Filipino Scientists Aim to Ramp Up French Fries Potato Seed Variety Production
Scientists at the Benguet State University, Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center have applied for a grant to fund a project that could see the increase of potato seedling production of the variety needed to make French fries. In the Philippines, there’s a growing demand for this particular potato diversity from the foodservice industry.
The research will help upgrade the potato research and development facilities in the Cordillera region, where the potato was declared a top agricultural product.
According to dr. Nancy Bantog, regional director of the Cordillera-Department of Science and Technology “the research is a three-year project which, when completed, will increase the volume of quality seeds by 25 percent and eventually improve the yield of the processing potato variety by 25%.”
The research bodies are seeking the grant, worth PHP77.7m (USD1.47m), under the DOST’s NICER facility (niche centers in the regions). The main goal is to enhance potato seed production of the targeted variety through the implantation of modern science and technology.
The program has five main components including biotech-assisted methods in nurturing the quality of potato seed production, enhancing micro-propagation system of true of type potato varieties, application of improved cultivation system to enhanced foundation seed production, increasing productivity and quality seeds through the improved storage interventions, and operationalizing the formal seed production system.
Currently, the Cordillera region can only produce 17% of the French fry-potato seedlings, but the research hopes to increase the present 15 tons per hectare yield to 20 tons.