A historically important staple food, potatoes are gaining traction as a crop that also offers income opportunities for food processers and agribusinesses. The demand for potato food products in the developing world is increasing, and with that the number of people consuming potatoes worldwide. Potatoes have the potential to feed even more people in the future. In this course, we explore this potential, by covering the complete (seed) potato chain. We give insight in the latest developments in the potato sector and address the role of various stakeholders.
Exploiting the potential of potatoes as both a food and cash crop
A prominent example of the multifaceted character of potatoes is the Netherlands. Over the years, the country has become a world’s top producer and internationally renowned for its practical approaches and applications in the (seed) potato industry. Cooperation between public and private sectors has resulted in innovative developments in breeding and variety development, seed production, storage, seed certification and marketing. The insights gained, coupled with worldwide partnerships, provide new opportunities for the sustainable development of both seed and ware potato value chains in developing countries or countries with an economy in transition. Furthermore, thanks to its strong market position, the seed potato sector in Netherlands contributes importantly to the Dutch economy.
Driving sector growth
Many lessons can be learned from the development of the potato sector in Netherlands and other countries that have made use of Dutch expertise and technological solutions.. Adequate variety selection, use of clean and healthy seed, seed certification, modern production practices, storage, value addition activities, viable market channels and a conducive enabling environment are crucial factors for successful potato value chains. Also, collaboration between the government and industry create significant opportunities to boost productivity, employment, and skills
Make a difference as a professional
We invite practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and programme / project managers who want to develop the potato industry in their home countries to join this course. Participants should be proficient in English, and have at least a BSc degree or an equivalent academic qualification and three years of work experience in the potato sector, or a related field.
Implementation in practice
This course covers the complete (seed) potato chain. It addresses the role of public and private organisations – and partnerships between them – in breeding, variety development, seed production, agribusiness and marketing. Furthermore, this course gives access to the latest insights of the world’s leading Dutch knowledge organisations and private companies around the potato sector.
As a participant, you will get an extensive course, mixing theory with practice. The programme specifically addresses the following aspects:
- In-depth knowledge on seed potato production systems and their application in different agro ecological conditions in the world;
- Broad expertise on potato varieties, breeding and variety testing (DUS and VCU). Quality aspects of seed potatoes;
- Insights on main diseases and pests (and their management) in potato, with a focus on seed and soil borne diseases;
- A look into the main agronomic practices (planting, fertilizer use, irrigation);
- Understanding the importance of crop rotation in emerging economies;
- Attention to the legal aspects of seed potatoes (PBR, phytosanitary regulations);
- The importance of harvest, storage and grading methods and pre-planting tuber treatment;
- An introduction to potato value chains & the business of potatoes along the value chain;
- Various practical demonstrations;
- Various visits to Dutch service providers along the value chain.
Course activities will comprise lectures, discussions, group work, case studies, excursions and field trips. Each of the components of the course has been specially designed to give you sufficient insight in potato value chains. And more importantly, this course creates a unique opportunity to learn from your peers around the world and share experiences with other potato enthusiasts