South, Central America

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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Argentina: Scientists develop non-browning potatoes using CRISPR gene editing

Researchers of the INTA [Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria], Balcarce, have edited the genome that causes enzymatic browning in potatoes, alters the nutritional properties and quality of the tubers. “We verified that we are capable of generating, within a potato cell, a gene editing machinery that specifically targets the chosen gene and changes its genetic sequence,” explained Sergio Feingold, director of[Read More…]

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The humble potato is exalted in the mountains of Peru

Native to the Andes in Peru and northwest Bolivia, potatoes were domesticated more than 10,000 years ago. And yet new varieties are being discovered all the time. Potato banks — like the one in the Pisac region of the Andes that stores seeds in a climate-controlled vault for 1,300 varieties of potatoes — are always searching for new varieties, as are[Read More…]

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Peru: Missed opportunities for native potatoes

Truth is that there are many Peruvian products with a huge potential that are being wasted due to a lack of organization. Agroindustrial engineer Ronald Rimari Barzola, a consultant in frozen agricultural exports who has a special interest in the development of the Peruvian native potato industry, recently spoke about such an opportunity. Some weeks ago, during a conference about agricultural development,[Read More…]

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Lay’s-PepsiCo sees ‘huge opportunities’ for premium potato chips in Argentina

While Argentina’s salted-snack consumption is low at one kilo per person compared with the nine kilos in the US in 2017, the market has plenty of potential, says Pablo García, general manager for foods at PepsiCo Argentina. Latin America’s southern cone, comprising Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, has large development when it comes to potato chips and the segment represents half of[Read More…]

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Andean potatoes take the world stage, but tough times lie ahead

For the first time in its history, the World Potato Congress will take place in Latin America, the “birthplace” of the potato. From May 27 to 31 of this year, hundreds of people from around the world will descend on Cusco, Peru, to attend the 10th annual event, organized by the not-for-profit World Potato Congress Inc. It’s timely, really, that the World[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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