The United States Potato Board International Food Assistance Program

Published in the January 2013 Issue Published online: Jan 25, 2013
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Rachel Onuska (speaker) is from the private voluntary organization, International Partnership for Human Development (IPHD) - Congo. They are currently programming standard potato flakes, which were recently purchased by the USDA. Those flakes will be going to the Congo for their USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education (FFE) program. They also currently have a FFE program in Guinea Bissau, where they have been utilizing flakes. IPHD was one of the first organizations to program U.S. dehy and they started in 2002 in Romania with 290 metric tons, then in Moldova in 2003-2004, with about 6,180 metric tons.

The two people on the right side of the photo are Desire Yameogo and Emmanuel Gang, both from Counterpart International Cameroon-where the first-ever granules are headed. Joe Serra, left, is from Food for the Poor, an organization that has utilized U.S. dehy in their programs as well. The USPB trainings in the U.S. have been an important activity to educating the PVOs about the benefits of dehy, thus convincing them to program U.S. dehydrated potatoes for their beneficiaries.

These trainings are very important to provide information to the private voluntary organizations (PVOs) on the benefits and usage of U.S. dehydrated potatoes in food programming. We also learn from the participants what parameters they are working with and we can discuss how to best meet the needs of their beneficiaries by utilizing U.S. dehy.

"Colorful varvar ieties. These varieties-reds, whites and yellows-were grown in southern Kern County, Calif., and all had Wolf T Trax DD DD DDP Micronutrients added to the dry pre-plant fertilizers. All micronutrients were added for crop removal rates based on tons per acre.
"Seed Cutting Demo. James Hoff hosts the PVO group at his farm-showing them a seed cutting operation and planting.
"Emergency Feeding. This is a recipe developed in the hands-on portion of the workshop. The group had to develop a recipe that could be used in an emergency situation.
"School Feeding. This is a recipe developed by the "school feeding group." This may be a better recipe to showcase as the dehydrated potatoes (both flakes and granules) are going to school feeding programs.
"Storage Tour. Brett Jensen, former USPB International Committee member, takes the international group on a tour of the potato storage. Potato growers are an integral part of the activity implementation. The PVO staff members are grateful to meet the "industry experts" and learn about how high-quality U.S. potatoes are grown.

The participants learn about how dehy is made-starting with the high-quality U.S. fresh potatoes, through the sorting processing, through the dehydration process and finally to end users, where they have a hands-on opportunity to develop recipes appropriate for the field. They also learn about the nutrition of the potato and how various attributes can help their programs. For example, the vitamin C in potatoes unlocks the plant based iron in other commodities such as beans.

Following the training in Idaho Falls, PVOs were invited to join the USPB in Kansas City at the International Food Aid and Development Conference (IFADC). For the last activity, participants were asked to provide a short presentation on what they learned during the training and how they will utilize/implement what they learned about U.S. dehydrated potatoes in their programs. The Honorable Michael T. Scuse, UnderSecretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services, joined the group.