The short term goal of the project is to support the Indonesian actors (public and private, farmers and officials) with knowledge and tools to improve the seed and ware potato growing systems.
Objectives of the project
The long-term goal is to increase the sustainability of potato growing in Indonesia and by inference to stabilise and secure the income of potato farmers.
- Trials were performed in West Java. The purpose was to evaluate the agricultural performance and processing quality of 10 varieties, half of which were introduced from the Netherlands by a Dutch seed potato company. The trials were performed by the Indonesian Vegetable Research Institute (IVEGRI) at two locations: the experimental farm of IVEGRI in Lembang (1250 m a.s.l.) and at a farmer’s field in Pangalengan (1300 m a.s.l.). The trials were performed during the rainy season of July-October 2012. Because of shortage of planting material for certain varieties the trial in Pangalengan contained only 4 of the 5 Dutch varieties as well as some other Indonesian varieties. Total tuber yields of the Dutch varieties and the ‘local’ variety Granola were similar, the others performed significantly less, including the processing potato variety Atlantic. The Dutch varieties showed a much larger plant height and more rapid ground covering, which in part may be due to the advanced physiological stage of the planting stock.
- The results of the two sites were quite similar, resulting in a similar ranking of the varieties with regard to yield.
- All varieties were subjected to both French fry testing as well as chips testing. The Dutch varieties were of different market types. Two were were specific chips varieties; two were so-called dual purpose varieties, both fit for French fries and table, and one was a specific French fry variety. Of the Indonesian varieties Granola and several others were table potatoes. Atlantic is a specific chips variety.
- In terms of the suitability for potato chips, all imported varieties had similar chips scores i.e. 8 at harvest. Two of them, had higher chips scores (9) after 2 months of storage, indicating a better suitability for chips manufacturing.
- In terms of the suitability for French fries, two imported varieties showed consistent results at harvest and at two months after harvest, meaning that these two varieties were most suitable for French fry production in Java.
- A platform meeting was convened by KADIN, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and attendants included several seed potato traders, representatives of Indofood, INA, potato seed producers from West, Central and East Java, representative of potato seed farmers, staff of quarantine and MoA. From the Dutch side Thomas Been, Anton Haverkort, Romke Wustman and Joost van der Burg attended. The meeting focussed on the limitations for import of seed potato from the Netherlands and the needs of farmers for a wider choice of varieties. It was agreed that a more frequent get together would be very useful in pursuing the goal of improved varieties for farmers.
- A seminar was held in Lembang to present the results of the trials, to discuss the outcome of the flatform meeting and to inform the audience of the latest develeopments in potato crop management. Discussions with staff of MoA in the audience resulted in the statement that there is in principle no ban specifically on Dutch seed potatoes.