Asia has recorded the most drastic increase in potato production

One of the most anticipated speakers in the World Potato Congress, held in the city of Cusco, was Barbara Wells, general director of the International Potato Centre (CIP), who addressed several issues related to the production of this tuber worldwide.

At the beginning of her presentation, she said that there has been a significant increase in potato production in developing countries, claiming that potatoes are now a truly global product, present in 163 countries, with a global production that will reach 400 million tonnes per year.

Production growth
"The last two decades have been fundamental for the growth of potato production, with Asia recording the most dramatic increase in production. This continent now accounts for half of the potato production worldwide, mostly thanks to China and India, which have doubled their production in recent years," she said.

However, she also said that potato cultivation can be more difficult in developing countries than in the United States or Europe, which is why international organizations, governments and others should develop and promote appropriate technologies and approaches to allow local producers to grow their crops in the best possible conditions.

"The average producer in these countries has limited access to technology, in addition to having one or two planting seasons. They also face climatic issues and they are unfamiliar with the appropriate use of chemicals, which ends up causing huge losses," said the specialist.

In the last part of her presentation, the CIP director mentioned that there are several factors that have helped the potato production in developed countries to stand out. For example, in Africa, producers usually obtain 10 or 20 tonnes per hectare, while in the United States and Europe, producers obtain more than 40 tonnes from the same amount of land. That is why research for development should have a global approach, especially for the benefit of countries with a poor potato production, but potential to obtain much more.


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