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June 18, 2024 | Articles

The climate is changing, and so is the cultivation of potatoes

Climate change, everyone is talking about it but what do you do about it and what do you do with it? Paul Struik and Anton Haverkort, both retired potato experts and previously employed at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, have recently addressed these pressing questions. In a broad reflection, they jointly set out…

June 17, 2024 | Articles

Antagonist

A recent press release of Wageningen University mentioned important findings on the enigmatic potato bacterial disease. In the Netherlands blackleg and bacterial wet rot in seed pota­toes and seed flower bulbs only are responsible for several tens of millions Euros of damage. Chemical control is not available nor do resistant varieties exist.

April 29, 2024 | Articles

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is a molecule that consists of one atom of carbon (C) and two atoms of oxygen (0), hence CO2. CO2 mixed with water under pressure produces the prickly soda experience and plants take it up from the air, use water taken up from the soil and with energy from the sun make sugars…

April 25, 2024 | Articles

Drought

“There is no magical single trait to evaluate drought tolerance as it is as complicated and difficult to plant biology as cancer is to mammalian biology”. This is one of the propositions belonging to the thesis of dr. Anithakumari A.M. who did her PhD recently at Wageningen University.

April 03, 2024 | Articles

Diploids

Well over thirty years ago when I worked for the International Potato Center – CIP – at the national potato improvement program in Rwanda we tried a then new technique: true potato seed. CIP showed in its annual report a small boy sitting on a big pile – two tons – of forty bags of…

April 03, 2024 | Articles

Blue 13

Late blight is the most devastating potato disease and control and losses globally exceed € 5 billion.The disease is caused by a fungus like organism, a so called oomycete. It attacks the potato though spores that are carried by wind and when leaves are wet for a few hours the spores germinate and enter the…

March 25, 2024 | Articles

Potato 2050

In 2013 Potato Europe will be organized at Emmeloord in the center of the Netherlands. It´s theme is The next level. It challenges exhibitors and visitors not to gradually shift from current year to next year´s business but to make giant leaps into the future and then look back at how the major changes took…

February 28, 2024 | Articles

Africa

Potatoes processing at the industrial level is relatively insignificant in the tropical highlands of Africa such as in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. No large international companies are present in this area whereas they have established themselves in North Africa – Egypt and South Africa. There are two reasons for the presence of large French…

February 20, 2024 | Articles

Hotspots

Potato and its derivatives increasingly become globally traded products. When I visit Chile and ask at a restaurant when eating French fries where they come from, they usually are from Belgian and Netherlands companies. Once in a German restaurant, of course, they came from Germany. The frozen French fries industry in Chile is insignificant and…

February 19, 2024 | Articles

Subsahara

Potato is booming in Africa. Recently the ninth triennial meeting of the African Potato Association took place at Naivasha, Kenya. The meeting was attended by some 350 potato and sweet potato researchers and representatives of the industry from all over Africa. I was present at the launching of the organization in September 1985 and have…

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