China’s potato cultivation research has brought significant benefits to Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries. This project involves academic exchanges, collaborative research, and technology transfer, aiming to improve potato yields and ensure food security. It represents a part of China’s efforts to strengthen ties with BRI nations through sustainable agricultural development, showcasing the practical advantages of international cooperation within the BRI framework.
Asia, India, China, Middle East
Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. celebrated the inauguration of its new $250 million potato processing facility in Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia, known as China’s Potato Capital. This state-of-the-art plant is expected to produce 250 million pounds of frozen potato products per year, enhancing the company’s ability to satisfy increasing regional demand. The facility, which adheres to Lamb Weston’s high standards for safety and sustainability, will create over 240 local jobs. President and CEO Tom Werner highlighted the investment as a testament to the company’s growth strategy in China.
At the foot of the Badaling Great Wall in Beijing, British scientist Philip Kear is cultivating disease-resistant potatoes within the greenhouse of the China Center for Asia and the Pacific (CCCAP) of the International Potato Center (CIP). Kear aims to enhance potato productivity in China and globally. The initiative also seeks to identify genes resistant to various diseases, fostering international cooperation to combat challenges like potato late blight.
Hugo Campos, roots, tubers and banana breeding lead at CGIAR, discusses the global challenge of anemia, especially in children, in a recent article published by The Des Moines Register. Highlighting the higher prevalence in low-income countries, Campos emphasizes the potential of biofortification. The International Potato Center’s development of iron-enriched potatoes aims to combat anemia. These potatoes can provide essential iron, especially in regions with high potato consumption. This innovation offers a sustainable solution to address iron deficiencies and improve global health.
Researchers from Shandong Agricultural University in China have published a paper on the applications of the CRISPR/Cas system in potato breeding. The paper highlights the advantages of CRISPR/Cas over older technologies, emphasizing its simplicity and efficiency. Potatoes, being the third most consumed food globally, can benefit from this technology to improve yield, quality, and stress resistance. The CRISPR/Cas system has been used to address challenges like late blight resistance, enzymatic browning, and enhancing nutritional quality.
World Potato Congress celebrates and highlights potato production breakthroughs in several countries
The World Potato Congress (WPC) highlights global potato industry successes on its website. For example, In Kenya, the potato sector is evolving with increased mechanization, leading to higher yields and reduced losses. In Uganda’s Zombo District, collaborative efforts have introduced advanced agricultural practices, benefiting small-scale farmers. These stories along with others from countries like Ethiopia, the Philippines and Yemen, underscore the importance of collaboration, innovation, and knowledge-sharing in the potato industry.
Researchers at Northeastern Agricultural University in Harbin, China, examined the distribution and growth of potatoes in salt-affected regions. Potatoes face challenges in saline soils, impacting growth and yield. Salinization affects over half of the world’s cropland, leading to significant economic losses. Salt stress in potatoes results in reduced quality and yield. Advances in potato genome research have identified genes and pathways related to salt tolerance. The study emphasizes the need for salt-tolerant potato varieties, especially in regions with saline-alkali conditions.
Kiremko, a leader in potato processing, strengthens ties between India and the Netherlands through sustainable practices and innovation. During the Dutch trade mission to India, Kiremko formed key partnerships, notably with Asandas and Haldiram/SK International, both for flake lines with a 2,400 kg/hr capacity. These collaborations aim to revolutionize potato processing in India, emphasizing Kiremko’s commitment to sustainability and customer satisfaction.
During the U.S.-Japan bilateral talks from September 25-29, the U.S. potato sector, spearheaded by National Potato Council’s CEO Kam Quarles, will push for broader access to Japan’s fresh potato market. Although the U.S. has exported chipping potatoes to Japan since 2006, there’s a drive to expand into the overall fresh potato segment, which could yield an additional $150-$200 million in yearly exports. This initiative has bipartisan backing from Congress.
Pakistan’s potato production soared to 7.937 million tonnes in FY22 from 5.873 million tonnes in FY21, up 35 percent as the devastating floods left Punjab, the potato hub, mostly unscathed. Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Moazzam Ghurki on Wednesday said Pakistan could be among the largest exporters of potato. PCJCCI Senior Vice President Fang Yulong said that Pakistani and Chinese enterprises have been working tirelessly to find opportunities for cooperation in this sector.
DJI Agriculture has released its 2022/23 Insight Report, revealing a surge in the adoption of drone technology in global farming practices. The report covers advancements in drone applications, policy trends, and best practices. It emphasizes the role of drones in enhancing food security and environmental sustainability. DJI operates in more than 100 countries.
The global frozen potato market is projected to grow from $60.30 Billion in 2021 to $92.70 Billion by 2031, driven by rising disposable incomes, especially in emerging economies. China’s increasing purchasing power and the expansion of fast-food chains in Latin America play significant roles. However, developed countries are witnessing a shift towards healthier food alternatives. The growth of quick-service restaurants offering budget-friendly frozen potato options further propels the market.
Snack brand Potato Corner, known for its flavored french fries and a favorite among many Filipinos, recently faced backlash online due to a controversial job posting. The posting, which circulated on social media, listed requirements for a service crew position that many netizens deemed excessive, as Jhen G. Lim reports for Philippine News. Notably, the criteria focused heavily on physical appearance,[Read More…]
The James Hutton Institute in the UK warns of falling behind in potato sustainability research, emphasizing the need to adopt new technologies. China’s significant advancements in potato science, positioning it as a food security staple, could overshadow the UK. As growers are urged to reduce chemical use, innovative solutions like electrical crop treatments emerge. Additionally, post-Brexit political challenges affect the UK’s seed potato exports, primarily from Scotland.
‘From Struggle to Success’: India’s HyFun Foods transforms Gujarat’s potato farming landscape, elevating livelihoods of farmers
Indian potato processor HyFun Foods has significantly improved the lives of over 4,000 Gujarat farmers through contract farming. Previously challenged by low potato prices, these farmers now see substantial profits. HyFun, established in 2015, champions quality in the frozen food sector and is set to launch Farmoji, an app enhancing agribusiness connectivity. The company’s global footprint spans 40 countries, emphasizing farmer empowerment and product excellence.
Calbee, Asia’s leading potato chip producer, faced a significant potato shortage due to weather and supply chain issues. This prompted multiple price hikes and a reevaluation of sourcing methods. As the company plans a $1 billion global expansion, it’s working with Japanese farmers to boost domestic supply and diversifying imports. The crisis highlights the importance of supply chain resilience. Based on content by Michelle Toh, CNN.
The Delhi High Court upheld a decision to revoke PepsiCo India’s intellectual property protection for a potato variety, FL 2027, used in its Lay’s chips. The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA) had earlier revoked the registration, citing PepsiCo’s incorrect application for the potato as a “new variety” despite it being commercialized in India in 2009. The court found that PepsiCo had failed the test of novelty required for a “new variety”.
The World Potato Congress has appointed Jianmin Xie as an International Advisor. Xie, who is the Director of the CIP-China Center for Asia and the Pacific, will contribute to advancing the understanding of potatoes in this region. With over 30 years of experience in agriculture and rural development, Xie will lead research and innovation strategies, oversee fundraising, and ensure impactful research delivery. The WPC community looks forward to working with Xie for the upcoming 12th World Potato Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
Potato Corner, known to have some of the best flavored French Fries in the world, is planning to expand to Hawaii with its first location in Waipahu, as Duane Shimogawa reports for KITV4. Potato Corner, which first opened in the Philippines, expanded to the U.S. in 2010 with a location in California. The restaurant chain has grown to include more than 1,000 locations across 11 countries.
Lay’s, a PepsiCo brand, is set to manufacture its potato chips in Bangladesh in partnership with Transcom Consumer Products Ltd. The initiative, “Lay’s Make in Bangladesh”, was launched at a Bogura plant. Lay’s aims to procure 10,000 tonnes of chip-grade potatoes from local farmers, creating employment opportunities and stimulating the local economy.
Potato production in mulch is currently being promoted and refined by CIP in India and Bangladesh. It is an innovative potato production approach, proving popular with farmers. Seed potatoes are laid directly onto untilled soil and covered with leftover straw mulch from the rice harvest. The potatoes are ready in about three months in time for the next crop to be planted. It boosts food security by enabling an additional crop to be cultivated in the gap between rice harvests, and as they can harvest earlier, farmers can get more money at the market.
Irshad Ahmad Dar, a farmer from Pulwama, South Kashmir, has successfully cultivated a potato crop using True Potato Seed (TPS) technology, guided by scientists from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology Kashmir. Suitable for high-altitude areas, TPS involves growing potatoes from seeds, not tubers. The process yields “mini tubers”, which can be replanted to produce regular potatoes. The scientists have developed several high-quality hybrid varieties using TPS, some recommended to the All India Coordinated Project on Potato and local farmers.
India’s Bizz Corporation boosts production volumes, quality with TOMRA’s innovative potato processing solutions
India’s Bizz Corporation, known for its ChillFill brand of French fries and specialty foods, has implemented TOMRA Food’s steam peeling and sorting solutions to accommodate rising demand. The TOMRA 5B sorter and Orbit Steam Peeler have significantly improved efficiencies and reduced food losses at their Morbi plant.
PepsiCo India and agricultural cloud platform CropIn launched a crop intelligence platform aimed at monitoring and optimising potato crop yields, using mobile dashboard apps. The scheme benefits farmers with small landholdings who oftentimes lack the resources to monitor the proper use of water and fertilisers as well as to evaluate pesticide use. The platform combines satellite imagery and remote sensing data to offer farmers a 360-degree view of their crop.