Dr Peter VanderZaag, of Sunrise Potato in Ontario, who has been working in China for the past 33 years, was the keynote speaker last week at Manitoba Potato Production Days in Brandon.
He surprised his audience with the announcement that ‘a potato "revolution" is underway in China.‘
"They [China] now produce 20 times more potatoes than Canada; 100 million tons a year. They have a target of going to 150 million tons and that will make almost half the total global production. They see the potato as food security, as a staple food for the people in all the western and northern parts of the country."
He says China has a difficult time producing the right varieties for the French fry industry, which creates greater opportunities for Canadian producers.
According to pembinavalleyonline.com, VanderZaag added that there is a short supply of potatoes globally, which means good things for local producers, both that the price should go up and the demand for more should also be there.