Canary Islands reject Madrid’s potato import proposal

The Canary Islands have declined Madrid’s solution to the potato shortage caused by a poor harvest and a blockade on British imports due to a beetle outbreak. Madrid suggested importing from other UK regions, but this is hindered by protective agricultural regulations. The shortage has led to supply gaps and price surges. The delay in seed imports from the UK also threatens future harvests.

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Mixed emotions: Scottish seed potato exports to Northern Ireland to resume, but concerns over EU exports remain

Scottish seed potato exports to Northern Ireland will recommence on 30 September, a move welcomed by Gordon MP Richard Thomson. However, Thomson expressed concern over the UK Government’s lack of discussions about lifting the EU export ban since March. The SNP MP criticized the government’s handling of Brexit and its impact on Scottish producers, emphasizing the global reputation of Scottish seed potatoes and the need for restored export markets.

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Addressing potato wart: Prince Edward Island and industry officials to draft plan for ‘pest-free places’

The potato sector of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) is collaborating with federal officials to develop a “pest-free places of production” (PFPP) system. Federal Agriculture Minister and P.E.I. MP Lawrence MacAulay on Friday reported meeting with staff and representatives of the P.E.I. Potato Board, to discuss next steps in the face of new potato wart-related restrictions on the province’s crops since 2021.

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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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Scotland’s seed potato industry at a crossroads, calls for united front

Scotland’s renowned seed potato industry faces challenges, with only 186 registered growers remaining. A report from The Scottish Farmer emphasizes the need for unity and collaboration. The recent split from AHDB’s levy-backed services raises concerns about funding for essential research and market expansion. Experts stress the importance of global market penetration and representation at key trade events to ensure the sector’s sustainable future.

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CFIA potato wart probe finally over, but P.E.I. seed potato export ban continues

Nearly two years after the U.S. market was closed to Prince Edward Island potato sales, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has completed an investigation sparked by the detection of potato wart in two Island fields back in 2021. Over the course of the investigation, CFIA staff collected and analyzed nearly 50,000 soil samples from fields associated with those detections of the fungus, which disfigures potatoes and sharply reduces crop yield but is not harmful to humans. 

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Restrain’s new podcast series to offer valuable storage information for potato growers around the world

Restrain company has launched a new podcast series aimed at potato growers and storage managers. The series offers insights on ethylene storage, the Accumulator program, and ripening processes. Restrain, known for using ethylene gas to suppress sprouting in potatoes and onions, is expanding to the US and Canada. The first episode features a discussion on the benefits of Restrain’s unique Accumulator seed treatment for potato storage programs.

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Tanzania’s potato seed industry gets a boost from Dutch partnership

Tanzania and the Netherlands are collaborating to develop a vibrant potato seed sector in Tanzania. The partnership has led to the registration of 12 Dutch certified potato seed varieties, potentially increasing productivity. The government is creating a conducive environment for private sector involvement, addressing issues like postharvest losses, and launching guidelines for the avocado sector. The initiative aims to enhance food security and create business opportunities.

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HZPC Americas welcomes Eric Norton to its North American team

HZPC Americas Corp has welcomed Eric Norton, an experienced professional with over 15 years of expertise in seed production and variety development, to its North American team. Norton will work closely with licensed seed growers and dealers to ensure the success of new potato varieties in meeting the requirements of North American potato growers. This addition expands the HZPC Americas team to 8 members based in the United States and Canada.

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Collaboration provides 10,000 Ukrainian households with seed potatoes

Trading company IPM Potato Group LTD collaborated with IPM Holland BV, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), and the Irish Ministry of Agriculture to donate free bags of Dutch seed potatoes to 10,000 Ukrainian households at the beginning of the planting season. The initiative, conceived during a trip to Kenya, aimed to provide assistance to Ukraine. The donated seed potatoes have the potential to feed approximately 120,000 people based on harvest calculations.

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Changing the game: How True Potato Seed technology is reshaping agriculture in Kashmir

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.

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Elders and HarvestEye bringing greater efficiency and yields to Australian root crop growers

A new generation of agtech has landed for potato growers in Australia thanks to Elders and UK-based harvest insights system HarvestEye. Growers can now glean precise and detailed information about their produce in real time. Using a camera and machine learning algorithms, the system measures and counts a crop as it is being harvested. This produces a breakdown of size, count and relative yield through a field.

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Innovation in plant breeding: The promise of hybrid potatoes in enhancing sustainability, food security

A hybrid potato could help bolster global food security, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, according to a book presented at a mini-symposium in Wageningen. Funded by the NWO, the research project involved several institutes including Wageningen University & Research and Solynta. Hybrid seed can be produced faster, requires less material for planting, doesn’t carry diseases, and has longer storage potential. This could significantly impact potato yields in remote regions and respond swiftly to farmers’ needs.

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Potato innovation: Sprout AI cultivates first potato seed using its ‘fogponics’ system in Panama

Sprout AI Inc., in partnership with the Agriculture Innovation Institute of Panama (IDIAP), has successfully cultivated the first potato seed of the ‘Karú’ variety using its proprietary fogponics system in controlled environments in Panama. This breakthrough aims to replace imported potato seeds, predominantly from Germany, with domestic production, boosting Panama’s food security.

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‘Seeds of success’: HZPC UK acquires leading Scottish minituber producer, TLC Potatoes

HZPC UK, a member of the Royal HZPC Group, has acquired TLC Potatoes, a leading Scottish minituber producer, to strengthen its market position and secure the future of HZPC’s minituber production. This acquisition will enhance production capabilities, allow for faster introduction of new varieties, and benefit potato growers across Scotland, England, and Wales. Both companies share a commitment to innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction in the seed potato industry.

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Royal HZPC Group forecasts robust growth for 2022-2023 financial year

Royal HZPC Group projects an 11% increase in turnover and a gross margin of 66.5 million euros for the 2022-2023 financial year. Traded seed potatoes and licensed cultivation volumes are expected to grow significantly compared to last year. The company also expects EBITDA to rise by around 1 million euros. The company announced that HZPC UK acquired Scottish mini tuber producer TLC Potatoes Ltd, further expanding the company’s reach.

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‘It’s grim’: Prince Edward Island seed potato growers worry restrictions may shutter markets for good

Terry Curley believes it’s gone for good. The co-owner of Monaghan Farms in Summerfield on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) had built a successful seed potato operation, growing as many as 60 per cent of the varieties used in Canada by the Frito-Lay chip company. However, he worries the province’s seed potato sector could be a casualty of the 2021 bruising stoppage of potato shipments to the U.S., following a handful of detections of potato wart.

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Scottish seed potato exporters eye return to Northern Ireland and EU markets

The UK’s DEFRA has informed MP Richard Thomson that new requirements allowing quality Scottish seed potatoes back into Northern Irish markets are expected to be in place by autumn 2023. While this progress is welcomed, Scottish exporters still aim to resume exports to former EU and rest of Ireland markets, where progress remains limited. DEFRA Lord Benyon states in a letter that Following the agreement of the Windsor Framework, plants, seeds, and trees staying in the UK, including previously banned seed potatoes and other shrubs and plants, will be able to move from GB to NI as they do in the rest of the UK.

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P.E.I. Potato Board loses court battle over seed potato export ban

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board in Canada is claiming partial victory, after losing its court battle to lift the export ban on seed potatoes. The Federal Court of Canada has now issued a written decision, denying the potato board’s request for a judicial review. But the board said it did have some successes in court.

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Aid scheme deadline extended: Boost for Irish seed and chipping potato sectors

The closing date for the 2023 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Seed Potato Sector and the Chipping Sector has been extended. The scheme is intended to assist in the development of the seed potato sector and the chipping potato sector. While the seed potato sector has received aid from schemes of this type in the past, this new scheme has been extended in 2023 to include growers of Irish chipping potatoes.

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‘Steering towards a bright future’: HZPC Americas Corp. names new President

Today, HZPC Americas Corp. announced its new president, Aron Derbidge. Beginning May 1, 2023, Aron will step into the role to lead HZPC operations across the United States and Canada. Aron brings more than 20 years of experience in developing and marketing seed potatoes as well as supporting businesses in commercial growth across the U.S. and Canada. “I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to help advance an industry that has given me so much,” said Aron.

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Advancing seed potato technology in Pakistan: Aeroponics technology and the path to self-sufficiency

The Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and the Korean Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) recently held a media briefing on “Progress and Future Plans for Seed Potato Production through Aeroponics Technology.” The project aims to achieve higher productivity, reduce post-harvest losses, promote farm-level processing, develop human resources, and create significant job opportunities through an Aeroponic Potato Seed Production System.

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