Asia, India, China, Middle East

FPS Food Process Solutions opens India office in heart of commercial sector

FPS Food Process Solutions has expanded its global presence by opening a new office in Ambli, Ahmedabad, India, enhancing service capabilities like sales, parts, and retrofitting. This office makes FPS a comprehensive hub in a key commercial zone. FPS, with its acquisitions and partnerships, positions itself as a one-stop shop, especially in the French Fry/Specialty potato processing industry. This move is part of FPS’s strategy to strengthen its footprint and offer integrated solutions from start to finish.

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Indian agricultural scientists develop innovative, eco-friendly wind operated insect trap to enhance pest control

Scientists at ICAR-CPRI in Shimla, led by Dr. Kapil Kumar Sharma, have developed an innovative wind-operated aerial insect trap, which has the potential to revolutionize pest management in agriculture worldwide. This versatile and eco-friendly device addresses gaps in Integrated Pest Management by providing real-time, accurate data on insect populations. With the ability to function without electricity and collect diverse insect samples for analysis, the invention has secured a patent in India and looks to foster global collaborative research and commercial production through partnerships.

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HyFun Foods appoints industry veteran to spearhead sustainable fresh produce initiative, HyFarm

HyFun Foods appoints Soundararadjane S as CEO of HyFarm, an initiative focusing on sustainable agriculture and empowering Indian farmers. Soundararadjane’s 30 years of experience and strategic vision for scaling sustainable practices aim to revamp the fresh produce sector. HyFarm will innovate the supply chain, use regenerative agriculture, and expand to 30,000 farmers by 2030. Leveraging partnerships and connecting with global markets, HyFun Foods also plans to diversify beyond potatoes into other vegetable exports.

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‘Milky tuber tale’: Molecular farming startup to produce dairy proteins in potatoes

Finally Foods, an Israeli startup, has debuted with pre-seed funding, producing dairy proteins in potatoes through molecular farming. The founders, former Evogene VP Basia J. Vinocur and Dafna Gabbay, are building a B2B ingredient company, not a consumer brand. With funding from The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, the focus is on protein systems and partnerships for initial scaling in Israel, aiming for future US regulatory approval.

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PoLoPo unveils SuperAA platform: A protein biofactory in a potato

PoLoPo introduced the SuperAA platform, turning potatoes into micro-biofactories for protein production—patatin and egg protein ovalbumin. Utilizing potatoes’ growth advantages, the platform promises economical and sustainable solutions for the food system, offering ingredients for a range of food products. With significant market potential, PoLoPo has already garnered awards and seed funding, signaling upcoming industry tests for their innovative proteins.

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‘Scent of a fry’: McDonald’s Japan launches limited-edition french fry perfumes

McDonald’s Japan has unveiled a limited-edition perfume collection inspired by their iconic fries, with aromas like plum nori seaweed salt, and garlic black pepper mayo. The inventive packaging resembles McDonald’s distinctive fry boxes. Announced on their social media, this release adds to their history of unique collaborations, extending their food legacy into fragrance.

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FAO: Every day, more and more people in Gaza are on the brink of famine-like conditions

Conflict leads to humanitarian crises and increased hunger, as observed by the FAO. Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol reports on FAO’s efforts in Gaza, Sudan, and Ukraine to combat malnutrition and restore agriculture. The FAO faces unprecedented acute food insecurity in Gaza, with 25% of people nearing famine. Solutions to conflict are needed urgently as people’s access to food, water, and medical services decreases daily.

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India farmers’ protest: Tear gas fired as thousands march on fortress Delhi

In northern India, police used tear gas against farmers protesting for minimum crop prices and marching towards Delhi. The city was fortified to prevent unrest similar to 2020’s fatal protests, which resulted in the repeal of controversial laws. Farmers demand the government honor promises of establishing guaranteed floor prices and doubling their income, prompting over 200 unions to join the march and plan a countrywide rural strike on February 16.

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Groundbreaking potato virus detection technology emerges from China’s Sichuan province

Western (Chongqing) Science City has introduced a Potato Seed Virus Nano Microsphere Immunoassay Rapid Diagnostic Kit, designed by Professor Lyu Dianqiu’s team. This significant development offers quick, efficient diagnosis of potato viruses, delivering results in 5 minutes, including for PVX and PVY – far faster than old methods. With high sensitivity and cost-effectiveness, it’s suited for field use, boosting potato quality and yields in China’s major potato region. The kit has reached international markets, aiding Belt and Road Initiative countries.

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Spuds in space: China’s pioneering mission to harness cosmic qualities for superior potatoes

Scientists in China have initiated a pioneering project in agriculture by cultivating over 60,000 potato seeds that spent five months in space. These seeds, brought back by the Shenzhou XVI space mission, are being nurtured at the Shangdu Potato Technology Innovation Center in Inner Mongolia. Using advanced techniques like CRISPR, researchers aim to enhance traits such as disease resistance and salt-alkali tolerance.

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High Court in India upholds PepsiCo’s patent claim for potato variety used in Lay’s chips

The Delhi High Court upheld PepsiCo’s patent claim for the potato variety used in Lay’s chips. The decision overturned a previous order revoking the patent. PepsiCo had challenged the revocation under the 2001 Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act. The court directed the restoration of PepsiCo’s renewal application to the Registrar for further processing, setting aside the previous order.

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How zero tillage potato cultivation is empowering women and transforming lives in Bangladesh

The International Potato Center has introduced a groundbreaking method for potato cultivation in coastal Bangladesh: zero tillage using rice straw mulch. This innovative technique addresses environmental challenges, promotes economic growth, women’s empowerment, and improved rural livelihoods. By recycling straw as mulch and not disturbing soil structure, the method enhances soil fertility, reduces carbon emissions, and allows for saline-tolerant potato cultivation, leading to increased agricultural productivity in challenging environments.

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China’s advanced potato cultivation technology sows seeds of growth for BRI nations

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.

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Lamb Weston opens state-of-the-art potato processing plant in China’s ‘Potato Capital’

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.

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From the Andes to China: British scientist ‘grows’ potatoes at the foot of the Great Wall

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.

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How biofortified potatoes can become a game-changer in the battle against anemia of children

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.

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The CRISPR/Cas genome editing system and its application in potatoes

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.

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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.

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‘Beyond salty challenges’: The future of potato production in salt-affected regions

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.

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Kiremko: Unveiling sustainable potato processing opportunities in India

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.

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U.S. seeks expanded potato trade with Japan: Key discussions ahead

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.

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Chinese investors eye potato seed production, by-products in Pakistan

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.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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