With an annual yield of 80 million tons, China is the largest potato producer in the world. This is surprising for a country that has been traditionally known for its rice fields. The government is promoting the potato as a staple food and aims for a doubling of its consumption. Meanwhile, the Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are shooting up like mushrooms and the French-fry processing industry is growing exponentially.
Dynamics provide opportunities
And yet, large-scale potato cultivation is perfectly possible in China. "The Inner Mongolia region has the best papers’, says Frijters. ‘Production there is already comparable with that in North America and Australia thanks to the excellent irrigation systems. Moreover, because of urbanisation more and more private agricultural land is becoming available. If the approach is sufficiently professional, the yields can rise in the long term. Where only 15 tons per hectare are being harvested on those small fields now, in the future, with large-scale potato cultivation, a crop of 45 to 50 tons becomes a possibility. So, the dynamics in the Chinese potato market will continue to offer plenty of opportunities. Certainly for businesses such as HZPC that, for many decades, have been building up their knowledge and expertise in potato variety breeding and growing.”
HZPC has been active on the Chinese market since 2002. A few HZPC varieties are currently being registered for use in the various sectors. The Innovator variety, which was one of the first varieties available on the Chinese market, is already being marketed by various French-fry processing companies. HZPC expects to expand its share in the important Chinese seed potato market further in the coming years.