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10th World Potato Congress

The 10th World Potato Congress goes May 27-31 in Cusco, Peru, the first time the Congress will be held in South America. The 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) and the XXVIII Latin American Potato Association (ALAP) Congress is the industry’s most important scientific event worldwide. It is an excellent showcase to promote the sustainable use of potato biodiversity (with a focus on native varieties), including how to differentiate it on the market…

First large-scale French Fries production plant in Russia inaugurated

A new potato processing plant was officially opened in Lipetsk, Russia, in late April. This first Russian large-scale French fries production facility was built through a joint venture of the Russian Belaya Dacha Group and Lamb Weston/Meijer. The construction of the plant was subsidized by the Russian State Program for Agriculture Development. According to Ivan Lebedev, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the facility is another step…

Europe to impose near-total ban on neonicotinoids

EU member states have voted in favour of a total outdoor ban on three neonicotinoid pesticides that was proposed by the European commission. The use of clothianidin, imidaclroprid and thiamethoxam across the EU has been restricted to non-flowering crops since 2013 over concerns they were harming bees and other insect pollinators. The new ban goes much further, completely prohibiting their use outdoors. Farmers will still be able to use them inside greenhouses….

McDonald’s turns to local potatoes in Russia as U.S. sanctions impact the ruble

French 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…

Europatat 2018 Congress

Europatat is the European Potato Trade Association. It gathers national associations and companies involved in the trade of seed potatoes and ware potatoes from all over Europe. Initially set up in 1952 by national associations to protect the interests of the wholesale potato merchants, its membership now counts over 30 associations and companies. In order to create a meeting for all potato professionals on the edge of a new potato season, Europatat…

Peru Prepares to Host World Potato Congress

More than 800 delegates are expected to attend the 10th World Potato Congress (WPC) May 27 to 31 in Cusco, the historic city in southwestern Peru that was once capital of the Inca Empire. The event, which will showcase the origins of the potato in the South America’s Andean region, is being held in Latin America for the first time. “I think it will be such a unique and different experience for…

Searching for the occasional market for excess potatoes

Organizations representing potato farmers in Belgium and France, ABS (Algemeen Boerensyndicaat, Flanders), FWA (Walloon Federation of Agriculture) and UNPT (National Union of Potato Producers, France), jointly started Interreg project GEPOS to look for alternative destinations for potatoes in Belgium and the North of France in seasons marked by large surpluses. The Problem Demand for potatoes for processing in Belgium and France increases each year. As a result, acreage dedicated to potato cultivation…

Potato blight trends in Europe

Late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, remains the major threat to potato crops in Europe, and a main reason for pesticide use. EuroBlight is a European network of scientists and other specialists working on potato early and late blight. The EuroBlight project is examining the ongoing evolution of the potato late blight pathogen (Phytophthora infestans). In 2017, almost 1500 samples from 16 countries in Europe were genotyped. The results indicate that new…

Which came first: humans or the sweet potato?

Sweet potatoes were domesticated thousands of years ago in the Americas. So 18th century European explorers were surprised to find Polynesians had been growing the crop for centuries. Anthropologists have since hypothesized that Polynesian seafarers had brought the tuber back from expeditions to South America — a journey of over 7,500 kilometers. New genetic evidence instead suggests that wild precursors to sweet potatoes reached Polynesia at least 100,000 years ago — long…

CIP recognized with award of excellence at the International Pest Management Symposium

The International Potato Center (CIP) was recognized with an International IPM Award of Excellence at the 9th International Symposium on Pest Management in Baltimore, Maryland. In the early 1990s, CIP Integrated Pest Management and plant pathology team recognized the need to take a farmer-centric approach to curb the devastating losses in potato yields from late blight infestations. Partial or complete crop loss can be catastrophic for smallholder farmers who rely on seasonal…

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