|Home > News > Certified seed potato: healthy and high Yields|
Certified seed potato: healthy and high Yields
The potato is the fourth most important food crop in the world after rice, maize and wheat in the terms of human consumption. More than a billion people worldwide eat potato, and world potato production exceeds 477 million metric tons. Potatoes are mainly propagated by vegetative methods (cloning), meaning that a new plant can be grown from a potato or piece of potato with nodes (eyes). High quality seed potato is essential for the production of a profitable potato crop.
Taiwan Seed Potato Certification Scheme was drawn up by Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine in 2009. Under this scheme, all seed potato to be certified must be inspected during growth and disease evaluation was conducted. An expert consulting group, including government officers from Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, plant pathologists of National Chung Hsing University and researchers of Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station and Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station, was set up to perform field inspections. The quality of the seed potatoes is needed to meet the certification standards from G1 to G4, which took at least 3-4 years of inspection. Certified seed potatoes grown in the field could boost the total production of potato to 35 tons per hectare, compared 25 tons per hectare using in non-certified seed potatoes which produce.
Because of the climate and cultivation habits, potatoes are planted from early winter to late spring (around October to February) in Taiwan. After harvest, potato would be stored in cold condition for supplying year-round.
Potato differences in size, shape, color, skin, pulp, texture and their taste provide a wide range choice for consumers. When purchasing those, always look for potatoes that are firm with no soft or dark spots, and avoid green-tinged and sprout. In addition, when potato tubers are exposed to light, they turn green or geminated, resulting in increase of toxic alkaloid production.
▲Fig.1 Differences in growth of non-certified seed potato (left) and certified seed potato (right) grown in the field.