Uganda: GMO potatoes expected to reach store shelves in 2020

Scientists say the first batch of locally grown genetically modified potatoes will be on sale in Ugandan retail markets in 2020. Dr Alex Barekye, the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute in the western district of Rubanda, said agricultural biotechnology research on potatoes is underway to create a genetically modified variety that will be resistant to diseases. Barekye said three trials have been conducted on the Victoria potato variety and so far, tests did not find any disease, yet the yield is high. “When we look at all the products in the GMO line and look at the duration of the crop, I think potatoes will be the first GMO crop to be commercially available in Uganda. We have conducted three trials and found that the disease is not there. The yield is good and there is nothing that has changed,” Dr. Barekye told The Observer in an interview during the World Food day celebrations in Rubanda on October 16. More

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Report: 5 Key insights on the frozen potato market through 2022

global-frozen-potato-market.jpgAccording to a new study by Fact.MR,  global frozen potato market for frozen potato is estimated to bring in US$ 60,109.5 million revenue by 2022 end. The market is projected to register moderate growth of 4.0% CAGR during the forecast period 2017-2022. The growing business of quick service restaurants and increase in disposable income of consumers are some of the key factors fuelling the growth of the frozen potato market globally. Manufacturers are focusing on using advanced technology for refrigeration at the right temperature, thereby preserving frozen potato for a longer period of time. Some insights discussed in the report show how the global frozen potato market will perform in the next five years. Europe is expected to dominate the global frozen potato market, and North America is expected to emerge as the second most lucrative market. By the end of 2022, modern trade is projected to exceed US$ 25,100 million revenue. More

US: Red River Valley potatoes having good year

Potato growers in the northern plains region, which includes the Red River Valley on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, are enjoying healthy harvest yields, good quality and high demand. Red, and more so yellow varieties, have seen increases in market share in recent years. Ted Kreis, of Red River Valley Potatoes, said that the harvest has almost concluded for the year and yields have been above average for most potato varieties. “We grow all the main types of potatoes in the Valley for four fresh markets – fresh, seed, frozen processing and chips,” he noted. “The red and yellow varieties, in particular, have enjoyed above average yields, thanks to favorable growing conditions.” Consumers are turning more towards different colored potatoes, and the red and European yellow varieties are enjoying a surge in popularity. And despite the large volumes, demand is strong enough to absorb that stock. More

UK: Chip producer Burt’s ups capacity in Devon to cope with demand

Image result for burts chips logoBurt’s Chips has installed a high-speed potato frying line at its Devon facility to cope with growing demand. A company spokesperson told BakeryandSnacks the $3.9m investment in equipment and staff will help meet the growing demand from across the UK, as well as in the US, Canada and EMEA. The new equipment has increased production capacity for Burt’s hand-cooked chips from 160 tons to 200 tons, while volumes of the Better For You range will jump to 23 tons.The British-owned company also employed another 12 staff to help operate the new fryer and cope with the additional volumes, bringing the factory’s total headcount to 168. The latest investment is part of the company’s five-year $15.9m program to increase production capacity and drive efficiencies at the Plymouth site. This has enabled us to realise significant year-on-year growth across all areas of our UK and export business, taking the company from $15.1m in 2013 to $32.5m in 2016, said David Nairn, Burt’s MD. More

US: Lamb Weston unveils new $200 million potato processing line

Whether waffle-fried or straight-cut, call Richland a french fry capital. This morning, Lamb Weston unveiled its new $200 million expanded processing line for frozen potato products. The line will double the Richland plant’s capacity to 2 million pounds a day of frozen fries. The 290,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art expansion will added another 150 jobs to the Tri-City economy. Lamb Weston has produced frozen fry products in Richland since 1972. With the new line, the plant now has the combined capacity to produce an estimated 600 million pounds of frozen potato products annually. .It sources most of the potatoes it processes from within 60 miles, making it the region’s largest buyer of locally-grown. The company has said the rising global demand for fries and frozen potato products drove the expansion. More

‘Chipocalypse’ in New Zealand as wild weather spikes price of potatoes

ChipsThe “chipocalypse” has reached New Zealand, after heavy rain caused a shortage of potato crops and a spike in prices. Supermarkets have been forced to place signs in their chip shelves, explaining to hungry customers why the beloved snack is out of sto“It started raining in March, and it just simply hasn’t stopped,” Chris Claridge, head of trade association Potatoes New Zealand, told Radio Live NZ. “Potatoes are actually alive — they need to breathe. And so, effectively, they drown and then they start to rot… because they’re submerged in water.” Two major floods have wiped out around one fifth of crops, with some regions seeing 30 percent of crops destroyed. Around 75,000 tonnes of potatoes are made into chips every year, which means these shortages will will havea detrimental effect on the snack. This shortage of potatoes has filtered down to food prices. In New Zealand, wIn New Zealand, where a kilogram of potatoes cost $1.28 last August, it’s now shot up to $1.67 this year. Potato chips are even scarce on shelves. Potato chips are even scarce on shelves. More

Pleasing British potato crop despite rain delays to lifting season

Despite a stop-start lifting season as a result of regular rain showers, harvested crops in Britain have yielded well and there are few quality issues being reported. An improvement in weather in the eastern counties has allowed growers to progress well with potato lifting, with around 70 per cent of crops harvested. While skin set has been a challenge, yields in the South East have been the best they have been for the past two years, according to Norfolk agronomist and grower Andy Alexander. He says: “Skin set has been slow. We had a reasonably good growing season, so crops have kept growing and have not come under stress to force them to shut down. We have had to desiccate quite green crops this year, hence we are getting bigger yields, but we cannot have it both ways.” Mr Alexander believes there may be some storage losses, bringing the overall saleable yield down. More

U.S. exports more frozen, dehydrated and fresh potatoes

Exports of frozen, dehydrated and fresh potatoes in July 2017 all showed gains compared to July 2016, according to Potatoes USA. The volume of frozen exports was up 1%, with the value up 3% to USD94m. The volume of exports of dehydrated potatoes was up 12% and the value up 12% to USD17m. Fresh potato export volume was up 51% with the value up 41% to USD33m. Exports of frozen potato products to Mexico and Japan continued their recent recovery and were up 11% and 10% respectively. Korea up 10%, Malaysia up 10% the Philippines up 13% all continued the strong growth from last marketing year. Fresh exports (both table-stock and chip-stock) had a lot of positive growth in July 2017 compared to 2016, with the largest fresh export market, Canada up 49%. More

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and chips made from GE potatoes

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and hot chips made from GE potatoes, with little idea of the added health risks from genetic engineering. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which has just approved six new lines of GE potatoes for human consumption, has breached its duty of care to consumers, says the Soil & Health Association. Last week the Trans-Tasman food regulator released its decision approving the sale of food derived from potatoes that have been genetically engineered for disease resistance to foliar late blight, reduced blackspot bruising and reduced acrylamide potential. The potatoes are aimed at fast food outlets and the frozen chip and crisps market. “FSANZ has a legal requirement to protect the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand through the maintenance of a safe food supply,” says Soil & Health chair Graham Clark. “By approving these potato lines without sufficient evidence to prove that they are safe to eat, FSANZ has effectively breached this legal requirement.” More

Indian dairy co-operative enters french fry market

New french fry manufacturer in India Amul sets up shop near competition in GujaratIn India, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) is starting the production of frozen French Fries in October of this year. They have set up shop in North Gujarat, close to McCain Foods India and Hyfun Frozen Foods. Their entry into the market could be favorable for potato farmers because the co-operative dairy giant is now planning to directly procure potatoes from farmers, just as they do for their 3.6 million dairy farmers that jointly own the cooperative. GCMMF is launching frozen french fries, potato wedges, hash browns and burger patty (aloo tikki) products under their Amul / Taste of India brand. McCain Foods India, the subsidiary of the Canadian multinational currently procures its potatoes mainly from North Gujarat, which may cause some competition for potatoes for processing. More

First potato trading pool in Belgium opened

Based on this year’s harvest, the potato pool of RTL Patat has started, the first potato company to do so in Belgium. This season also shows that there’s a need for this way of trading. The sector is plagued by severe drought, but Remy Tanghe of RTL Patat expects the main harvest to be good. Late last year, potato company RTL Patat announced they were starting a potato pool. A potato pool is quite common in the Netherlands, but the company from West-Flanders is the first to start this in Belgium. “Normally, a grower wants to sell their product at as high a price as possible, and a buyer wants to buy it is cheaply as possibly. With the pool we want to look after the interests of our growers. It’s a different way of trading. The growers who have joined us are rewarded with a percentage of the payout price, with which we guarantee them we’ll do everything to achieve the highest possible price,” says Remy Tanghe. More

Major Dutch potato companies and organizations establish new research association

Ten Dutch potato companies as well as organizations have established a new association: Holland Innovative Potato (HIP), with the goal to facilitate research which leads to higher quality, yield and efficiency in the cultivation, transport and processing of the potato. The partnership also aims to provide insight in the genetics related to stable economic yield and quality. The members of HIP are Avebe, Aviko, Farm Frites, McCain, Lamb Weston Meijer, PepsiCo, Bejo, HZPC, Meijer and Solynta and the two trade organizations NAO (trade) and VAVI (processors). HIP wants to strengthen the potato’s importance as a third food crop (after wheat and rice) in the world.  Continue reading

Rebound in UK potato sowings to end, says Produce Investments

The bounce in UK potato plantings looks poised to go into reverse, Produce Investments said, as it unveiled results showing a recovery in profits, and an appetite for further expanding from its core business in the root crop. Angus Armstrong, the Produce Investments chief executive, told Agrimoney.com that his “gut feeling” for UK potato sowings for the 2018 harvest was that they would “show a slight decline”. That would follow sowings growth of 4% in both 2016 and 2017. Average UK prices of non-contracted potatoes have fallen back below £100 a tonne, standing at £94.01 a tonne this week – down 49% year on year, according to the AHDB bureau. “Because of decent returns, the agricultural mentality is to put more crop into the ground,” Mr Armstrong said, although adding that Produce Investments – owner of the Greenvale packing business, one of UK’s big three potato suppliers – had not itself followed this trend in its cropping operations. More

Study: World may run out of several potato, coffee, and cacao species by 2055

Image result for wild potato speciesA recent study has linked global warming to depleting food sources as scientists claimed different species of potatoes, coffee and cacao plants faced the risk of extinction due to rising temperatures. Up to 22 percent of wild potato species were predicted to become extinct by 2055 due to climate change and misuse of pesticides. In Ghana and Ivory Coast, where the raw ingredient for 70 percent of world’s chocolate is grown, cacao trees will not be able to survive as temperatures rise by 2 degrees centigrade over the next 40 years, the study claimed. Bioversity International, a group of expert scientists, has said that the “sixth mass extinction” was already under way and a total of 940 animal and plant species were facing extinction worldwide.  Continue reading

Hungary: Crisis in the domestic potato sector

Related imageWhile retail customers in Hungary may be delighted by the prospect of cheaper potatoes, growers are not happy about the fact that purchasers are buying potatoes at a lower price than last year, writes the Hungarian Times. In addition, there is no reason for the drop in prices, as the volume going into warehouses has been notably reduced due to the heat and the quality is far from optimal. Hungarian potato producers are not in an easy position. The hot summer and lack of rainfall have taken a negative toll on the production, so many growers will close the season with significant losses in the yield. Gábor Kecskés, president of the Hungarian Potato Association and Product Board, told the Hungarian Times that this year, growers have had to face extreme weather conditions. The harvest is already underway, but the production going to the warehouses is much smaller than last year’s; many growers reported losses of up to fifty percent, according to the president. More