TRADE AND MARKET I NG Poland on the road to EU-6 membership EUROPEAN PROJECT ON INTERNET OF FOOD & FARM (IOF) 2020 AT POLAND POTATO At the Poland Potato trade fair, Farm Frites Poland and AVR presented their results of the IoF2020 project to the Polish growers. The aim of the project is to get precision farming better accepted by growers in the EU. ‘In practice, many smart farming tools such as drones, sensors and satellites are already available. There are already many possibilities for advice on fertilisation and crop protection. But all these tools have not yet been widely accepted’, says Gerhard Meiborg, director of Farm Frites Poland and Koen Uyttenhove, IoT manager at AVR. ‘The IoF projects have been running in Western European countries for two years now. Given their success, the projects have now also been extended to Eastern European countries. We as Farm Frites Poland are participating in two projects on our 850 hectares of ware and 100 hectares of seed potatoes’, says Meiborg. ‘We collect data during the growing season in order to be able to predict the total yield and sizes of the potatoes’, Uyttenhove adds. ‘We want to combine this data when measuring the yield during harvesting. We also want to determine the grades on the harvester. The third element is the traceability of the harvested potatoes. We want to know what is where in the storehouse. By using data we want to optimise things so we can predict the market much better’, is Gerhard Meiborg (l) of Farm Frites Poland and Koen Uyttenhove, IoT manager at AVR, want to optimise the Polish potato cultivation with smart farming. Uyttenhove’s dream. The aim of this project is to achieve 10 percent more yield, 10 percent less food wastage and 10 percent less fuel consumption. ‘We also work with Gaia (which means earth in Greek) stations in the field. This measuring instrument is more than just a weather station. For example, they have a soil sensor to measure moisture and salinity, a solar radiation meter and a leaf wetness sensor. In combination with satellite images, we want to use all this data to be able to provide specific cultivation advice. The aim of this project is 10 percent less use of crop protection chemicals, 5 percent water reduction and 5 percent less fertiliser. We calculate everything back to the amount of tons produced per hectare, or actually tons of fries per hectare. In practical terms, this should roughly lead to 100 euros in spending cuts per hectare’, Meiborg explains. ing company Agrosad in Błaszki, who packages and sells around 100,000 tons of potatoes every year, also observes that there are opportunities for local varieties in the Polish market. Artur Szadkowski, commercial director of Agrico Poland and export manager Martijn Dekkers, tell us at the Potato Poland trade fair that they see a lot of opportunities in the Polish market. ‘Poland has three Frenchfry processors, four crisps manufacturers and ten potato starch producers.’ In addition to the growing demand in processing, they observe an annual growth in the professional table potato market. This offers opportunities for highly productive new varieties. ‘Before the Polish seed potato cultivation can really reform, the local inspection service, Piorin needs to change’, adds Pawel Zbiciakde, the Polish sales manager of the Dutch Set Holland trading company. ‘As potato trading companies, we only get the first results from the inspection service in January, which makes it difficult for us to plan for the following year. If the sector wants to expand further, major profes sionalisation and an investment in knowledge will be necessary’, he explains. ● Jaap Delleman Potato World 2020 • number 1 43 Pagina 42

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