PW-ACTUA South Korean micro tubers are successful in China During a field visit in the 2018 harvest period at the Chinese company Beidahuang in the province of Heilongjiang, Epi Postma, agent for ZAP-Semagri in China, was surprised at the very good results with micro tubers called ‘eggtubers’ from the South Korean company E Green Global. Postma has been working with the Chinese state farm since 2015 to introduce new ZAPSemagri varieties. The business cultivates approximately 20,000 hectares of potatoes, mainly intended for processing into starch. ‘Micro-tubers are very interesting for the Chinese market because of their potential advantages compared to the ‘conventional’ seed potato cultivation from mini tubers. The Chinese seed potato market is, in fact, a G2 market, where the G3 proceeds go to the factory. With micro tubers, the production of new varieties, also in this short cutoff schedule, can quickly scale up and be available for the market. These micro tubers from E Green Global are produced entirely in the lab in a very fast multiplication programme. Production can be doubled every fortnight, so that eggtubers can be harvested every day. In addition, the micro tubers are 100 percent virus-free’, says Postma. ‘What makes this Korean technology so remarkable is that the eggtubers are so vital that they can be planted in the open field. The planting density is 75,000 tubers per hectare, comparable to that of mini tubers of which between 60,000 and 70,000 are planted per ha. Even at a 90 centimetre disThe first generation of eggtubers already produces 30 tons per hectare. Notice the micro tuber in the middle of the picture. tance between rows, which is standard in China, the tubers, which weigh between 0.5 and 1 gram, produce 30 tons of first-generation seed potatoes. As the eggtubers produce 3 stems, these micro tubers produce many more tubers, allowing the Koreans to offer G2’s in very large quantities at a price competitive with G4/G5 in traditional production. But with a much shorter cycle. This means that we can introduce and multiply new varieties much faster. In addition, the second growth is also much healthier’, Postma shares his experiences in China. Towards Europe Inquiries with Keejoon Shin, the CEO of the South Korean The harvest of a Chinese plot of eggtubers of the Atlantic variety in the province of Heilongjiang. company, show that, as well as in China, his company already produces eggtubers in North and South America with the company E Green Americas. This season the company has plans to enter the European market and is looking for a partner company to do this. They have already booked a stand at PotatoEurope in Belgium. ● Potato World 2019 • number 2 15 Pagina 14

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