Agriculturist: Imported potatoes have bright prospects

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Imported potato varieties ideal for chips and fries, which scored good results when it underwent testing in the northern towns of the province may have good prospects.

Office of the Provincial Agriculturist head Lolita Bentres said the five-year experiment period of imported potato varieties from New Brunswick, Canada, which took off 2008 showed good results particularly the Calwhite, Cherokee and Conestog varieties.

Governor Nestor Fongwan said the imported processing varieties have a great potential even if this would only be the market of the potato industry.


Through the initiative of the provincial government, Bentres said four imported varieties these were tested in different agro-climatic conditions and locations. Preliminary sites of production were in Buguias Seed Farm. At the farmers' level, these were tested in Kibungan, Atok and Mankayan.

Adopting package of technology and cultural management practices for potato production including soil sampling, bacterial and pest susceptibility, three varieties showed good performance.

As a result of the trials, Fongwan said Liwayway Marketing Corporation, a maker of potato chips, are currently in the process of undertaking further evaluation of one of the varieties given to them through Senator Cynthia Villar.

Another batch was provided the company for evaluation. In the event that trial with Liwayway Marketing Corporation and other prospective markets such as food chains prosper, Fongwan said they have to prepare farmers to be able to meet market demand.

Fongwan added with the implementation of the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), there would already be a sure market locally for the imported processing potato varieties as majority come from other countries.

Being produced by the farmers are the table varieties while the big market demand are the processing varieties, which could supply food chains and other manufacturing companies producing fries and chips, according to Fongwan. (Susan Aro)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 30, 2014.

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