Seed potatoes developed in Korea flourish in Cambodia
Seed potatoes engineered using Korean agricultural technology have been harvested in Cambodia with great success.
This variety of potato, called the Vietnam PO-7, was developed in January 2016 by a team of researchers from the Korean Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Cambodia Center and the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA).
After conducting several trial experiments last year, the team finally reaped their reward with a batch planted this past October on a farm in Sen Monorom, a city in Cambodia's northern Mondulkiri Province. On Feb. 3, after some 95 days since the seedlings were planted, the team harvested over 5,400 kg of uniformly shaped potatoes, a first for the region.
Cambodia has been trying to grow potatoes locally, but due to factors like climate and soil quality, it has had to rely on imports from neighboring countries, like Vietnam. Some 2,400 tons of potatoes are imported annually to meet local demand. To address this issue, the KOPIA Cambodia Center and the RUA set up a collaborative network in 2016 to engineer seed potatoes that are better suited to Cambodia's agricultural environment. Their research will be conducted through to the end of 2018, with funding of some USD 120,000 from the KOPIA Cambodia Center.
"The first test harvest planted in the Mondulkiri region produced around 18 tons of potatoes per hectare, a result that surprised many of the locals," said the director of KOPIA Cambodia Center, Bang Jin-Ki. "Our center will continue to cooperate with the RUA to provide training and to share resources on agricultural technology."