Dutch Potato Business School trains representatives of Cuban potato sector

August 04, 2022
Author: Zindziwe Janse

Cuban potato growers and other representatives of the Cuban potato sector were recently trained at the Potato Business School of the Agro-Food Cluster in Emmeloord.

The agricultural team of the Netherlands Embassy in Cuba organized a three-day training for Cuban potato growers and representatives of the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture and the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (INCA), in close collaboration with Dutch potato association NAO, the Agro-Food Cluster in Emmeloord and representatives of the Dutch seed potato exporters.

Latest insights in potato cultivation
Leading potato growers from Cuba’s primary potato growing regions were selected to attend the training, in which they exchanged experiences and were briefed on the latest insights in potato cultivation, good agricultural practices, farm management, potato storage, and crop protection methods. They also visited several Dutch companies from the Dutch potato sector located around Emmeloord, also known as World Potato City.

Important supplier of seed potatoes
‘The Netherlands has exported seed potatoes to Cuba for over 20 years now and is the most important supplier of seed potatoes to Cuba’, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality reports. ‘In 2022 Cuban authorities plan to import some 16.000 tons from the Dutch consortium of companies.In order to make sure these high-quality seed potatoes deliver the best results in the Cuban agronomical and economics conditions, the exchange of knowledge and experiences between Cuban and Dutch stakeholders is essential.’ Topics such as crop rotation, varieties, row spacing and biological pest control were among the most debated during the training. Participants also visited family-owned potato companies in the area and representatives from Agrico, HZPC and Profyto gave guest lectures on topics of their expertise.

Real potential to increase yield of Dutch seed potatoes in Cuba
The participants and experts concluded that the potential to increase the yield of Dutch seed potatoes in Cuba is real. As a follow-up to the training, the participating growers will replicate the training with other growers in Cuba in the coming months. A further exchange with Dutch producers and companies in Cuba is expected to be organized in 2023.

Yuhina Mangly (Netherlands Embassy in Cuba), Carlos Martell Hernandez (Cuban Ministry of Agriculture) and Karst Weening (NAO) at the network reception. Image: LAN Mexico

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