South, Central America

New Peruvian potato variety to help in fight against child anemia

This past Tuesday, the Agriculture Minister in Peru publicly presented a new purple flesh potato variety with higher than normal concentrations of iron and zinc. The potato is believe to become an important help in the fight against child anemia in the Andes. Agriculture Minister Gustavo Mostajo told Peruvian radio station RPP that the new potato was bred and developed[Read More…]

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Peru: Giving potatoes added value and being competitive is challenging

In Peru, potatoes are a product with high potential; however, not enough efforts have been made to allow the growers to receive a higher price for their productions. In this regard, the executive director of the Center for Productive Innovation and Technology Transfer for Potatoes and other Andean Crops (CITE Papa), Celfia Obregón Ramírez, said that the biggest challenge with[Read More…]

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National trade association calls for development of a potato processing industry in Chile

One third of the potatoes marketed in the country are imported and processed, according to Chile’s Potato Consortium. The Consortium told Biobiochile.cl that as long as the country does not develop a potato processing industry, potato prices will continue to be subjected to unstable fluctuations. The Consortium stated that it was necessary to encourage investment for the creation of a[Read More…]

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Belgapom’s Romain Cools responds to European ‘fry war’ with Colombia

The Belgian, Dutch and German potato industries are afraid that it will become increasingly difficult to export frozen fries to the South American market. Colombia has announced that it will charge anti-dumping tariffs on frozen potato products from these three European countries. “The threat Colombia poses is relatively limited. A reasonably small volume of French fries is sent to the Colombian market.[Read More…]

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Potatoes may have altered ancient people’s genomes, researchers say

As the ancient Andean people turned wild tubers into the domesticated potato, the potato may have altered the genomes of the Andeans who made it a staple of their diet, according to new research. Potatoes, native to South America, became an agricultural crop thousands of years ago in the Andean highlands of Peru. Now, researchers have used DNA analysis to[Read More…]

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Belgium summons reinforcements in Colombia chip war

Belgium, self-proclaimed inventor of the French fry or chip, urged Europe on Friday to help it fight a tariff slapped on its iconic export by Colombia. Despite being widely dubbed “French”, fries are a prized product in Belgium and its frites culture was added to the UNESCO cultural treasures list last year. Colombia, however, accuses Belgian, Dutch and German agribusiness[Read More…]

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Argentinian company exported seed potatoes to PepsiCo Vietnam

PepsiCo Argentina reports in a press release that Papsud S.A. recently exported a shipment of locally produced seed potatoes to PepsiCo’s subsidiary in Vietnam for the fifth consecutive year. Papasud S.A., based in Mar del Plata in the province of Buenos Aires, is a family owned potato producing company and operated by Juan and Leandro Pérsico. This time a total[Read More…]

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Jamaican govt promotes ‘climate-smart’ potato production

The Jamaican government has allocated around $100 million to give a boost to crop production of the island nation, in particular potatoes and onions. The minister made the disclosure while addressing stakeholders at the launch of the 2018/2019 Irish Potato Programme at the Christ Church in Christiana, Manchester, on October 4. Minister Shaw noted that the demand for table potatoes in Jamaica was[Read More…]

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The Potato Whisperer from Peru

Manuel Choqque Bravo, a fourth generation potato farmer in the Andean highlands of Chinchero, is about to perform a magic show. He lines up multiple deformed tubers, indigenous to the area best known for its proximity to Machu Picchu, and one by one slices them in half, revealing a color spectrum of intense violet and gold hues. “People think the potato[Read More…]

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Researchers from Colombia and Canada developed nutritious, disease-resistant potato varieties

A marriage of scientific knowledge and traditional practice has led to the development of three highly nutritious, robust, and productive yellow potato varieties. Researchers from Colombia and Canada are working with public and private sector partners to increase production and consumption of this nutritious and all-natural food staple across Colombia and beyond. Malnutrition and iron deficiency are prevalent among many rural[Read More…]

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PVY-resistant GMO potato variety approved by Argentine authorities

Argentine authorities have officially approved the commercialization of a genetically modified PVY-resistant potato variety. The transgenic potato, named TIC-AR233-5, will help growers avoid losses from the virus. The virus can result in yield declines of up to 70%, according to Argentina-based Tecnoplant, which holds the marketing license. The potato will also help growers to use fewer agrochemicals in its cultivation, the company said. The Health[Read More…]

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‘Protecting Potatoes’: New display in Edinburgh highlights the importance of wild potato varieties

‘Protecting Potatoes’ is a new plant display with interpretation for summer 2018 at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. It can be found in the Demonstration Garden and the Temperate Palm House, and has been funded by SEFARI. The aim is to highlight the importance of wild potatoes for the future survival of the domesticated spud. Now, it may not be immediately obvious[Read More…]

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Brazil court rules that licenses for all glyphosate products be suspended

Brazil’s government is contesting a court suspension of licenses for products with glyphosate, one of the most common industrial weedkillers around the world. A federal judge in the capital Brasilia last week ruled that “licenses for all products” with the chemical must be suspended within 30 days. Also in the ban are the chemicals thiram and abamectin. The suspension is to continue until the government sanitary[Read More…]

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Global Affairs Canada, Mccain support potato variety development in Andean countries

A marriage of scientific knowledge and traditional practice has led to the development of three highly nutritious, robust, and productive yellow potato varieties in the Andean region. Researchers from Colombia and Canada are working with public and private sector partners to increase production and consumption of this nutritious and all-natural food staple across Colombia and other Andean countries, particularly Peru,[Read More…]

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Key Technology appoints Bret Larreau as Director of Latin America and Asia Sales

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, announces the promotion of Bret Larreau to the position of Director of Latin America and Asia Sales. Larreau is responsible for managing Key’s sales activities in the Latin America, Asia Pacific and Australia/New Zealand regions to bring the company’s digital sorters, vibratory conveyors and other automation systems to food[Read More…]

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World Potato Congress: Abstract Book now available online

The Abstract Book, containing abstracts of presentations delivered in May during the 10th World Potato Congress in Cuzco, Peru has been published online, and can now be downloaded as a pdf file from the World Potato Congress Inc website. In the Preface to the 168 page Abstract Book it is said that the themes “Biodiversity, Food Security and Business” represent what[Read More…]

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Spud think tank: Roundup of the World Potato Congress event in Peru

Tubers were the talk of the town in Cusco, Peru during the week of May 27, when the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) and the 28th Congress of the Latin American Potato Association (ALAP) were held together for the first time. The event drew more than 800 participants from 50 countries to the potato’s center of origin for four days of scientific presentations, networking,[Read More…]

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Survival test: Gardeners in Newfoundland enlisted to put Chilean potato varieties through the hoops

E.W. Gaze Seeds Co. in St Johns Newfoundland and Phytocultures Ltd. based in Prince Edward Island are working together to bring new types of potatoes to Newfoundland and Labrador from Chile in South America. E.W. Gaze Seeds Co. specializes in selling “high-quality vegetable and flower seeds,” according to the company’s website. Recently the store started giving away free samples of Chilean[Read More…]

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Elevated: How potatoes went from mountaintops to the moon

The process of freeze drying is easily associated with the space age, thanks to its use in making astronaut food, but it’s older than you might think. The first known use of it dates back to the Incas, who were able to naturally freeze dry their food on mountaintops thanks to cold temperatures and thin air. Potatoes were stomped daily[Read More…]

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Noteworthy: Potatoes the source of innovation boom in Peru

According to the executive director of Cite Papa and other Andean Crops, Celfia Obregon Ramirez, potatoes have stopped being just an agricultural crop and have become a great source of innovation in Peru – which has the greatest diversity of potatoes in the world and, thus, infinite possibilities to innovate. Peruvian exquisite colored chips continue to surprise the world because they[Read More…]

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Come eat me: Some potato varieties yield more when grazed by pests

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial[Read More…]

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Trade breakthrough: US seed and fresh potatoes can now be exported to Guatemala

U.S. fresh and seed potatoes from all U.S. states are now permitted entry into Guatemala, a welcome expansion of market access from only one permitted state four years ago. On May 14, 2018, the USDA confirmed simplified phytosanitary certificate requirements that eliminate previous state-by-state limitations. Potatoes USA worked closely with the USDA to fully open Guatemala to U.S. table-, chip- and[Read More…]

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On the International Day for Biological Diversity, consider the beauty of the Potato

In an article published today on Foodtank.com, Mercedes Aráoz, a Peruvian economist and currently the First Vice-president of the Republic of Peru, writes: “The potato is a gift from Peru to the world, and we will always be its stewards. …On the United Nation’s International Day for Biological Diversity, I have potatoes on my mind. The fantastic variety of colors, shapes, and[Read More…]

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Peru: Biodegradable bags that can also be used as food

Concern for the environment can sharpen inventiveness, especially when people have some scientific knowledge. Around the same time that the Ministry of Environment announced its intention to gradually ban the use of plastic bags, information has emerged that researchers are working to make biodegradable bags based on potato starch. According to Celfia Obregon, president of the Center for Technological Innovation (CITE)[Read More…]

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