DENVER—The United States Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) International Partnership for Human Development (IPHD) purchased five containers of U.S. seed potatoes for planting on large tracts of land in the Republic of the Congo. This land was donated by the government to IPHD for the introduction of mechanized agriculture in this central African nation which has roughly 4 million people.
The United States Potato Board (USPB) has worked with IPHD on numerous occasions in the past on food assistance projects and programs utilizing U.S. dehydrated potatoes in the Congo and elsewhere. In the spring of 2012, the USPB sent a sample shipment of U.S. seed potatoes to IPHD in the Congo to test on their new farm.
Additionally, USPB Seed Consultant Peter Joyce traveled to the Congo and provided IPHD with technical assistance for planting and cultivating the U.S. seed varieties. These trials were successful enough, despite some logistical hurdles, for IPHD to move ahead with commercial purchases for 2013. To help assure success with the potato production and other aspects of the farm, IPHD hired David Radtke to manage these new farms. He is a seed potato producer from Sanford, Colo., and a former USPB Board Member.
For more information, and to follow the progress of this mechanized farming development in the Congo, visit Radtke's blog: cropideas.blogspot.com.
For more information on the USPB as the nation’s potato marketing organization, positioned as the "catalyst for positive change," and the central organizing force in implementing programs that will increase demand for potatoes, please visit www.uspotatoes.com.