Asia, India, China, Russia

Researchers review the spread of late blight across Asia over a century and a half

Researchers Sanjoy Guha Roy, Tanmoy Dey, David E. L. Cooke and Louise R. Cooke recently published this review in the journal Plant Pathology. In a news article for the The British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP) the research team writes they have scoured the literature to report on the dynamics of Phytophthora infestans (1870-2020) that has shadowed the expansion of potato cropping.

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EU Commission clears acquisition of Belchim by Japanese based Mitsui

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Belgium based Belchim by Mitsui, headquartered in Japan. The Commission’s investigation found that the proposed transaction, as originally notified, would have reduced competition in the following crop protection markets: Plant growth regulators (PGR) used to prevent or control sprouting in stored potatoes. Paraffinic oils used to prevent or limit the spread of viruses in seed potatoes and flower bulbs.

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CIP: Virtual training webinar to cover apical rooted cuttings

This virtual training webinar, hosted by the International Potato Center (CIP), will cover all aspects of apical rooted cuttings for potato seed production, including sessions on tissue culture multiplication, transplantation, and acclimatization of tissue culture plantlets in polyhouse, among others. The panel will include experts from CIP, the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and the University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot (UHS).

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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 pathogen

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Nearly 3 million farmers in Asia embrace CIP-bred potatoes, raising revenues and resilience

An assessment published in 2018 found that 19% of the total land area devoted to potato production in these seven countries was planted with varieties bred at the International Potato Center (CIP) or by national partners in collaboration with CIP. Between 2008 and 2015, the area planted with those varieties more than doubled to 1.43 million hectares. Over the past 40 years, CIP scientists have helped 2.93 million potato farming households to produce more food and generate more income.

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Bangladesh to import blight resistant GMO varieties developed at Michigan State University

Thousands of farmers in Bangladesh grow potatoes on over one million acres of land, spending up to a fourth of their investment on fungicide sprays to fight late blight. The disease damages 20 percent of the total potato production in the country. The Bangladeshi government has finally allowed its scientists to import two blight resistant (RB) potato varieties, developed at the Michigan State University (MSU), and agreed that field trials can be conducted with the varieties.

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Scientists document the evolutionary change in P. infestans populations in potato crops in Indonesia

A new study identifies for the first time the genotypes, or strains of P. infestans, causing late blight in the main potato-growing regions on the island of Java in Indonesia and further examines the diversity in the genetic makeup in the P. infestans populations in those regions. Results suggest that the original genotype introduced into Indonesia was probably EU_2_A1 and that there is ongoing evolution in these populations due to a high mutation rate and no selection pressure from the susceptible potato hosts that are currently being grown in Indonesia.

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Lamb Weston / Meijer acquires majority share in Russia

Potato processor Lamb Weston / Meijer has strengthened its position in the frozen processed potato market in Russia with the acquisition of a majority share in its existing joint venture with the Belaya Dacha Group. The joint venture owns Russia

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Asian promise for US potatoes

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.

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Researchers say apical rooted cuttings are the solution for cheaper potato seed in India

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.

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Can horsetail weed extract become the source of a new biopesticide to combat late blight?

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.

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India: Odisha government seeks renewal of agreement with International Potato Center

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.

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Russian potato exports on the up, but imports still exceed exports

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.

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India: PepsiCo to set up potato chips processing plant in Uttar Pradesh state

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.

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Pakistan to produce disease-resistant potato tubers using tissue culture technology

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.

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Red hot potato market could spell trouble for farmers in India

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.

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‘Yet another one…’ Chinese scientists report the discovery of a new potato disease

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.

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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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