Asia, India, China, Russia

PepsiCo starts construction of a new savory snack processing plant in Russia

PepsiCo Russia has laid the foundation stone for a new processing plant for the production of savory snacks in the Industrial and Logistics Park of the Novosibirsk Region, according to a recent press release issued by PepsiCo Russia. The plant in Novosibirsk will become PepsiCo’s third plant to produce salty snacks in Russia. In total, there are more than 20 PepsiCo subsidiaries in Russia. The company has over time invested over US$10 billion in Russia. PepsiCo will also launch an agricultural program in the region aimed at providing the new plant with local potatoes.

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Ukraine plans to ban potato imports from Russia

According to information published by the UNIAN Information Agency, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture, Taras Vysotskyi, says the ministry plans to ban imports of potatoes from Russia as a tool to support Ukrainian potato growers. According to UNIAN, Ukraine in 2019 increased potato imports, mainly from Russia, by 43 times, to a record high 250,000 tonnes.

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A brief description of the most common potato varieties cultivated in India

In this article, author Sangeeta Soni provides a list and brief description of 14 most commonly grown potato varieties in India. She writes that potatoes have been cultivated in the country for at least the past 300 years. Three of the varieties that Soni describes briefly in her article is Kufri Sindhuri, Kufri Chandramukhi, and Kufri Jyoti.

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New Indian potato processing plant said to ‘take on established brands’

Keeping an eye on the rising global demand for potato-based products, India’s Banas Dairy company started with the construction of a new potato processing plant in North Gujarat. Avinash Nair of The Indian Express reports that Banas Dairy aims to “take on established brands like McCain Foods India Pvt Ltd and Hyfun Foods in their backyard” in the potato processing sector. Nair says the unit will have an annual capacity to process 50,000 metric tonnes of potatoes. It will focus on producing French fries and 12 other processed potato products for both the domestic and international markets in South-East Asia.

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World Potato Congress Inc recognizes Zaotong as ‘Potato Plateau Seed Potato Capital of the World’

On August 18, 2020, a meeting was held in Zhaotong city, China. World Potato Congress (WPC) President Roman Cools, Dr. Peter VanderZaag, WPC Secretary and Brian Douglas, General Manager attended virtually. At this meeting, a ceremony was held to recognize Zhaotong as the “Potato Plateau Seed Potato Capital of the World”. Yang Yalin, Party Secretary of the Zhaotong Municipal CPC Committee spoke at the ceremony. Li Zhiping, Deputy Director of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs also attended the ceremony.

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‘All hail the rise of the climate-smart potato’

The potential of the potato has only just begun to be realized, writes
Sandra Cordon in this article published by Landscape News. Some 368 million metric tons of potatoes were harvested globally in 2019, as people from Vietnam to Kenya, the Peruvian Andes to Rwanda produced a wide variety of the root vegetable, helping feed an estimated 1.3 billion people who rely on them as a staple food. And this is a minimum threshold – potato production is expanding across parts of Africa and Asia.

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World Potato Congress awarded Chinese city the title of ‘Seed Potato Capital’

Zhaotong, a mountainous city in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, has been given an honorary title in recognition of its success in growing potatoes in highland conditions, Xinhua reports. The city was handed the title of “World Mountain Plateau Seed Potato Capital” by the World Potato Congress Inc (WPC) on Tuesday during an award ceremony conducted via video conference. Xinhua reports that the presentation was made by Lu Xiaoping, director of the Asia and the Pacific branch of the International Potato Center, having been entrusted with the task by WPC president Romain Cools.

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In prioritising potato exports, Bhutan implements modern technology solutions with great success

Potatoes are one of Bhutan’s main exports, with the tiny landlocked country sending out 24,970 MT of potatoes in 2018, mostly to India. There was space to enhance the auction system of potato trading – by improving the quality and packaging of the potatoes Bhutan puts up for sale, making prices more competitive and shortening the transaction times for farmers. With enhancement in mind, the country tackled these improvements in partnership with the Enhanced Integrated Framework, adding machines to grade potatoes that are then packed in designed bags that go up for sale at online auctions.

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PepsiCo to increase investment in India’s Uttar Pradesh

PepsiCo India has decided to increase its investment from Rs 500 crore to Rs 800 crore [approx 106,6 mil USD] in Uttar Pradesh state. This would provide direct and indirect employment to over 1500 people in the state. Siddharth Kalhans of Business Standard reports. The UP MSME and export promotion minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that earlier PepsiCo was to invest Rs 500 crore [approx 66,7 mil USD] in the potato chips plant at Mathura – which has been increased now.

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CIP’s 2019 annual report celebrates a year of discovery, innovation and impact

Technology to accelerate potato breeding in Lima… state of the art tools to diagnose crop diseases in the fields of Uganda… and fresh hearty varieties to boost incomes for smallholder farmers in India. These are just a few of the accomplishments of the International Potato Center (CIP) in 2019, which is commemorating those feats, and others, in its annual report, released this week. The annual report presents compelling snapshots of CIP’s work with 161 partners in 19 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, telling stories about relief work with sweetpotato in Mozambique and simple storage innovations that are putting more income in the pockets of Ethiopian farmers.

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Hi-tech potato industry boosts poverty alleviation in China

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. The laboratory can breed 150 million virus-free seedlings every year.

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Supply shortage, rise in demand push potato prices in India up by 40% in major cities

In the major metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, potatoes are selling for Rs 30-45 per kg, depending on the variety and quality. In Mumbai, a kg of potato is priced at Rs 35-45, while in Delhi and Kolkata prices are hovering between Rs 30-40 per kg. Potato traders from Uttar Pradesh, the largest producer of potatoes in India, said prices are unlikely to come down until November, when the new crop starts coming in.

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Sri Lanks stopping potato imports

The Prime Minister of Sri lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the import of potatoes will be halted, following the general election. He mentioned this at a public meeting held in Boralanda, Welimada, last evening, July 26. Rajapaksa said that an era of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is an era where the farmer will become the king. Currently, there is no fair price for vegetable farmers and potato farmers, the Premier pointed out.

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Potato growers to benefit as Thailand lifts tariffs on Australian potatoes

AUSVEG, the industry representative for Australia’s vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed the announcement from Agriculture Minister David Littleproud that two key commitments are now realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which will improve market access for Australian potato exporters into the Thai market.

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Price of potato seed may increase in India this year

Less quantity of potato seed coupled with higher seed price this year is likely to impact the potato production and farmers’ income in the country during rabi season, according to Samarendu Mohanty, Asia Regional Director of the International Potato Center, Peru. Dr. Mohanty says compared to previous years potato seed storage is 30% less now while the seed price has more than doubled since the last season. Expecting a further hike, seed producers are waiting to fix a higher price as the planting time approaches, he said.

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Philippino potato farmers satisfied with performance of Canadian varieties

Potato farmers in northern Benguet in the Phillipines are expected to plant more potato varieties imported as seed from Canada’s Prince Edward Island after completing a successful season during their first trial with these varieties. According to a press release issued by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the Department of Agriculture–Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR), says in a July 1 report that trials with the new potato varieties proved very successful.

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Fascinating: Amber fossils reveal the true colors of 99-million-year-old insects

Researchers have discovered the true colors of a group of fossilized insects, trapped in amber approximately 99 million years ago in Myanmar. The ancient insects include cuckoo wasps, soldier flies, and beetles, all bursting in metallic blue, purple, and green colors. “The amber is mid-Cretaceous, approximately 99 million years old, dating back to the golden age of dinosaurs,” said Cai Chenyan, the lead author, in a press release.

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McCain building its first potato processing plant in Russia

The Russian language newspaper Kommersant reports that McCain Foods recently started with the construction of its first potato processing plant in the Russian Federation. A Kommersant source in the market confirmed that McCain is working on a project building a plant for the production of French fries, which is reportedly being built in the Uzlovaya Industrial Zone in Tula Oblast in European Russia.

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Japanese potato chip giant Calbee extends telework indefinitely

Calbee Inc., a leading Japanese producer of potato chips and other snack foods, will extend teleworking indefinitely for the 20 percent of its workforce in the country currently doing so. The company announced the decision June 25 after noticing its operational efficiency had significantly improved since the 800 or so Calbee employees at its head office and around the country began teleworking in late March due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

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Eye on Russia: The potato farms of the Nizhny Novgorod region

The Nizhny Novgorod Region in Russia is a region with a long history of cultivating potatoes and vegetables. The region is fully self supporting with potatoes, and this is largely due to several high-end farming enterprises that operate in the area. Latkin LLC (1800 ha under potatoes in 2020) is the largest producer of potatoes in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The farm is located in the village of Kozhino, Arzamas district. For more than 28 years, the company has been led by Evgeny Evgenievich Latkin. Read more about this operation and others.

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COVID-19 cases detected at Frito-Lay factory in Beijing: Customers upset

Haunted by the confirmed COVID-19 cases at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay factory in Beijing over the weekend, customers have been left in limbo as to whether they can still purchase their beloved potato chips, according to a news report by CGTN. Feng Zijian, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said there’s no evidence showing PepsiCo’s potato chips have been contaminated with the coronavirus. PepsiCo said all staff at its food factory in Beijing’s Daxing District are home isolating after eight COVID-19 infections were reported at the factory on Saturday.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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