Africa: A new chapter in the story of the Irish Potato

The potato famine drove millions of Irish to starvation and across the Atlantic to America. Now, the American Irish can help to make the Irish potato the saviour of African farmers. Ireland and the United States will collaborate in a historic programme in Africa to make potato the great hunger-buster for small farmers. By 2020, one million potato farmers (equal to the number of Irish farmers in 1847) will be assisted through this programme to lift their communities out of hunger and poverty

Source: www.irishcentral.com

Australia: Potato chip business in financial trouble

A potato chip business owned by one of the country’s biggest potato farmers has been placed into administration. Potato Magic Australia, at Griffith in south-west New South Wales, was established by Paul Rennie, who farms north of the city at Hillston. Administrator PPB Advisory says the Griffith site has suffered a period of financial losses and it’s now trying to find a buyer for the business.

Source: www.abc.net.au

Namibia: Promoting local production of potatoes and onions

Potatoes and onions are commodities that are most frequently imported and consumed in Namibia. They also have the greatest potential for increased domestic production for import substitution. In order to stimulate potato and onion production in Namibia, and to promote sales of Namibian produced potatoes and onions, the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB), encouraged by the Potato and Onion Industry, introduced the Potato and Onion Scheme.

Source: www.newera.com.na

Another shipment of Egyptian potatoes blocked by Russia

In the port of Novorossiysk, representatives of the Rosselkhoznadzor (the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) detected a quarantine pest in another batch of Egyptian potatoes. The phytosanitary inspection, carried out by Rosselkhoznadzor state inspectors for Krasnodar Krai and the Republic of Adygea on 15 July 2014, blocked the shipment, weighing a total of 137.5 tonnes.

Source: www.freshplaza.com

Pakistan: Importing potatoes with zero duty

The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) on Thursday approved the summary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for extension in the date for the permission for the import of potatoes with zero duty. The ECC here under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar was also allowed the import of 100,000 metric tons of potatoes in addition to already approved 200,000 metric tons at zero duties; this extension will continue till November 15, 2014 when the new crop is expected.

Source: www.brecorder.com

US consumers are moving toward smaller-sized bags of fresh potatoes

New sales figures from the United States indicate that when it comes to bagged fresh potatoes, smaller package sizes are starting to sell big. Sales of bagged fresh potatoes under four pounds are up 17.8 percent from a year ago and a staggering 112 percent in the past ten years, according to data from AC Nielson Fresh Facts. “These new figures illustrate why retailers need to re-think their bagged fresh potato merchandising strategies with a greater emphasis on smaller package sizes.” says John Pope of Houston-based MountainKing Potatoes.

Source: potatopro.com

Vietnam: No carcinogens detected in snacks, KFC potato chips

The Department of Food Safety, Ministry of Health said they had not found carcinogens like acrylamide and PAHs in samples of snacks and KFC potato chips collected in Hanoi. The test was conducted after the Health Ministry received a warning from the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) on the discovery of a carcinogen called acrylamide which was found in snacks, coffee, potato chips, burnt toast, crisps and some fast food for kids.

Source: english.vietnamnet.vn

UK: Alternaria control in potatoes

Andrew Stilwell of distributor Bartholomews looks after a large area of potatoes and of that area he reckons that 60 to 70% are processing varieties prone to Alternaria infection. “It seems to have got worse in the last two years. Alternaria manifests itself later on in the season and we try to integrate blight fungicides with a mancozeb component in a protectant situation early on in the programme, in order to keep this disease at bay. But you really need at least 1500 gms a.i./ha to be effective.”

Source: www.farminguk.com

BioSafe Systems introduces complete potato storage protection programme

OxiPhos, a broad-spectrum bactericide/fungicide, is used to protect potatoes from pathogens such as Bacterial Soft Rot, Early Blight, Fusarium Tuber Rot, Silver Scurf, Pink Rot and Late Blight Tuber Rot.  OxiPhos is a green chemistry composed of phosphorous acid and activated peroxide that is proven to yield powerful results. HOLDit, a deposition aid, strengthens the performance of BioSafe’s peroxygen chemistries by creating a residual to allow a lengthier contact and kill time.

Source: www.potatobusiness.com

US: Spud leaders give GMO guarded endorsement

Leaders with the National Potato Council have taken a stance in favor of biotechnology, and U.S. Potato Board leaders are scheduled to vote on the issue soon. The National Potato Council’s board of directors has officially endorsed the safety and usefulness of genetically modified technology, as well as voluntary labeling of GMO products. But unofficially, industry leaders retain concerns about how companies advancing GMO potatoes, such as J.R. Simplot, will segregate their biotech tubers and how foreign markets will react.

Source: www.capitalpress.com