“There is a high demand for processing potato among fast food chains, restaurants and hotels in the country says Joan D. Bacbac, HVCDP Regional Focal Person. Although CAR is the biggest producer of potato in the country, currently only 20-30 % of the white potato produced in CAR are processing varieties.
Given this situation, the Department of Agriculture High Value Crops Development Program (DA- HVCDP) is working with the Benguet State University Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center (BSU- NPRCRTC) on the project entitled “Commercialization and Promotion of Processing Potato Varieties Thru Rapid Multiplication Technique in Potato Growing Areas”.
Through the project, the BSU-NPRCRTC will mass-produce and commercialize planting materials of processing potato varieties approved by the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC). They will then make these varieties readily available to farmers specifically thru in-vitro propagation, enhancing the ability of farmers’ to multiply and produce good quality seeds at farmers’ level, and disseminating or promoting processing potato varieties thru the rapid multiplication technique.
To enable the distribution of these varieties to farmers and thus increase their yield, and eventually contribute to reducing the importation of processing potatoes, the DA provided PhP 7,010,000 while BSU has a counterpart of PhP 1,380,000.
The project will distribute 84,000 kgs of planting materials benefiting 10 farmers’ organizations namely Tawalan Oyusan Farmers’ Association of Catubo, Atok; Pulag Gambang Potato Seed Growers Association of Gambang, Bakun; Lamangan Balintag Buagan Farmers’ Association of Baculongan Sur, Buguias; Bolinica Aagapay Farmers’Cooperative of Calamagan, Buguias; Madaymen Good Agricultural Practitioners Association of Madaymen, Kibungan; Lower Sayapot Farmers’Association of Balili, Mankayan; Sadsadan Association of Vegetable Producers Inc. of Sadsadan, Bauko; Bacdangan Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Sinto, Bauko; Mother Truth Association of Soquib, Besao; and, Napua RIC of Napua, Sabangan.
Aside from making the planting materials available to farmers, the project will also provide hands-on trainings, and set-up production and post- harvest facilities such as greenhouses and seed storage for the abovementioned farmers’ organizations. // Danica Tomin