South, Central America

Farmers Day: Peru among world’s top potato producers

Within the framework of the Farmers Day —which takes place today— Peru managed to consolidate its position among the top 15 producers of this Andean tuber in the world, given the active participation of over 700,000 small producers, who cultivate potatoes in 19 regions across the country. World-renowned as the center of origin of potato, Peru has thousands of native potato varieties.

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What is the value of using crop wild relatives in potato breeding?

It may surprise you to learn that wild potatoes grow like weeds in South America. While farmers in the United States battle weeds like pigweed and lamb’s quarters, farmers in the Andes Mountains have to keep weedy potatoes in check. There are over 100 wild potato species and breeders have just scratched the surface for new variety development. As climate change and a growing population put additional strains on potato growers, we will continue to explore the possibilities offered by this rich genetic resource.

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Peru cements its position among top 15 potato producers in the world

Within the framework of the National Potato Day, which takes place May 30, Peru has consolidated its position among the top 15 producers of this Andean tuber in the world, given the active participation of over 700,000 small producers, who cultivate potatoes in 19 regions across the country. The results of the Andean tuber production confirm the position of Peru as the 14th world producer of potatoes.

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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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Strengthening innovation to empower women potato growers in the Andes

The world is faced with a rising demand for food due to population growth, changes in dietary habits and the availability of agricultural resources. As a result farmers need to be more efficient and productive. The story of Gaby Quispe of Patacamaya, Bolivia, is typical and gives a simple illustration of how to achieve gender equity and the empowerment of rural women through the use of climate-smart technologies in potato production.

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CIP researchers designed a smartphone app for potato irrigation monitoring

Recent research by scientists and students from CIP and the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, in Peru, confirmed that images from infrared (a.k.a. thermographic) cameras can be used to detect water stress in potato crops, and thereby guide more efficient water use. CIP scientists recently developed a new, more user-friendly version of TIPCIP for the smartphones.

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CIP and partners publish a ‘Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics’

The full title of this new book, authored by scientists working at CIP, INIAP, and CORPOICA in Latin America, is Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics. Ten years of experience in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Aeroponics is a technique for producing potato minitubers (corresponding to the pre-basic seed category) in formal seed systems. aeroponics is part of an integrated proposal of CIP and its partners to manage seed potato degeneration.

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The Peruvian potato: A starchy spud that can adapt to every eco-system

The humble potato was cultivated during the Inca Empire and for thousands of years before. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, they encountered the potato and brought it to Europe. Today it is grown almost everywhere and considered a top food staple along with rice, corn and wheat. By the year 2050, the global population is expected to[Read More…]

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Argentina: Field trials with non-browning CRISPR-edited potatoes start

In a study published recently in the Frontiers in Plant Science magazine, scientists from Argentina and Sweden reported they have edited a polyphenol oxidase gene in potatoes (Solanum tubersoum L.). After successfully editing the gene, they obtained tubers free of enzymatic browning. With the approval of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Advisory Commission, field trials began that “will … generate data to register[Read More…]

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Good yields but high costs for Argentine potatoes

Before the imminent start of the new potato harvest in the southeast of Buenos Aires, engineers Sergio Costantino (director of Argenpapa) and Ricardo Bergonzi (private advisor) analyzed the profitability of this crop, which hasn’t yielded positive figures for farmers during the last two campaigns. According to them, “in this campaign, there will be average yields that can significantly exceed those[Read More…]

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Concern in Peru as Bolivia decides to stop imports

The Bolivian horticultural product marketers’ decision to cease importing agricultural products to prioritize their national production has generated concern among Peruvian farmers, mainly among potato and onion producers. This decision is part of the Family Agriculture Policy measures that the Ministry of Rural Development and Land of Bolivia implemented last year, that seek to promote plans so that producers improve[Read More…]

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Potato war: Colombia takes anti-dumping measures against European frozen french fries

In October of last year, the European Commission (EC) lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about the import tariffs Colombia has imposed on frozen french fries from Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. According to the European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, the European Union (EU) considers this South American country’s anti-dumping measures to be ‘entirely unjustified’. The dispute[Read More…]

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How Peru’s potato museum could stave off world food crisis

th a climate changing faster than most crops can adapt and food security under threat around the world, scientists have found hope in a living museum dedicated to a staple eaten by millions daily: the humble potato. High in the Peruvian Andes, agronomists are looking to the ancestral knowledge of farmers to identify genetic strains which could help the tubers[Read More…]

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Strong growth in the export of Dutch seed potatoes to Cuba

Cuba is importing a lot more seed potatoes from the Netherlands this year. The fourth ship with seed potatoes (harvest 2019) has recently left for Cuba. The expectation is that exports will continue to grow in the coming years, says Jan van Hoogen, Director of Agrico. The export of Dutch seed potatoes to the Caribbean island over last year’s harvest[Read More…]

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EU hits Colombia with WTO case over frozen fry duties

The European Union hit Colombia with a World Trade Organization complaint Friday, saying that the country is unfairly imposing anti-dumping duties on frozen French fried potatoes from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. During Colombia’s anti-dumping investigation into preserved and prepared potato imports, the country failed to tell the European companies what metrics it would be using to determine if imports[Read More…]

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The Peruvian farmer who crafts ‘wine’ from high-altitude heirloom potatoes

There are high altitude vineyards, and then there are the potato fields on Manuel Choqque’s farm in Peru. Twelve thousand feet above sea level in Peru’s Sacred Valley, Choqque grows a dozen or so varieties of oca, an heirloom potato that thrives in the low-nutrient soils and harsh climate high up in the Andes. Choqque, the so-called “potato whisperer,” is the country’s most[Read More…]

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‘Strategic and growing’: Lamb Weston’s Argentinian JV opens up South American market

Lamb Weston and Argentina’s Sociedad Comercial del Plata (SCP) are forming a joint venture they say will open doors to the South American processed potato market. US company Lamb Weston is one of the largest producers and processors of frozen french fries and other frozen potato products in the world. Each partner will own 50% of the new joint venture,[Read More…]

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Lamb Weston eyes South America sales with new potato partnership

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced last week that it has formed a joint venture with Sociedad Comercial del Plata in Argentina to serve the nearly 2-billion-pound South American market. Each partner will own 50% of the new joint venture, Lamb Weston Alimentos Modernos S.A. Lamb Weston Alimentos Modernos S.A. will sell frozen potato products under the Rapipap and Morixe brands[Read More…]

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EU to challenge Colombia at WTO to protect Belgium fries

The European Union will file a complaint at the World Trade Organization against Colombia over duties imposed on imports of frozen potato fries, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Monday. Colombia imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 8% in November 2018 on frozen fries from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany after complaining that the prices of these imports were[Read More…]

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Canada: Less than 1 percent of Prince Edward Island potato crop harvested as hurricane Dorian blows through

For about 10 days, Hurricane Dorian has been making headlines in the news and it continues to cause damage. It lost its hurricane-force winds and was considered a post-tropical cyclone when it made landfall in Canada’s Nova Scotia province on Saturday night. In addition to Nova Scotia, the storm made significant impact on Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick as[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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