Across Regions

‘So, God made a farmer’

Dear Readers, most of us, whoever we are, and wherever we are located in the world, live no doubt in tumultuous and unprecedented times in the current day and age. And so do thousands upon thousands of farmers around the world. As an ex farmer, I feel dearly for them. As a humble ode to our farmers,, I decided to share with you here a poem that some of you might be familiar with. It is titled “So, God Made a Farmer”.

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Grief for a world killed by COVID

“If nothing else, sheltering in place gives me a lot of time to think. As I maneuver through these unprecedented times, I have been filled with an abundance of contradictory information about our new invisible enemy,” writes Nolan Ahn in a touching piece published in The Garden Island. “My Zoom friends tell me to focus on being grateful, rather than denying or being angry over my loss. While I appreciate their concern and love for me, I’m not there yet. Perhaps one day, I will find meaning in the loss. But for today, I grieve.”

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Plant drug factories: GMOs and gene editing are poised to transform medicine. Here’s how.

Plant biotechnology is poised to drastically improve how we consume medication. Using the modern tools of genetic engineering, researchers are developing plant-based drugs that are cheaper, easier to take and even more effective than their existing counterparts. Tautvydas Shuipys reports for the Genetic Literacy Project. A Canada-based company has announced that using this same technology, they have produced a candidate vaccine for COVID-19 in twenty days.

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World Potato Markets: Assessing a season like no other

The coronavirus has disrupted the global potato market like no other single event before it, but there are some signs things settling at least a new normal, according to Cedric Porter, editor of World Potato Markets. World Potato Markets has just published its annual review of production, prices and trade. Potato News Today readers can enjoy a special purchase rate.

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Pivoting when in crisis? Potato Corner founder shares ideas

“Pivoting” is a term that has been thrown around by entrepreneurs as they try to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. But Jose Magsaysay Jr., founder and chairman emeritus of the food kiosk pioneer Potato Corner, pivoting is not always the solution for crumbling businesses. “You pivot depending on your resources. Look into yourself before you pivot. Am I a player now in this crisis? If I’m not and I don’t have the money to pivot, I will just conserve, stop what I’m doing, and spot trends,” he said during a webinar organized by the Philippine Franchise Association on Thursday.

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‘The potato eaters’: Which nation loves spuds the most?

This interesting graph, depicting potato consumption in several countries around the world, was first published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on its website. The organization says its 600 full-time journalists, 750 freelancers, and 20 local bureaus provide accurate news and information in 27 languages and 23 countries, making it one of the most comprehensive news operations in the world.?

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A ‘nutritional giant’ at work: How the humble potato changed the world

A staple food for cultures across the globe, the tuber has emerged as a nutritional giant and the friend of peasants, rulers and sages. Even today, its possibilities are endless, writes Diego Arguedas Ortiz in an extensive and thorough investigation on the history and global influence of the potato. The article was published by the BBC Travel magazine, and we publish a short summary here.

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Capture the beauty of the potato: ‘Potato photographer of the Year’ competition kicks off

While you’re stuck at home in this period of lockdown, why not flex your creative muscles and see how you can artistically capture the beauty of a potato? Whether you’re drawn to the simplicity of a King Edward, the gentle curves of a Yukon Gold or the marvels of the Maris Piper, here is a chance to show off your photography skills! The Potato photographer of the Year competition is put on by the folks who run the website Photocrowd.com. The competition is available to anyone in the world, although all proceeds will go to help the Trussell Trust in the UK to provide food for people in need at this time of crisis.

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Syngenta develops new nematicide and fungicide technology platform

Syngenta unveiled the new TYMIRIUM™ technology platform brand this week. In a press release, the company says it is a novel nematicide and fungicide technology under development for both seed- and soil-applied uses. Based on the active ingredient cyclobutrifluram, Syngenta says TYMIRIUM™ technology provides long-lasting protection against a broad spectrum of nematode pests and diseases across all major crops and geographies.

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Saturday funny: When line spacing and fonts fail…

Dear PNT readers: Just because it’s weekend, and because most of us can do with a smile after many weeks in COVID-19 lockdown, I wish to share the following with you. The folks who run the 22Words website put together a list of examples of what happens when “spacing and font fails” occur in the text used on company billboards, advertisements, etc etc. Just one random space or bad font choice can completely change the message. Sometimes hilariously and inappropriately so…

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Webinar on the diversified use of potato apical cuttings now online

Earlier this week, the World Potato Congress Inc (WPC) hosted another edition of its webinars, featuring Dr. Monica Parker. She presented on “Diversified Use of Apical Cuttings to Boost Potato Seed Systems“. The webinar is now available on YouTube. It can also be viewed below, or on the WPC website here, where links are available to previous webinars as well.

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Spudly Words: Quotes worth remembering from recent potato news reports

Dear PNT readers: During my daily (and often nightly) online searches to find sensible breaking news items to share with you here, I oftentimes come across sayings and words of such sheer eloquence and relevance to a specific topic at hand, that I believe these should be highlighted or underscored and repeated in some way or another. This article lists a handful of these quotations – and is my humble effort in doing just that. And since the COVID-19 crisis overshadows the news media at this time, all of the quotes below will be related to this reality that all of us are confronted with currently.

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PlanetPotato podcast: Celebrity encounters and news of a global competition

The second episode of PlanetPotato, the new podcast from the team that brings you World Potato Markets, has just dropped and is now available to download via Buzzsprout, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Listeners can be beguiled by tales of showbiz connections facilitated by potatoes (including Lauren Bacall), and hear how they can enter the Potato Photographer of the Year competition. Plus we pay a visit to the USA, as Red River Farm Network’s Carah Hart paints a picture of the current potato situation in North Dakota.

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Potato power: Potatoes serve high quality plant protein that helps to maintain women’s muscles

Researchers from McMaster University have found that the potato, primarily known as a starchy vegetable, can be a source of high-quality protein that helps to maintain muscle. The findings, reported in the journal Nutrients, highlight the potential benefits of what is considered a non-traditional source of protein, particularly as dietary trends change and worldwide demand has increased for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived sources. This study provides evidence that the quality of proteins from plants can support muscle.

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WPC: COVID-19 pandemic halts global trade of rice and cereals, creating a food security challenge

“COVID-19 has shaken the whole world impacting society and the global economy. The frozen potato products value chain has been confronted with a true drama, says the President and CEO of World Potato Congress Inc, Romain Cools. The socio-economic problems created by this in Western Europe and parts of North America will be minor compared to the likelihood of food insecurity and famine in many developing countries, Mr Cools says. The major suppliers of the global staples of rice and cereals, China, Vietnam and Russia, have stopped exports. Many poorer parts of the world that depend on imports of rice and cereals, will be confronted with food shortages and rising prices.

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Potato late blight in Europe

Didier Andrivon from INRA delves into the disease that once killed 1.5 million individuals in Ireland: Potato late blight, also known as Phytophthora Infestans It would be easy to think that a disease peaking over one hundred years ago is no longer a problem, but potato late blight continues to evolve and emerge in new places – similarly to the insidious reach of[Read More…]

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HZPC invests in connections with growers

Great news for HZPC’s seed potato growers in the European Union: HZPC Holding is starting its “Connecting Growers” programme this year, which will reporting in handing out share certificates, according to the company. HZPC says it wants to remain an organisation run for and by growers. To this end, it is investing in connections with its growers.

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As Covid-19 threatens global food security, fresh potatoes are back on tables

COVID-19 is driving demand for fresh potatoes in supermarkets and grocery stores across the globe as people stock up on inexpensive food. Fresh potato has become a favorite during the lockdown, along with rice, wheat flour, bread and pasta, the International Potato Center (CIP) says in a recently published report. The world should be prepared to guarantee availability of food at affordable prices over the next 12?18 months, or even longer, to effectively overcome the effects of the pandemic. Potato has a key role to play in ensuring global food security.

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Indian airline IndiGo operated its first international cargo-on-seats flight

Indian airline IndiGo has successfully operated the country’s first cargo-on-seats flight, sending fresh food from India to fill some supermarket shelves in the UAE. The flight flew from Kochi to Abu Dhabi over the weekend, transporting fruit, vegetables and other supplies to supermarkets in the UAE, particularly stores that “cater for the large Indian expat community” in the Emirates, according to IndiGo’s CCO Willy Boulter.

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PlanetPotato goes live: New World Potato Markets podcast celebrates the world’s favourite tuber

A new podcast called PlanetPotato from the team that brings you World Potato Markets has gone live. “For many the potato is a comfort food – and comfort is something we all need now, which is why the time seemed right to launch our new podcast,” said World Potato Market’s Cedric Porter. “PlanetPotato is not primarily aimed at potato experts but for people all round the world who love the potato and want to know more about it,” said Cedric.

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Webinar: Diversified use of apical cuttings to boost potato seed systems

The World Potato Congress Inc (WPC) is pleased to continue its webinar series, and in its next webinar it will feature Dr. Monica Parker, presenting on “Diversified Use of Apical Cuttings to Boost Potato Seed Systems”. Addressing seed shortages for potato is a perennial challenge in many potato-producing countries, DrParker says. Addressing seed shortages for potato is a perennial challenge in many potato-producing countries, Dr Parker says.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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