US and Indonesia sign market access agreement for US fresh potatoes

Related imageOn June 5, the United States and Indonesia reached a market access agreement that will allow U.S. fresh potatoes to be exported to Indonesia under a defined set of phytosanitary requirements. The agreement comes after four years of discussions and will include both U.S. chipping potatoes for further processing and table-stock potatoes for direct consumption. Potatoes produced in all U.S. states are included in the agreement. U.S. potato growers and exporters will need to follow the requirements in the protocol to ensure Indonesia’s quarantine security, according to a June 12 press release issued by Potatoes USA. This includes growing from certified seed potatoes, taking actions to address any potential pests of concern, and sprout inhibiting the potatoes prior to export. Importers in Indonesia will be required to obtain an import permit prior to export. Indonesia is a market of 261 million people and is the largest market in Southeast Asia to which U.S. fresh potatoes had not previously secured formal market access. Read more

Mission accomplished: Kiremko signs agreement with Indian potato fry processor

Image result for kiremkoDuring a recent Dutch trade mission to India, potato processing equipment manufacturer Kiremko signed a deal with Hyfun Foods, a potato processor headquartered in Mumbai, India. Dutch based Kiremko’s Director, Paul Oosterlaken, and the CEO of Hyfun Foods, Haresh Karamchandani, signed a contract for a potato fry line with a capacity of six tonnes of frozen french fries per hour. Accompanied by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Kiremko joined a delegation of 131 Dutch companies that visited Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore during the 4 day trade mission to India from May 22 to 25, 2018. Kiremko is fully dedicated to the potato processing industry, active worldwide with an exclusive network of local offices in Russia, India, China and exclusive agents elsewhere. Kiremko designs, manufactures and installs complete processing lines, factory upgrades and capacity expansions, as well as stand-alone equipment. The company recently produced developed a new corporate movie, showing details about the company’s activities – the movie can be viewed on YouTube. (Source: Kiremko)

Dutch experts help Indonesia deal with potato pests

Potato cultivation in the highlands of Indonesia is plagued by a number of pests, including Potato Cyst Nematodes and Phytophthora infestans. Dutch experts are now helping their Indonesian counterparts to find the right approach to control these potato pests. In order to further study, best impede and conquer the spread of the PCN, the Agriculture Quarantine Agency (AQA) of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture through the Agriculture Department of the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta collaborates with the Netherlands government (NVWA and NAK) to conduct a specific training on Detection and Identification of Potato Cysts Nematodes. The Training took place in two cities of East Java Province in Indonesia, Batu and Surabaya on 30 April 2018 – 04 May 2018. Nematology experts from the Netherlands, Mr. Jan Luimes (NAK), Mr. Mario van Sabben and Mr. Jos van Meggelen (NVWA) advised on measures to control Potato Cyst Nematode and Phytophthora in the potato sector in Indonesia. Read more

Tolsma-Grisnich secures order for potato packaging line in China

Equipment manufacturer Tolsma-Grisnich participated in a Dutch trade mission to China during April of this year. One of the highlights of the trip for Tolsma-Grisnich was the signing of an order for a 30 tonnes per hour potato packaging line with Heilongjiang (Keshan) Fumin Agriculture Development Co. Ltd. This business is located in the north-eastern part of China, where local authorities are determined to increase potato production and to add more value to potato crops. Tolsma-Grisnich has been operating successfully on the Chinese market for more than 25 years. The company shares an office in Beijing with potato processing equipment manufacturer Kiremko, which ensures support in terms of marketing, sales and service. The packaging line is designed in such a way that it can be further extended in future to process, for example, cut and puréed potato products. (Source: Tolsma-Grisnich)

Russia lifts ban on Egyptian potato exports from 8 regions

Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Tariq Qabeel said that the Russian authorities have agreed to lift the ban on Egypt exports of potatoes from 8 agricultural areas and to allow the export of these crops starting from June 6. The minister said in a statement on Saturday that the decision comes as a culmination of the negotiations held in Russia on the sidelines of the activities of the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee held in Moscow in late May. During the meeting, officials discussed the technical problems that hinder the process of agricultural exports and imports between the two countries, including potatoes. The statement said that the Federal Veterinary And Phytosanitary Monitoring Service of Russia reviewed the procedures for the cultivation and export of Egyptian potatoes assuring that they meet the requirements and specifications of Russian authorities. Read more

Grimme opens new €13 million machinery factory in China

In front of guests and the staff of Grimme China, Franz, Christine and Christoph Grimme have opened a new manufacturing plant in Tianjin. According to the manufacturer, best known here in Ireland for its potato-related equipment, the new 12,500m² facility is “state-of-the-art”. Tianjin is located approximately 130km south-east of Beijing – China’s massive capital city. The development includes a new 1,400m² office building; it’s all situated on a 3.5ha site. Initially, the production focus will be on machines for planting, cultivating, harvesting and storage of potatoes that have been specially developed for the Chinese market. More

Belgapom reacts to a potential fries boycott by Russia

Related imageThere might be a Russian boycott on European fries. In response, Romain Cools said closing the borders is purely a form of protectionism.  He is from Belgapom, the Belgian potato trade and processing industry Association. “Russia has been trying to get their potato cultivation on track for years now. The average yield has, however, remained low. For a competitive production of fries, it is essential to have constant, profitable potato production and storage. Russia has been investing in this for years. Despite this, the continental climate and specificity of the agricultural sector have caused problems”, he said. “The effect of the possible boycott on the Belgian potato chain looks to be very limited to me. This is in contrast to the Dutch market. There is also a chance that competition on the European and world markets may become fiercer. More

Grimme opens potato equipment production plant in China

Equipment manufacturer Grimme inaugurated its new factory in Tjanjin, ChinaFranz, Christine und Christoph Grimme recently inaugurated the modern Grimme plant in Tianjin, China. With an investment in excess of ‎€ 13 million (USD 15.7 million) GRIMME China is the largest single investment in the 150-year history of the company outside of Germany. Initially the production will be focused on a range of equipment for potato cultivation developed specifically for the Chinese market. This includes planters, harvesters and equipment to store the harvested potatoes. With more than 5 million hectares of potatoes grown each year, China is the largest potato producer worldwide and has seen very rapid developments in recent years. The Chinese Government declared the potato one of the four most important staple foods and plans a massive expansion of the production of potatoes. (Source: Grimme) 

Advanced ICT technology applied at potato farms in South Korea

It is expected that potato farmers in South Korea will see their income and productivity improving through the application of advanced Information and Communications (ICT) solutions, establishing “smart” farms. SK Telecom, Orion and SMARF signed a business agreement at the Orion potato contract farm in Gyeongbuk province on April 25th to provide ‘intelligent irrigation and water management solutions to potato farms that have been unable to apply smart farm technology. The intelligent irrigation and water management solution is a smart farm technology developed by SK Telecom. Utilizing the Information of Things (IoT) platform, it analyzes real-time information such as temperature, humidity, and precipitation, necessary for growing crops, and automatically calculates the required water and nutrients. In addition, by allowing remote control with the use of mobile devices, workers’ jobs should become considerably easier. More

Belaya Dacha Group and Lamb Weston / Meijer potato processing plant opened in Russia

Yesterday, a new potato processing plant was officially opened in Russia’s Lipetsk region, south of Moscow. This first Russian large-scale french fries production facility was built by a Joint Venture project of the Russian Belaya Dacha Group and Dutch based processor Lamb Weston / Meijer. The construction of the plant was subsidized by the Russian State Program for Agriculture Development. Local production of frozen french fries is said to be ensured and key customers can be supported in the rapidly growing Russian market. During the opening, the Minister highlighted the importance of this production facility, as it is another step towards meeting the Russian food demand through local production. The total investment amounted to 115 million Euros. By the end of 2019, the plant is expected to reach full capacity and process approximately 200 thousand tons of potatoes per year. More

McDonald’s Russia turns to local fries from new processing plant, citing Western sanction woes

Related imageFrench fries at McDonald’s restaurants from Moscow to Murmansk will be Russian from now on, as the American fast-food chain turns to homegrown potatoes to deal with ruble volatility caused by fluctuating oil prices and Western sanctions. McDonald’s Corp, which opened in Russia in 1990 as the Soviet Union collapsed, has been gradually turning to local ingredients in its Russian outlets for everything from Big Macs to chicken burgers since it opened its doors there. But till now it had relied on frozen French fries from the Netherlands and Poland as Russian spuds weren’t quite right. Now a new plant near Lipetsk, a city 450 km (280 miles) south of Moscow, using potatoes grown on local farms will supply frozen fries to the chain of 651 outlets across Russia under a long-term contract, raising the share of the chain’s locally sourced products to 98 per cent. Globe and Mail report. Reuters report

Maine Potato Board monitoring U.S.-China trade disputes

Photo / Mainebiz archivesThe Maine Potato Board is keeping a close watch on trade disputes between the United States and China, which is one of the top five export markets for U.S. potato products. The County reported the board is concerned about the possibility of potatoes becoming subject to tariffs if the trade dispute between China and the U.S. extends beyond China’s announced plans to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion of U.S. goods that include soybeans, aircraft and automobiles. Maine Potato Board Executive Director Don Flannery told The County that although potatoes haven’t been mentioned as a possible target of Chinese tariffs, “our product could be on the list at any time.” Maine potato farmers harvested 48,500 acres in 2017, with sales exceeding $162.3 million. “China does import a number of potatoes because they are an alternative to rice,” Flannery told the newspaper. With worldwide trade in potatoes and potato products averaging 8% annual growth, there remains significant opportunities for U.S. exports to continue to grow, according to a USPB news release. More

China aims to be first nation to grow potatoes and silkworm on the Moon

The Soviet Republic was the first country to send a man into outer space. The US landed the first man on the Moon. Now, China wants to check its first as well: they want to grow plants, including potatoes, and silkworm on the Moon. According to a recent announcement, seeds of potatoes and Arabidopsis — a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, often used in research — will be planted on the Moon. Along with silkworm cocoons, the seeds will be launched with the Chang’e-4 moon lander and rover. China’s first probe to the far side of the Moon is currently scheduled for December. The seeds will be placed inside a cylindrical tin made from a special aluminum alloy. The tin is 18 cm tall, with a diameter of 16 cm, a net volume of 0.8 liters and a weight of 3 kilograms. It also contains water, air, and a special nutrient mixture, as well as a camera and a data transmission system. If everything goes according to plan, the seeds will be planted, they will grow and blossom and the entire process will be captured on camera. (Source: ZME Science)

Canadian breeder brought botanical potato seed to China for variety now worth billions in benefits

Junhong Qin, Research Assistant, CIP, surveys a local potato farmer.In the mid 1980’s, potato breeder and grower Peter VanderZaag, based in Ontario, Canada brought the botanical seed of the Cooperation-88 (C88) potato variety to Yunnan province in China. The C88 variety developed from that seed eventually became one of the most important potato varieties in Asia and it ended up being grown on 1 million acres (200,000 ha) of land annually. The estimated present value of benefits from planting C88 in Yunnan ranges from a low of US$ 2.84 billion to a high of US$ 3.73 billion. In a recent report published by the CGIAR, the impacts of this variety, developed by CIP in partnership with Chinese researchers, is assessed. It is said that tremendous benefits have been generated by the variety – and are still accruing. Starting in the mid-1980s, in response to the devastating effects of late blight, the International Potato Center (CIP) and Yunnan Normal University collaborated to develop the Cooperation-88 (C88) as a late blight resistant variety. C88 was officially released in 2001 and quickly became popular. Its success was attributed to its high yield, high quality, and good taste, in addition to late blight resistance. Read full report

Late blight scare: Migrant European pathogen generated aggressive new variants in India, not yet found elsewhere globally

Image result for potato late blight indiaAn international team of scientists from several countries including India, the UK and the US examined the population structure of the Phytophthora infestans pathogen that caused the 2013–14 late blight epidemic in eastern and northeastern India. Their findings were published online recently in the journal Nature.The data provide new baseline information for populations of Pinfestans in India. It was found that a migrant European 13_A2 genotype was responsible for the 2013–14 epidemic, replacing the existing populations. Mutations have generated substantial sub-clonal variation of which 19 were unique variants not yet reported elsewhere globally. The new A2 population is aggressive and has displaced the former populations. The pathogen is resistant to the fungicide metalaxyl, a commonly used fungicide Continue reading