(Photo: farm workers collecting Spunta potato, the most popular but old variety in Argentina)
Buenos Aires, January 8th. Led by Ivan Ramallo, the local branch of the Dutch company HZPC, is renewing the potato seed market in Argentina. This market is split into two largest segments: fresh consumption and industrial use.
In the last decades, industrial market was refreshed by the entering of global players as Farm Frites, McCain and Lay’s, that renewed the seed market demanding more sophisticated genetic, better adequated to the industrial process.
Currently, HZPC America Latina is meeting 65% of the industry’s seed demand, most of them to elaborate french fries and crisp. But the fresh market is an attractive challenge with a huge potential for innovation.
It is estimated that every year farmers planted 76,000 hectares with potatoes. A quarter of this area is dedicated to supplying the industry, and the other 3/4 supply the fresh demand. Most of this area is planted with the Spunta variety, a popular variety, well accepted by the consumer.
But now, HZPC is testing new varieties with add-value for the consumer, for example, varieties with 30% fewer calories, varieties better fit frying, varieties less susceptible to oxidation and “color” potatoes.
From the company, that is preparing a field day in Tandil (Buenos Aires Province), they anticipated to www.eFarmNewsAr.com that there are new varieties in the last stages of testing and positioning for the Argentine market-