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Looking back on a successful first potato season

28 May 2015

The first potato production season within the Dutch funded project “Growing out of poverty with potato” has been completed. During this first seasons potato trials, potato field days, farmer trainings and market research activities have been implemented. The key first outcomes are shared below.

Potato trials

In order to have higher yields and to produce higher quality potato varieties farmers need to have access to good quality potato seeds. The first step to enable this is the registration of potato varieties in Vietnam before commercial trade of these varieties is allowed in Vietnam. In cooperation with Vietnamese institutes potato trials in North-Vietnam and the Central Highlands are established to test and evaluate five new potato varieties and in order to acquire the registration of these varieties.


The trial results of this year trial are positive: all new varieties have higher yield and better quality in comparison with the standard potato varieties included in the trials. The registration of the five new potato varieties is expected to be completed in 2016.

 

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Potato field days

To share the trial results with authorities (MARD), potato traders and farmers several potato field days are organised. The feedback of the participant during the field days was positive; the new potato varieties are appreciated due to its high yield and quality. Farmers perceived that the new varieties taste and smell better than the standard variety. Consumer tests will identify whether consumers have the same feedback as farmers regarding the new potato varieties. Farmers and potato traders expressed their interest to test the new potato varieties and to cooperate with project to develop potato production in Vietnam.

 

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Farmer training and extension

Vietnamese training materials have been developed to train Vietnamese farmers in potato production. The training consists of 3 modules which covers the aggregate from seed potato variety selection o to storage of the harvested potatoes. Over 350 farmers (69% female) are trained during the potato season in the 3 training modules. The training was implemented in 4 provinces (Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Bac Giang and Bac Ninh) in North-Vietnam. Later this year farmer training in the central highlands (Lam Dong province) will start.

 

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Market research activities

The general objective of the marketing activities is to grow the potato consumption in Vietnam beyond fries and crisp and increase the preference towards new high quality table potato cultivars in Vietnam. The research activities in the first phase included an extensive baseline market study, covering the main consumption hubs in Vietnam, Hanoi and HCMC. Results showed that, although consumers in Vietnam show a positive attitude towards potato consumption, they are rather unaware of the nutritional benefits of potato, the versatility in modes of preparation of potato and the variation in potato quality based on variety characteristics.

 

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60% of consumers in urban Hanoi and HCMC believe that white rice is equally or more nutritious than potato

 

The inclusion of potato in the diet is considered important in addressing nutrient deficiency among younger children and pregnant women, in particular in relation to iron deficiencies. Sector interventions are thus not limited to potato cultivation, but include focus groups, household panels and sensory consumer tests to obtain in-depth insights in table potato consumption and practices in Vietnam.
All combined activities will inform the selection of most potential cultivars for the Vietnamese market, as well as the development of a potato awareness campaign. To measure the effectiveness of the marketing communication interventions the survey applied in the baseline research will be repeated on an annual basis

 

Summary
Fresh Studio can look back on a successful first potato season in which a strong basis for the next 4 years has been created to vitalise the Vietnamese potato sector.

 

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Publication date: May 2015

 

This development is a result of the collaboration with project:

 

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Vitalising the Vietnamese potato sector

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