Asia, India, China, Russia, Events, News January 2021, Pests and Diseases, Pressreleases, Research

The AsiaBlight Network looks to the future

As in many potato-growing parts of the world, late blight disease stifles production and earnings. In China, the story is no different as smallholder potato farmers lose millions of tons of potato and hundreds of millions of dollars annually in potential income due to this pathogens effects. 

To improve farming practices and technologies to overcome this challenge,the CIP-ChinaCenter for Asia Pacific(CCCAP) organizedthe 4thannualAsiaBlightmeeting in Shandong last month. This gathering is a cooperativenetwork offarmers, researchers and government officialswho share information and ideas tooptimizefuture potato yields.About sixtyexperts from more than ten provinces attendedon the first day, which focused on research.

Lu Xiaoping, the Director of CCCAP, welcomed the attendees and provided a short history of the AsiaBlight network and reviewed the groups many accomplishments in 2020, who overcame many of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.  

Professor Shan Weixing,the Dean ofthe College of AgricultureatNorthwest A&F University,delivered a report entitled,Prevention andControl of Potato Late Blight.He told the audience that in the short-term many effective fungicides were available in the Chinese market and when used in combination withgood early warning detection, they could be significantly effective in controlling late blight, However, he concluded, farmers will be better served by developing new varieties that display a natural resistance to the disease.

On the second day of the conference,157 local potato farmers were invitedtotraining conducted by theTengzhouAgriculture and Rural Affairs Bureauto addresschallengesencountered in thecultivation process. The meeting provided time forfarmers to speak with experts and businessestohelp address their needs for combating late blight.

In a later session, the farmers were introduced to alate blight forecast systemto prevent and control potato late blight.CheXingbi,theGeneralCoordinator oftheAsiaBlightNetwork, andZhao Zhijian oftheEconomic Crop Research Instituteat theYunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciencesconducted the training.

Members of the AsiaBlight Meeting visiting a company that employs drones
for spot control of late blight in potato fields

In the final session of the day, Chairman LiYisen, of theYakeshiSenfengPotato Company, discussedhis businesss historyand its responsibilities to helpfarmers. ChenYawei, an expert breeder from the Henan ShangqiuJinlandPotato Research Institute, discussednew potato varieties progress to providemore extensiveand more reliable yields for farmers.

The conferences final day included several field visits, starting with the National Service Organization of Potato Late Blight Prevention and Control, the Tengzhou Hanhe Agricultural Plant Protection Company, and the Potato Planting Demonstration Base at Tengzhou FengGuYun Agricultural Science and Technology Park. At the final stop, the participants were introduced to Tengzhous use of UV rays to control potato late blight and innovative patterns of potato planting to reduce the diseases spread. 

Notable attendees included: 

  • LiPing, Researcher,National Agricultural Technology Development Service Center
  • LiGuangyao, Director ofTengzhouMunicipal Agricultural Office, Agricultural and Rural Comprehensive Service Center and Municipal Agricultural and RuralBureau;
  • KongLingqiang,TengzhouAgricultural and Rural Bureau andDirector ofRural Energy Service Center
  • YangJianguo,Head ofTengzhouPlant Protection and Inspection Station

Source: CIP
Photo: Lu Xiaoping, the Director of CCCAP, welcomed attendees.

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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