TRADE AND MARKET I NG Potato programme without ring rot should give Polish sector new impetus ‘Due to developments in the national and international markets, our potato acreage will continue to grow in the coming years’, expects Polish Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowsky. ens are asking for attractive and tasty table potatoes. This offers opportunities for professional growers to increase their cultivation area.’ ‘The ring rot quarantine disease limits us in international trading’ What opportunities do you see for the future of the Polish potato sector? In many European countries, growers have a short crop rotation, which is causing more and more problems in cultivation. In Poland, however, there’s still room for a continuing, extensive crop rotation for potatoes. At the moment, the potato is already an important rotation crop, but growers can expand even further in the coming years. Today, cereals cover more than 70 percent of the total Polish agricultural area. The potato fits very well as a crop in a rotation cycle with cereals. We currently grow around 310,000 hectares of potatoes and there’s plenty of space to expand in acreage. By later only using highquality certified seed, growers will be able to achieve higher, good-quality yields per hectare. We’re seeing that the new Polish varieties are very good and produce a high yield. We’re now already one of the largest potato producers in Europe, but we’ll continue to expand in the coming years as a result of developments in the national and international markets. We’ll soon no longer speak of the EU-5, but of the EU-6 when it comes to important potato areas. These opportunities are not only for the big growers, though the small growers will also be able to realise more income in the coming years. This group is able to switch over to organic cultivation relatively quickly. Poland has excellent conditions as far as organic growing is concerned. Many of the smaller entrepreneurs are growing organic produce already because they don’t have the money to buy crop protection products and fertiliser. At the moment, organic food is still too expensive for a large group of consumers. We’ll have to wait until the income of the Polish people increases (the average monthly wage is over 1,100 euros, according to the Polish Central Bureau of Statistics, ed.) before this market will grow. ● Jaap Delleman Potato World 2020 • number 1 7 Pagina 6

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