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Hi-tech potato industry boosts poverty alleviation in China

(Xinhua) — The potato industry in Ulanqab, dubbed the “potato city” of China, has become one of the main industries to help farmers shake off poverty.

Located in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ulanqab is an important national production hub for commercial potatoes and special potatoes for processing.

The potatoes here originate from petri dishes in a laboratory.

In a white coat, Wang Jianru, who just graduated from Ulanqab Vocational College, stood in the laboratory of Inner Mongolia Xisen Potato Co. Ltd. in Shangdu County, Ulanqab. With a large beaker in her hand, she was carefully preparing nutrient solution.

“We put high-class potato stem tips into sterile nutrient solution to cultivate virus-free seedlings,” said Wang, a potato engineering major. She prepares 700 to 800 liters of nutrient solution a day.

The laboratory can breed 150 million virus-free seedlings every year. Planting potatoes with virus-free seedlings has greatly improved planting efficiency and product quality, Wang said.

Ulanqab has a large temperature difference between day and night, concentrated precipitation, loose soil and soft sand, which are all conducive to potato growth. At the right place and right time, the potato farming industry has helped many poor local households shake off poverty.

Source: Xinhua. Read the full report here
Photo: Xinhuanet

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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