TRADE AND MARKET I NG Opportunities for the potato It is very important now for the Republic of Belarus to continue to develop in the domain of potatoes. Not only because it is an important foodstuff in their own country – the Belarusian eats 125 kilograms per head of the population – but especially because of the drive towards expansion in competing countries in the region such as Kazakhstan and neighbouring Ukraine. By abolishing the visa requirement, President Alexander Lukashenko wants to make access for foreigners easier. There are also serious discussions with foreign business contacts, including with the Dutch potato sector. ‘The sharing of knowledge is paramount here. Over time, this will lead to simplification of the import procedures at the Belarusian border, which is good for Dutch exporters’, the Dutch agricultural counsellor Meeuwes Brouwer recently emphasised. All this offers scope for an increase in the cultivation area that some growers are already fully working on, as became evident during a short visit to Eastern Europe. 28 Potato World 2018 • number 4 Pagina 27

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