Over the past few decades, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Alberta have exported a considerable amount of seed potatoes from Canada to Latin America and the Caribbean.
However, the export market in some of those countries has decreased substantially in the past couple of years.
Meanwhile, seed potato growers from Quebec have almost exclusively exported their seed potatoes to the U.S.
Recently, a couple of seed potato companies from Quebec, together with the Centre de Recherche Les Buissons (CRLB), have started an initiative to export high quality seed potatoes to Latin America and the Caribbean. For this purpose, the CRLB has developed and registered more than 23 potato varieties of which some are known in the U.S. only.
Progest 2001 Inc., a private research and development agricultural company based in Sainte-Croix, Que., has been given the mandate to promote Quebec’s seed potatoes in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Starting in late 2013, Progest has sent seed samples to several private and governmental potato organizations in the region. Collaborative agreements were signed with institutions such as the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas in Cuba.
As part of the Progest agenda, their professional staff has actively participated in the 2014 Colombia and 2016 Panama congresses of the Potato Association of Latin America (Asociación Latinoamericana de la Papa – ALAP) respectively. In addition, Progest potato specialists have visited potato growers in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Meanwhile, the first containers with commercial high quality seed have already being shipped to Uruguay.
Source: Potato Pro