Seed

FAO distributes seed potatoes to vulnerable rural families in Ukraine

Working to safeguard the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable rural families in Ukraine, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has distributed seed potato kits to 17 740 households from across ten of the country’s oblasts so they can plant food in time for the next harvesting season. Some 46 000 people stand to benefit from the campaign.

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HZPC keeps profit expectations intact despite sales being affected by conflict in Ukraine

Despite the fact that the conflict in Ukraine is affecting HZPC’s sales, HZPC is keeping its profit forecast intact after three quarters in the 2021-2022 financial year. HZPC says it expects the volume of seed potatoes traded by HZPC and its licensees to reach a tonnage just above 900,000 tons, about the same as the tonnage in 2020-2021. For the entire fiscal year, HZPC expects to realize a turnover of 342 million euros (in 2020-2021 this was 314 million euros).

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UK: Warning of ‘grave risks’ from illegal potato imports

Urgent government action has been demanded to prevent illegally-imported potatoes bringing a “grave risk” of pests and diseases into East Anglia. Warnings were raised in a national farming magazine last month that 1,000 tonnes of “small ware” Agria potatoes have been imported as uncertified seed potatoes for spring planting in west Norfolk, south Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

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Seed banks: The last line of defense against a threatening global food crisis

As the risks from the climate crisis and global conflict increase, roughly 1,700 seed banks are increasingly considered a priceless resource that could one day prevent a worldwide food crisis, write Salomé Gómez-Upegui and Rita Liu in an extensive article published by The Guardian. One of these is the Potato Park, located in Pisac, Peru.

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Spud-tastic: New lab grows University of Idaho seed potato program

The health and success of Idaho’s staple crop is receiving renewed support with the launch of the new University of Idaho Seed Potato Germplasm Laboratory. As Emily Pearce reports for Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the $5.6 million lab opened its doors to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, complete with potato-themed desserts and guided tours of the new space.

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CIP – The quest for certified seed: Cameroon learns seed potato lessons from Kenya

Potato is an important food and nutritional security crop in sub-Saharan Africa. However, a quick look reveals a glaring challenge faced by farmers across the continent: limited access to quality seed potato. The situation is no different in Cameroon. But recent success in Kenya – supported by the International Potato Center (CIP) – holds great promise for Cameroon and other SSA countries.

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Not good news for Prince Edward Island seed potato industry on exports to the U.S.

Prince Edward Island potato farmers got a visit from the federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on Saturday, March 26, who told them seed potato growers will be waiting at least another year for good news on the reopening of the market for exports to the U.S. “…the market will not open this year, and probably not next year as well,” she said.

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Seed potato body to rise from ashes of AHDB

A meeting of Scottish seed potato growers in Forfar the past week has agreed to set up a co-op to represent the sector. As John Sleigh reports for The Scottish Farmer, the new body, which is as yet unnamed, aims to deliver four outcomes for the seed potato sector; support development of markets; secure economic and environmental sustainability; fund research, innovation and more.

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PepsiCo scraps Scottish seed potato exports to Russia

A deal to export 2,000t of Scottish seed potatoes to Russia has been scrapped by PepsiCo following criticism of the arrangement. As Ed Henderson reports for Farmers Weekly, the company said “a couple of lorries” had already left Scottish farms this week, but following discussion with growers, the decision had been made to stop future shipments.

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Scottish seed potato exporters told to ‘disinvest’ from Russia

Seed potato exporters have been told “very clearly” they should disinvest from Russia, a minister has said, following reports that 2000 tonnes of Scottish produce will be sent there. As Emer O’Toole reports for The National, Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said “We’ve led calls for businesses to disinvest from Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.”

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30 years of EUROPLANT Pflanzenzucht GmbH

In 2022 the Lueneburg-based company EUROPLANT Pflanzenzucht GmbH celebrates its 30th anniversary. The EUROPLANT Group currently has more than 250 employees. It sells worldwide about 260,000 tonnes of seed potatoes, and 145,000 tonnes on the German market.

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Scotland could follow Canadian seed potato route for farming

While repeated negotiations over the resumption of seed potato exports from the UK to the EU has made little headway, a leading civil servant told delegates there was another avenue to be explored. Professor Gerry Saddler, Scotland’s chief plant health officer, told Scottish Agronomy’s annual conference in Perth that an arrangement which allows limited amounts of Canadian seed potatoes into the EU could form a template for a Scottish deal.

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UK government unlocks international deal for Scottish seed potato industry

Central Plains Group (CPG), a Scottish-based farming company, has boosted exports of specialist agricultural equipment and potato seeds after receiving a £2.2 million package from UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Credit Agricole. CPG is now harvesting 40,000 tonnes of potatoes in its operations in Ukraine thanks to the deal and can fulfil several multimillion-pound contracts across Eastern Europe.

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Irish firm aiming to help seed potato industry grow

A Kilkenny company specialising in clean plant technology is aiming to help develop and grow the Irish seed potato industry. As a result of Brexit, the EU has banned the importation of seed potato from the UK to Ireland under its plant health legislation. Last year, FitzGerald Nurseries was certified by the DAFM to produce pre-basic tissue culture mini tubers.

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Conference: Poor infrastructure a blow to Scottish seed potato exports

Scotland is particularly poorly served by the low standards of export facilities available at the country’s ports – its sub-standard transport and supply chain logistics have added to an already difficult situation for the country’s seed potato industry. This lack of comparable facilities and network infrastructure to those enjoyed by the competition in Holland and other European countries has stymied efforts to make good the loss of EU markets.

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Scottish seed potatoes rejected by Egypt, industry ponders risks of international trade

A valuable cargo of premium Scottish seed potatoes has reportedly been turned back from Egypt, at a cost traders estimate to be in the region of £1.5 million. It is understood 1,500 tonnes of Hermes seed potatoes from five or six suppliers is currently in limbo in Alexandria, after the load was rejected by Egyptian authorities because it failed to meet a December export deadline by one day.

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Growers in England and Wales allowed to import Dutch seed potatoes

Growers of ware potatoes in England and Wales are allowed to import seed potatoes directly from the Netherlands. At the request of the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO), the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has investigated the possibilities for exporting Dutch seed potatoes to the United Kingdom.

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Scottish National Party MPs back Scottish seed potato growers, slam Brexit red tape

Three Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs have written to the UK Government and the EU Vice-President urging both sides to remove Brexit-induced barriers regarding the export of Scottish seed potatoes to the European Union. They represent constituencies containing significant farming communities and have echoed the concerns of their constituents and NFU Scotland over the continuing obstacles farmers face in exporting seed potatoes because of Brexit.

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Canada’s Québec Parmentier acquires large-scale seed potato producer

Canadian potato company Québec Parmentier announced the acquisition of Ferme G. G. & A. Montminy, a renowned and large-scale seed potato producer located in the Péribonka region of Quebec. Being located in a ‘Protected Cultivation Zone’ gives it an undeniable advantage in terms of the quality of the seed potatoes produced. Pierre Chouinard, Chief Executive Officer of Québec Parmentier says the announcement marks a turning point in the history of Québec Parmentier.

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Korea’s E Green Global is using cell ag to change the way the world grows potatoes

When we hear the term ‘cellular agriculture’ these days, our minds typically wander to the production of cultivated meat and dairy. But similar techniques also have a part to play in growing fruits, vegetables, and other crops, writes Jack Ellis in an article published by AgFunder Network news. Ellis writes that South Korea’s E Green Global is starting out by creating potato seedlings from tissue cultures in the lab, and hopes to replicate the method with other crops in the near future.

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Technico Agri Sciences certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’

Technico Agri Sciences Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Limited, is now a Great Place to Work-Certified company by the Great Place to Work Institute. The Certification is recognized around the world by employees and employers alike and is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ in identifying and recognizing Great Workplace Cultures.

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