US seed potatoes welcomed in foreign markets

Potatoes USA is apparantly breaking new ground in Senegal, Guatemala, Myanmar, and Morocco by introducing new U.S. seed potato varieties over the past two years. These foreign governments are assisting the effort by welcoming more U.S. seed stock in a variety of ways following our International Seed Potato Symposium and state visits this summer. (The Senegalese went to California, the Guatemalans to Washington/Oregon, the Moroccans to Idaho and the growers from Myanmar to Wisconsin.)  Within days of returning from the USA, Senegal’s National Horticulture Director announced a farm subsidy of up to 30% to defray growers cost to purchase U.S. seed potatoes.  In Myanmar, U.S. seed potatoes (and fresh) became the first American horticulture products to be approved under new phytosanitary requirements. 

Progress was also made in Guatemala which now allows U.S. seed (and fresh) imports from two additional U.S. states, bringing the total to seven; we strive to open access to all states. Meanwhile, Morocco agreed to permit a third year of U.S. seed potato variety trials while they review the U.S. application for permanent access that included input from our industry.  These market developments make our U.S. seed potatoes more affordable and more available to foreign buyers so our seed sales will grow and thrive, says Amy Burdett at Potaoes USA…(Many thanks to Ted Kreis of Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for sending us this report. Please send any potato news or classifieds to Ted at tkreis@nppga.org)