Asia, India, China, Middle East

Canadian breeder brought botanical potato seed to China for variety now worth billions in benefits

In the mid 1980’s, potato breeder and grower Peter VanderZaag, based in Ontario, Canada brought the botanical seed of the Cooperation-88 (C88) potato variety to Yunnan province in China. The C88 variety developed from that seed eventually became one of the most important potato varieties in Asia and it ended up being grown on 1 million acres (200,000 ha) of[Read More…]

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Late blight scare: Migrant European pathogen generated aggressive new variants in India, not yet found elsewhere globally

An international team of scientists from several countries including India, the UK and the US examined the population structure of the Phytophthora infestans pathogen that caused the 2013–14 late blight epidemic in eastern and northeastern India. Their findings were published online recently in the journal Nature.The data provide new baseline information for populations of P. infestans in India. It was found that a migrant European[Read More…]

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Grant offers boost for Australian potato growers

A Yarloop potato grower in Australia says a $150,000 State Government grant for a custom-built washing/grading/packaging line will benefit the South West industry in that country. Fox Farms Pty Ltd owner Patrick Fox said his company had identified an opportunity overseas in Singapore and the Middle East to supply premium washed and brushed potatoes. “We are hoping that will relieve some of[Read More…]

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Dutch company Farm Frites to build $165m potato processing facility in Kazakhstan

It is reported from Kazakhstan that Dutch based Farm Frites will open a potato processing facility in the Almaty region of the country in 2019. Kazakhstan’s investment promotion company Kazakh Invest is said to have organized a number of meetings between managers of the Dutch company Farm Frites, Simon Quist and Jos den Boer, and highly placed authorities in Kazakhstan, including the Kazakh Deputy Prime[Read More…]

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Ahead of looming crisis, the Potato Mission ends in India’s Odisha state

With yet another potato crisis looming over the state, the much-hyped potato mission that was launched to achieve self-sufficiency in potato production and enhance storage capacity for potatoes is all set to come to an abrupt end in March 2018. The three-year old mission by the government failed badly in meeting the targets of production as well as storage. Ironically[Read More…]

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Large organic potato and vegetable project for APH Group in Russia

APH Group with its headquarters in the Netherlands recently concluded a multi-million Euro contract with a Russian enterprise to deliver machines and installations for the organic production of potatoes and vegetables. The project is being implemented in the South of Russia and will be the largest organic potato and vegetable farm in Russia. The customer is a Russian entrepreneur who[Read More…]

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Trend: More Chinese taking to potatoes

Foods made from potatoes are reportedly more popular than before in China, although the prices are slightly higher. The changes have come about as China began boosting the total potato cultivation acreage, making the potato one of the country’s top staples to better ensure food security under the pressure of dwindling farmland, water and labor assets, among other issues. According to[Read More…]

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Researchers from the US, Indonesia and Bangladesh creating GMO potato to fight late blight

Researchers from the U.S., Indonesia and Bangladesh is creating a genetically-engineered potato to fight the late blight. The disease remains an issue for farmers worldwide, especially in Bangladesh, where many struggle with hunger. “Late blight is the number one constraint for potato production, and Bangladesh has a perfect environment for this disease,” said Jim Bradeen, co-director of the University’s Stakman-Borlaug Center[Read More…]

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Russia blocks two potato shipments imported from Egypt

Russia’s agricultural quarantine authorities flagged two potato shipments from Egypt that were found to be contaminated with potato brown rot. The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Egypt denied the allegation that Russia has imposed bans on potato imports from Egypt due to a lack of quality. He stressed that Russia has not placed a blanket ban on Egypt’s potato exports[Read More…]

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Ban on Turkish potatoes due to fears of potato wart disease spread

The former Soviet republic of Georgia in the Caucasus region is reportedly banning the import of potatoes from Turkey for a three-month period because of the danger of the spread of potato wart disease (or black scab; potato canker). Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has already signed this order. Potato wart is considered a most serious and devastating disease for potatoes. Synchytrium[Read More…]

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Seeds of Change: True potato seed trialled in Bangladesh

The production of potatoes from “true potato seed” (TPS) is being trialled in Nilphamari, Bangladesh. This method involves allowing potato plants to mature until they produce male and female flowers. With cross-pollination the plants then bear a greenish fruit about the size of a small tomato. The fruit are full of seeds. These “true seeds” can later be planted to[Read More…]

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Australian potato market opens up in Indonesia after trade discussions

Australian potato growers are winning new access to valuable Indonesian markets after a decade-long campaign opened the potential to export up to 85,000 tonnes of seed potatoes with a market value of some $110 million annually. A new agreement to take certified seed potatoes from South Australia and Victoria in Indonesia was made at recent trade discussions in Melbourne, following 10[Read More…]

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New potato processing plant to be built in Russia

The Smolensk region in Russia wants to develop the region’s economy, with a great emphasis on the development of the “Feniks” State Industrial Park. One of the investments that is going to be implemented in this Park is the project to build a plant for the processing of potatoes and the production of natural and modified starch. According to estimates this[Read More…]

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Dutch chips are a hit in South Korea

Phytosanitary rules stipulate that fresh potatoes and potato seeds may not be exported from the Netherlands to South Korea. Only a few regions in Japan, the USA, and Australia are allowed to send fresh potatoes to South Korea. Processed potatoes, such as chips can, however, be freely imported since they do not fall under these same phytosanitary rules. Dutch companies[Read More…]

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Has Calbee’s profit slump put PepsiCo partnership in balance?

Japanese snack giant Calbee posted a profit decline for its third quarter results for fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 due to sharp slowdown in North America, possibly putting its business partnership with PepsiCo on the line. Under the reigns of chairman and CEO Akira Matsumoto, Calbee has consistently posted double-digit profit growth since going public in 2011. However, according[Read More…]

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Farmers in Bengal trained to produce their own potato seed

In an effort towards making farmers produce potato seeds on their own and use them for cultivation, the West Bengal Agro Industries Corporation Ltd (WBAICL) is providing training to farmers at Simlapal in Bankura district of Bengal. The move by the state is aimed at stopping import of potato seed from Punjab, which is often of inferior quality. “We have[Read More…]

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Potato growers rejoice as Indonesia extends Australian seed potato access

The Indonesian market beckons for Australian seed potato farmers, after market access to the South East Asian nation was extended today (16 February Indonesian/Australian time). The deal paves the way for suppliers from Victoria and South Australia to commence trade immediately. “This is a fantastic result for farmers in these two states — as major seed potato producers — and builds on[Read More…]

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GMO potato can help Bangladeshi farmers cut pesticide use

Bangladesh is the world’s seventh-largest producer of potatoes. Most of the crop is grown by small-holder farmers. To help small-holder farmers, the Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership based at Michigan State University in the US, is using the tools of biotechnology to develop a genetically engineered potato resistant to late blight disease. The Partnership will develop and bring to market[Read More…]

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Aviko doubles french fry capacity in China

Aviko is considerably increasing the processing capacity of its chip (french fry) factory in Chabei, China. The installation of a new processing line more than doubles capacity, and amounts to more than 100,000 tonnes of fries per year. “The chip market is growing remarkably quickly in China,” Dick Zelhorst from Aviko Potato explains. “We want to take maximum advantage of that.[Read More…]

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China to review anti-dumping duties on EU potato starch following local concerns

China will review anti-dumping duties levied on potato starch imported from the EU, which are due to expire on Tuesday, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced on Monday. The review was requested by the China Starch Industry Association over concerns that domestic producers might suffer if the duties are scrapped. During the investigation, which will start on Tuesday and will probably last a year,[Read More…]

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China sending potatoes, weeds along with humans to the moon

Several countries across the world are currently eyeing earth’s celestial companion; among which China is one of the most promising contenders, planning to send not only astronauts. but also the eggs of silkworms, a tiny weed named Arabidopsis (rockcress), and potato plants to the moon by the end of the year. “The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide,[Read More…]

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India: Punjab to export potatoes to Russia and Middle East; eyeing Europe and the Americas also

Four months after farmers dumped potatoes on roads in some parts of the state, seeking remunerative price for the produce, the Punjab government has allowed the export of potatoes to Russia and the Middle East. The past few years have witnessed surplus production of potatoes in the state. This glut in production and no buyers due to demonetisation over the past[Read More…]

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