World Potato Congress and International Potato Centre cooperate to Promote Development of the Potato Industry in China and Asia

David Thompson, President of World Potato Congress Inc (WPC) and Dr. Barbara Wells, Director General of The International Potato Centre (CIP – Peru), recently signed a Letter of Understanding to implement a one year program designed to promote development of the potato industry of China and Asia.

Under the terms of the agreement WPC will underwrite the cost of an initiative to research the China and Asia potato value chain. “We believe this is an extremely valuable initiative,” said President Thompson, “It is a direct outcome of the 9th World Potato Congress held at Yanqing, Beijing in 2015, where we learned that the Chinese potato industry has grown fast, with strong support from the government. There is evident need to cooperatively introduce advanced western technologies and management modes to support this phenomenal growth in production.”

WPC Director, Dr. Peter VanderZaag, a potato scientist and entrepreneur with extensive experience and knowledge of the Chinese and Asian agricultural industries, will assist in guiding the project on behalf of WPC. The research will be conducted by Dr. Xie Kaiyun, manager of CIP/China Centre (CCCAP) for Asia Pacific, and his team. Over a twelve month period the team will collect information on Chinese and Asian potato entities involved in all aspects of the potato value chain, including background information and contact details, to identify potential linkage opportunities for CIP and WPC.

CIP, CCCAP and WPC will coordinate activities, utilizing respective databases, to assist in establishing linkages with outside resources to address requested needs of potato industry people in China and Asia.

CIP Director General Dr. Barbara Wells noted that the short and long term benefits of information sharing through established linkages have the potential to lead to positive development in numerous sectors of the industry across China and Asia. “Based on preliminary findings of the initiative we envision the evolution of regional activities like workshops and direct linkages between institutions and business that may ultimately develop through this WPC, CIP and CCCAP initiative.”

The project is currently underway with collection of background information on the state of the industry in key potato production regions of China. The information, once compiled, will be shared among the partners as a prelude to decisions on steps leading to initiation of linkages considered vital to the success of the initiative.

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