Grant Will Help Introduce 'Chipping Potatoes'
Idaho, Oregon and Washington departments of agriculture and potato commissions will match a $70,000 grant to assist in educating Asian snack food companies about Pacific Northwest "chipping potatoes."
The USDA Federal State Marketing Improvement Program recently made the grant available to the Washington State Department of Agriculture for the specific use.
This two-year project will be matched by cash and in-kind contributions from the three states' ag departments and their potato commissions. It will be used to translate a chipping potato technical guide and conducting educational seminars on varieties, handling and storage in those markets.
The funding will enable the industry to provide the technical education demanded by Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese and Thai processors, and to explore the potential for growing potatotes specifically for these niche markets.
The Pacific Northwest comprises one of the world's largest potato-growing regions, with "chipping potatoes" being those varieties grown specifically for processing into snack foods.
The snack food industries in South Korea, Taiwan, China and Thailand provide growers an excellent opportunity for market expansion as they are major consumers of potato-based snack foods.
The second grant of $100,000 will allow the Oregon and Washington potato commissions to explore the cold chain system in Central America and design educational and technical seminars for frozen potato products. This grant was received from the Emerging Markets program.