us understand the origins of the modern world. The potato’s story reminds us that innovation doesn’t always come from those named in history books. In the potato’s case, unknown farmers adapted their methods to influence the way we eat. It’s ultimately small farmers like those of the past who will play a big role in solving the world’s current food security problems.

Rebecca Earle, food historian and author of the new book Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato

With less chemicals available than before and the resistance of the weed spectrum to herbicides increasing over the last years, growers will  have to follow an IPM strategy as well as looking at non-chemical weed control methods, such as mechanical, hand or laser weeding in-crop.

AHDB Potatoes in the UK

From my perspective, I see potatoes changing lives in Uganda, With the profits from potato, farmers can afford to build new homes. They use potato as a food security crop for their families. Nationally, potato plays a significant  role in feeding rising urban populations. The market is growing.

Alex Barekye, a potato expert with the National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO) in Uganda

More than 1.5 billion pounds of fresh potatoes for processing and potato products are trapped in the supply chain with no likely customers. Processors canceled or reduced contracts for the 2019 storage crop, and advised growers that contracts for the 2020 crop, partly planted before the notification, would be well below average. USDA should provide potato growers who believe they can prove economic injury with equal opportunity to apply for relief, and equitable access to relief payments by eliminating the differing payment rates…

National Potato Council in a letter to the USDA’s Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

Consider the potato. Not just as knobby protrusions from the sack that is part of your end-of-the-world lockdown pantry. Consider the potato as a chameleon. It is an ingredient so plain that it takes on the flavours of whatever it is added to. It is also versatile enough to be reinterpreted for every meal of the day in a different form. Consider the universality of the potato. A successful potato crop can feed a nation. Consider the potato as the staple that miraculously extends a frugal meal.

Writer Diya Kohli on ‘How the potato came to India and conquered our lives’

As I’ve chronicled numerous times in recent years, many journalists have echoed claims by environmental activists advancing a succession of insect- and animal-related environmental apocalypse scenarios over the last decade—first honeybees, then wild bees and more recently birds. In each case they fingered modern, intensive farming, particularly crop biotechnology and pesticides, as the culprit. Fortunately for planet Earth, [they] again got it very wrong.

Science writer Jon Entine on the “Insect Apocalypse

Egypt is constantly increasing the area under potato production in the country, and continuously expanding the export potential of locally produced potatoes. To be competitive in the global marketplace, Egyptian exporters and farmers should have access to the best modern technologies and input products – especially as far as bio/natural products and farming practices are concerned.

GroPro investigative report on increased interest in bio-based agricultural products in Egypt

Greening risk, which varied between stores, was found to be related to light intensity level, and partially explained potato stock loss in stores. Our results from this study suggested that other in-store management practices, including lighting duration, average potato turnover, and light protection during non-retail periods, likely influence tuber greening risk.

Tasmanian researchers who developed a ‘potato tuber greening risk rating model’ for retail stores

Photo: Colourbox

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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