Potato Processing On a Rising Trend in Alberta, Canada
Alberta is processing more potatoes than ever before. In 2017, Alberta has about 21,500 hectares of farmland dedicated to potatoes, producing just over two billion pounds of tubers, putting the province third in the country behind Prince Edward Island (36,000 hectares) and Manitoba (27,235 hectares).
“We’ve seen potato production in Alberta more than double over the last 20 years or so, and we’re just actually right behind Prince Edward Island and Manitoba in third spot for potato production,” said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, according to 660news.com.
P.E.I. is still Canada’s top producer, but things might change in the future, the analyst thinks. “There’s just not a lot more farming or agriculture space for them to expand,” Hirsch said. “As a result, I think Alberta will easily surpass Prince Edward Island in the next few years.”
One of the reasons for the rapid increase is the growth of value-added industries in southern Alberta. “Alberta really is on the map for processed potato products, frozen french fries, snack foods and the like,” he said. “Farmers have been responding to that by growing more potatoes.”
On the other hand, in September 2017, Cavendish Farms entered the next phase in the construction of their new USD360m frozen potato processing plant. The construction will be completed by fall 2019. When the Cavendish Farms slated to open the new plant – adding another 3,800 hectares — the potato industry is expecting another increase.