Farmers and researchers in the north of the Netherlands have joined forces in a new platform to future proof the potato.
The alliance, named Potato Valley, targets the 800 potato growers in Groningen and Friesland. Most of these are seed potato growers, but potatoes for consumption and the food industry will also come on board, broadcaster NOS said.
In particular, more research into disease and crop protection is necessary, LTO Noord spokeswoman Tineke de Vries told RTV Noord.
The Dutch eat around 2.5 billion kilos of potatoes a year – or 140 kilos for every man, woman and child – and export a further one billion kilos.
Valley, after Silicon Valley, is a popular term in the Netherlands to describe innovation initiatives. For example, the Food Valley is a centre for food research near Wageningen and Drunen has a Metal Valley which is supposed to turn the Noord-Brabant town into an ‘innovative focal point’ for the metal and engineering sectors.