The path to competitiveness for Peruvian potato: challenges and opportunities

10th World Potato Congress

Cusco, 29 May 2018 – How do we increase yield per hectare and product quality? How do we scale up production and generate the added value necessary to achieve better prices for farmers. How do we maximize the potential of native varieties? These are some of the challenges addressed at the 10th World Potato Congress and XXVIII Congress of the Latin American Potato Association – ALAP 2018.

Peru’s potato crop currently yields between 14 and 15 tons per hectare, compared to countries such as Colombia (20 tons), and Holland and Canada (between 60 and 80 tons). In light of this, the International Potato Center (CIP) is working to improve both productivity and product quality, in order to enhance the Peruvian market and make it more competitive.

Access to climate change research data, integrated crop management practices using quality seed, and efficient pest and disease control, are essential factors in scaling up production and obtaining higher crop yields. We also need to generate added value through the development of new products. Productivity and the quality associated with higher prices, processing and better access to global markets, are all key to closing the gaps in the competitiveness of potato

Miguel Ordinola, Project Coordinator for Latin America at CIP, said that the Center has been working to improve certain varieties with a view to market demand, together with the management of potato-based production systems in agricultural areas. He added: “an important element is participatory innovation in conjunction with the different actors in the production chain, involving the private sector, in order to develop new products. Products such as native potato chips with organic and fair trade certification (for export), fresh native potatoes in supermarkets, vodka based on native varieties, creams made with purple potatoes, and other innovative applications based on potatoes.”

CIP has also demonstrated the enormous potential of Peruvian yellow and native potatoes, which can be marketed at a higher value than the white potato varieties produced in Europe and the United States and sold at lower prices to the mass market.

Peru has great competitive advantages thanks to its native varieties and its positioning as the leading potato producer in Latin America, with 4.5 million tons per year, over Brazil which produces 3.2 million tons. Peru’s trajectory will continue advancing with greater innovation. “Looking to the future, for the next 100 years , CIP will be implementing technologies for potato conservation, and the improvement of varieties (nutrition), and crop management technologies using data provided by drones to improve planting and harvests,  and developing high value products,” said Ordinola.

It’s worth noting that more than 700,000 families, (10% of the country’s population), operate in the potato sector in Peru. So improvements will have a significant economic and social impact.

The Government of Peru, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), is promoting the organization of the 10th World Potato Congress and XXVIII Congress of the Latin American Potato Association – ALAP 2018, held in the city of Cusco from May 27 to 31.

About CIP

The International Potato Center (CIP), with headquarters in Lima, was founded in 1971 as a root and tuber research-for-development institution delivering sustainable solutions to the pressing world problems of hunger, poverty and the degradation of natural resources. CIP is custodian to a collection of potato, sweetpotato and Andean roots and tubers including the world’s largest collection of potato diversity. CIP has regional offices in Peru, Ecuador, Kenia, India and China and works all over the world with projects in 30 developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

CIP is part of the CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring a more sustainable management of natural resources. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR Centers, in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector. www.cgiar.org

Contact:

Marisol Paredes
Burson Marsteller Peru
Cel. 998161515
marisol.paredes@bm.com
José Balta
Burson Marsteller Peru
Cel. 943276255
jose.balta@bm.com
María Elena Lanatta
International Potato Center
Cel. 981187198
m.lanatta@cgiar.org

#CIPatWPC18 #Potato2018

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