The International Potato Center (CIP) is conserving the future of potato genetic diversity in the world’s largest potato cryobank and setting new standards to transform the way that other priority clonal crops like sweetpotato and yams are held in safe storage. These innovations ensure we have an essential backup collection of the clonal crops that 300 million smallholders in developing countries depend on – for their food security and livelihoods.
Asia, India, China, Russia
According to an article published by the digital magazine Russia Beyond, “We are often surprised how spoiled modern kids are, how many toys they have and don’t appreciate them (and prefer a tablet most of all). Well, Soviet kids didn’t have such a luxurious life in the 1930’s, so they sometimes had to entertain themselves by making toys from the most available materials. In Russia, it was the potato.”
In 2019, PepsiCo partnered with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative to empower women in agriculture and help build a more sustainable food system. This partnership empowers women farmers with new skills and knowledge under PepsiCo’s Sustainable Farming Program in the potato value chain in West Bengal, India.
As Erica Yokoyama reports for Bloomberg News, Japanese snack company Calbee Inc. will raise the price of some of its potato chip products by between 7% and 10%, citing a decreased potato harvest in the northern agriculture-heavy island of Hokkaido due to hot weather and low rainfall.
Kwik Lok Corp, the global leader in package closures, today announced the availability of Eco-Lok, the first sustainable closure in Japan. Eco-Lok’s biomass material, NuPlastiQ, is a proprietary technology from BioLogiQ which converts plant-based carbohydrates, including potatoes, to a plant-based resin.
Japan KFC Holdings announced on October 8 that Kentucky French fries and other potato products are temporarily suspended for sale. KFC says in the notice: “Currently, imports of goods are delayed due to the disruption of the global distribution network due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection. Therefore, ‘potato’ may be temporarily suspended at some stores.”
A project run by Universal Robina Corp (URC) and the Philippine government has provided a valuable boost to the country’s potato growers during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018 URC partnered with the government to launch the Sustainable Potato Programme to provide growers with quality potato seed, training and research.
In response to the late blight disease of potatoes, the AsiaBlight Network formed a coalition of farmers, scientists, and government officials to develop an integrated approach to managing, and eventually eradicating, late blight disease with an aim to improve nutrition and food security for billions throughout Asia.
According to a recent report issued by the USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN), China’s MY2021/22 frozen French fries production is forecast higher by 20 percent at 420,000 metric tons (MT). According to industry sources, a new french fry production line will be put into production in MY2021/22 in Inner Mongolia. Frozen French fry producers in China are expected to expand their production as much as possible to make up for the reduction of imports.
Pepsico last week commissioned the country’s largest greenfield food plant in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. The plant is built at a cost of Rs 814 crore (USD110m), with the aim to fulfill the company’s goal of doubling its snack business by 2022. The plant will cater for the demand of the company’s Lays potato chips business, connecting with over 5,000 local potato farmers.
Scientists at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) in Pakistan have found that dried potato powder can successfully be used as a cheaper energy source in animal feed and can be added up to 30 percent in ruminant concentrates without any negative effect. Due to the high cost of yellow corn, dried potato concentrate had been identified as a low cost alternative and it can easily replace maize.
Google is going all out to advertise its next flagship phone around the world. In Japan, it offered “Google Original (Potato) Chips” to highlight the new Tensor SoC in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The chips feature a bag design that matches the rear of the phones. There are five color designs available, though all come in “Googley Salty Flavor”.
During a special award ceremony on Wednesday September 1st, a professional jury awarded the PotatoEurope Gold Innovation Award to the Microtubers of E Green Global (EGG). Based on three criteria, namely innovativeness, potential impact in the potato market and applicability in the potato sector, the jury came to the decision to declare EGG Microtubers as the winner of the Golden Innovation Award.
A dietary shift from rice to potatoes could ‘notably reduce’ the climate and environmental impacts of staple crop agriculture in China, according to a new study. It finds that a large-scale dietary shift towards potatoes, combined with better growing methods, could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of these staples by up to 25 per cent. However, the authors note that it remains to be seen whether such a major dietary shift can be carried out on a large scale.
Five years ago, a group of farmers, scientists, and government officials formed the AsiaBlight network to develop an integrated approach to managing, and eventually eradicate, late blight disease with an aim to improve nutrition and food security for billions throughout Asia. Recently the network convened a side event at the 23rd Chinese Potato Conference, held in Yulin City to discuss progress made in the past year.
In India, in North Bengal and in the Bihar regions, potato farmers have long awaited an early bulking potato variety with better storability to cater for evolving grower needs. Until now, the absence of such a variety with this unique combination of characteristics has left farmers either to miss the early market opportunity to reap better prices or book higher losses during storage. Red Candy, a new variety launched by Technico Agri Sciences Ltd, aptly addresses the potato growers’ needs and help them to reap the twin benefits of early bulking with better storability.
CropX, the Israel-based company that produced the world’s first and do-it-yourself (“DIY”) farm management platform based on real-time soil data, announced recently that it acquired Dacom, headquartered in Groningen, the Netherlands. CropX says in a news release that this follows its acquisitions in 2020 of Nebraska based CropMetrics and New-Zealand based ReGen. CropX says: “We’re always excited to join new teams and technologies to the CropX family and continue our search in that respect – all with the goal of providing the best value for our customers.”
In response to the challenges of climate change, growing demands for food, and persistent malnutrition, crop breeders across the Global South are developing more resilient, productive and nutritious potato varieties. The G+ Tools – a new gender-responsive toolkit for breeding developed by the International Potato Center and the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas – promises to address this barrier by advancing a holistic framework to evaluate what traits men and women, farmers and consumers want in their potato, sweetpotato, cassava, and other crop varieties.
For mass importer and producer of seed potatoes, AR Tarim based in Turkey, the need for stringent quality control became a significant factor in helping them meet their goals. Up to 8000 tons of seed potatoes are imported and around 11,000 tons are locally produced by the company and stored in their 1000-year-old cave storage facility located in Kayseri. The company approached UK crop quality and storage specialists Martin Lishman Ltd for storage solutions.
The International Potato Center (CIP) has substantially contributed to the development and release of improved potato varieties that are grown by millions of farmers in Asia’s top potato producing countries. Across Asia, 170 potato varieties have been released through CIP’s breeding program or by using germplasm held in its collections.
What can possibly happen in 10 seconds? For Filipinos hooked to their mobile phones for more than 10 hours a day every day, 10 seconds is a lot. A new advertising concept will even shake things up in online consumer engagement as Potato Corner, the beloved “flavored fries,” brings its playful and fun flavors in a pioneering, never-before-seen storytelling adventure.
India’s Britannia 50-50 has launched the ‘5050 Potazos’. It is billed as a ‘fusion’ product that brings together potato chip and biscuit. The brand undertook a nationwide consumer survey in the run up to the launch, and the product was rated by consumers as the ‘best new product’ in the snacking space, with 90 per cent of consumers giving it a ‘definitely buy’ rating.
The Technico Group of Companies announced today that it is in the process of upgrading and commercialising its award winning TECHNITUBER Seed Potato Technology for suitable application across various geographic regions in the world. According to CEO Dr. Soundar Soundararadjane, “The TECHNITUBER® seed size of approximately 13mm, weighing a mere 1.5 grams, is viable enough to be planted at only approximately 100 kg per hectare. TECHNITUBER seeds are delivered pre-sprouted in ‘field ready’ conditions and are easily transported.