Potato Grower

December 2017

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WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 57 WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 57 12-17 Potato Grower Magazine 1-2PageVer AD (4x7).v1.outlines.pdf 1 2017-10-27 8:57 AM This summer, two Senegalese growers and two government officials accompanied Diop to the United States, where relationships were cultivated for future business deals. At the Potatoes USA Seed Symposium, the Senegal delegation met with U.S. suppliers. After the seminar, the Senegal group toured the seed potato-growing area of California to learn about available varieties and to observe their seed order being bagged and stacked for export inspection the following day. They also arranged additional purchases during their visit from at least two different U.S. suppliers. Besides purchasing U.S. seed potatoes for Senegal commercial farming operations, U.S. seed was procured by Senegal's national agricultural development organization, which encourages potato farming to improve rural lives. This government program provides quality agricultural inputs to village farms to encourage community farming that reduces poverty by improving production value. In addition to being a nutritious food source, cultivating potatoes increases crop yield per drop of water, an important consideration for Senegalese growers. One of this summer's delegation participants was Macoumba Diouf, Senegal's national director of horticulture. A week after returning from his U.S. visit—which convinced him of U.S. seed potatoes' superior quality, high yield potential and suitability to adapt to the African heat— Diouf announced during his annual meeting with potato growers on Aug. 11, that Senegal's Agriculture Ministry would subsidize 40 to 50 percent of the cost of U.S. seed potatoes to encourage Senegalese farmers to plant them. This reduced-cost seed program is authorized to cover up to 1,200 tons of U.S. potatoes. If fully realized at this volume, Senegal would become the top export destination for U.S. seed potatoes outside of North America. Growers interested in more information about Potatoes USA's seed program are encouraged to contact Amy Burdett at amy@potatoesusa.com. Senegal's Amidou Diop, Cheikh Lo and Macoumba Diouf learn about U.S. seed potato varieties from David Radke of Zuckerman Family Farms in Stockton, Calif.

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