Cuban growers trained in Emmeloord on latest potato cultivation insights
From 27 to 29 June 2022 Cuban potato growers and other representatives of the Cuban potato sector were trained at the Potato Business School of the Agro-Food Cluster in Emmeloord. During the training, which will be replicated by the Cuban participants to fellow potato farmers in Cuba later this year, participants were trained in the latest insights on potato cultivation, including on good agricultural practices, farm management, crop protection. They also visited several Dutch companies from the potato sector around Emmeloord.
Seed potato exports
The Netherlands has exported seed potatoes to Cuba for over 20 years now and is the most important supplier of seed potatoes to Cuba. In 2022 Cuban authorities plan to import some 16.000 tons from the Dutch consortium of companies that include companies such as Agrico, HZPC, Van Rijn, Den Harting, Danespo, IPM, Stet Holland and Agroplant.
In order to make sure these high-quality seed potatoes deliver the best results in the Cuban agronomical and economics conditions, the exchange of knowledge and experiences between the Cuban and Netherlands stakeholders is essential. In this light, the agricultural team of the Netherlands Embassy in Cuba organized a three-day training from 27 to 29 June for Cuban potato growers and representatives of the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture and the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (INCA) at the Potato Business School in Emmeloord. The training was organized in close collaboration with Dutch potato association NAO, the Agro-Food Cluster in Emmeloord and representatives of the Dutch seed potato exporters.
Leading potato growers from Cuba’s primary potato growing regions were selected to attend the training in which they exchanged experiences and were briefed on the latest insights in potato cultivation, good agricultural practices, farm management, potato storage, and crop protection methods. Topics such as crop rotation, varieties, row spacing and biological pest control were among the most debated during the training.
Participants also visited family-owned potato companies in the area such as Van Tilburg, Tolsma/Grisnich, Leber and mechanization company Naaktgeboren. Representatives from Agrico, HZPC and Profyto gave guest lectures on specific topics of their expertise.
Participants and experts concluded that the potential to increase the yield of Dutch seed potatoes in Cuba is real. As a follow-up to the training, the participating growers will replicate the training with other growers in Cuba in the coming months. A further exchange with Dutch producers and companies in Cuba is expected to be organized in 2023.