US fresh potato exports to Japan have tripled in the September quarter while other markets are also driving growth in Asia. Asian markets have been a bright spot for US fresh potato exports in the September quarter (July 2020-September 2020), highlighted by significant growth in Japan.. According to data from industry body Potatoes USA, while overall export volume of fresh potatoes, including table-stock and chipping, was down 6 per cent for the quarter, in Asian markets it was up 21 per cent.
Asia, India, China, Russia
In a recently published research brief, CIP/CGIAR researchers Samarendu Mohanty, Sampriti Baruah and Ravindranath Reddy explain that the potato sector in India continues to face serious problems accessing good-quality planting materials at affordable prices for small and marginal farmers in many potato-growing states. So, how do we solve the potato seed problem, the researchers ask. They say two things need to happen.
Scientists from Tyumen State University in Russia took part in a research study on how peptide extracts of medicinal plants affect the development of potato late blight. Horsetail extract is recognized as holding promise for combating it, and might become a main source for the development of a new biopesticide, the press service of Tyumen State University reported on Thursday. The results of the work were published in the journal Plants.
According to the Ministry of Investments, Industry and Science of the Moscow Region, Frito Lei Manufacturing LLC launched a tenth production line in the city of Kashira. launched the tenth production line. It will produce Lay’s ® chips. The production capacity of the line is reported to be more than 5 thousand tons of finished product per year. According to Neil Sturrock, President of PepsiCo in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia,
Even though the State Potato Mission failed to take off due to the lack of direction and apathy of the government to the project, the state government has expressed its desire to extend its contract with the International Potato Center (CIP) for intensification of potato production, according to report by The New Indian Express. CIP will provide technical support, including the introduction of early-maturing resilient potato varieties and agronomic practices assistance to improve the income of smallholder farmers and generate employment in the potato supply chain.
Roman Nekrasov, director of the crop production department of the Ministry of Agriculture in Russia reportedly said that in the first nine months of 2020, Russia exported 254,800 tons of potatoes (both table and seed), which is almost 36% more than in the same period last year. Nevertheless. while potato imports are declining, they still exceed Russian potato exports. Over the first nine months of 2020, 293,400 tons were imported into Russia (in 2019 the official figure provided is 298,300 tons). This means that it is necessary to develop the storage capacity of potatoes in Russia.
The food processing industry in India’s Uttar Pradesh (UP) is set to get a major boost with PepsiCo announcing a Rs 814 crore (approx 11mil US$) project for production of Lay’s potato chips, according to a report by the IANS news agency, published by Daijiworld.com. The processing plant will reportedly start commercial production by the middle of 2021. The company will also be sourcing potatoes as raw product from local sources and thereby helping local farmers. Once ready, the plant will be providing direct and indirect employment to about 1,500 people.
Tissue culture technology is being widely used for large-scale plant multiplication and gives a science-based solution for plant propagation, disease elimination and plant improvement, said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan during an agreement signing ceremony between PARC and UAE-based Green System Pakistan Pvt Limited.
Potato prices in India started rising in December 2019 due to the delay in harvesting the early rabi crop, according to an article by Samarendu Mohanty, Asia Regional Director of the International Potato Center (CIP). In a recent news article published on the CIP website, Mr Mohanty wtires that although prices fell a bit in February and March with the arrival of the new harvest, they have remained higher than average during the same period in previous years due to less area planted, lower yields and transportation issues.
As if the beleaguered potato and its growers don’t have enough diseases to contend with, a new potato disease was discovered by Chinese researchers on potato plants during the growing season and also on tubers during the storage period. The disease was identified in potatoes cultivated in Nileke County, Qitai County as well as other locations in Xinjiang province in China. The pathogen was identified by the researchers as Galactomyces candidum F12, identified on the Atlantic potato variety.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Russian magazine ‘Potato System’ launched a multilingual website and online communication platform
The Potato System magazine has been published since 2009. In February 2020, the magazine made a powerful leap into the Internet space: it launched a new modern multilingual website, opened groups for communicating with readers in social networks and instant messaging platforms. The English version of the website can be found here: https://en.potatosystem.ru/
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.
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.
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.
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.