A potato research institute has been established in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The institute, co-founded by research agencies and companies from China and Kazakhstan, aims to increase regional exchanges for the development of the potato industry…Full Article: Xinhua Sept 2017

Key Points

  • By 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, China hopes to have more than 6.67 million hectares (currently at 5.6 million ha) of potatoes under cultivation.
  • The Chinese-Kazakh potato institute in Xinjiang Region will attempt to create high-quality potatoes that are well-suited for the local environment.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2017, it was announced that Shandong’s Xisen Potato Industry Group and Scotland’s James Hutton Institute would team up to establish a USD 3.87 million potato research facility in Shandong Province.
  • In 2016, Inner Mongolia’s Ulanqab (aka the “City of Potatoes”) produced 4.45 million MTs on 260,000 hectares (~17.11 MTs per ha yield).
  • In August 2016, the founder of Xisen Potato Industry Group visited the Balruddery Research Farm [has grown canola, potatoes, barley, wheat and grass], east central Scotland.
  • In March 2016, Ulanqab’s Tai Mei Potato Industry signed an agreement with Shandong’s American Lorain to produce Lorain branded potato French fries.
  • In December 2015, China was exploring the possibility of classifying potatoes as a “staple grain”.
  • In 2015, Shaanxi Province’s Yangling Modern Agriculture Demonstration Park Development and Construction and Kazakhstan International Integration Foundation (founded 1994) established a cooperation project to test different crop (i.e. wheat, corn, rapeseed, soybeans, vegetables, and green seedlings) in near Almaty.
  • In July 2015, Shandong’s Xisen Potato Industry hosted a China Kitchen exhibition during the 2015 World Potato Congress in Beijing.
  • In March 2015, the Netherlands’ Farm Frites and Inner Mongolia’s Linkage Potato established a joint-venture in Wudan Town, Chifeng City, to produce French fries. The JV will reportedly consume 140,000 MTs of fresh potatoes and will begin supplying the Chinese market in 2017.
  • In January 2015, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture, the country will expand its potato cultivation area from approximately 5 million ha to 10 million (unspecified timeframe).
  • In 2014, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture, China produced 95 million MTs of potatoes on 5.6 million ha of land.
  • In 2013, according to FAOStat, China produced 88.9 million MTs of potatoes, 79 million MTs of sweet potatoes, 4.5 million MTs of cassava, and 1.8 million MTs of taro. Heilongjiang province produces approximately 8 million MTs of potatoes per year.
  • In 2011, China produced 88.3 million metric tons (MTs) of potatoes or 24% of the world’s potatoes. India was a distant second at 42.3 million MTs or 11% of global production.
  • From 1978 to 2011, China has steadily transitioned from sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) production to potato (Solanum tuberosum). During this period, sweet potato production declined from 131 million MTs to 75 million MTs, while potato output increased from 28 million MTs to 88 million MTs. Yields (MT per hectare) have slowly increased, but have stagnated since 2004 when it peaked at 18.7 MTs per ha. Production of cassava, taro and other tubers is minimal.

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