Claim that climate change destroys 20% of potatoes a year.
August 26, 2016. Panama.
High temperatures and erratic rainfall have made that potato production in Latin America is decreasing each year between 10 and 20%, since the crop is harvested until it reaches the consumer’s plate can lose up to 40 % of it by poor organization in the supply chain. By 2050, many glaciers in the Andes will disappear which will generate a big water problem and an increase in insects, that previously don’t climbed the height and the cold weather, all these factors together can contribute to affect food security in Latin America.
According to EFE, “Global warming destrys between 10% and 20% of annual potato production in Latin America and has become the main threat facing this crop, even above an aggressive fungus known as late blight late “, said several experts in Panama.
“High temperatures and erratic rainfall have caused the late blight pass into the background. The production is decreasing every year between 10 and 20% in the region,” said the president of the Latin American Potato Association (Alap), the Mexican Rafael Mora. If the numbers are not higher is because many countries saving production with artificial irrigation, a facility that do not have all producers.
Climate change also reduces the quality of potato and causes undesirable browning abnormal darkening of the foil, said the producer during the opening of the XXVII Congress of the Alap, held until Friday in Panama City and brings together experts and farmers in the region.
“By 2050, many glaciers in the Andes will it disappear which will generate a big problem water and an increase in insects, they not previously climbed the height and the cold weather,” warned meanwhile the director of the International Potato Center (CIP), the Belgian Andre Devaux.
The CIP, whose headquarters are in Lima Peru, is one of the largest research centers potato, a crop height began to be produced in the Andean highlands more than eight centuries ago and reached Europe at the end the sixteenth century.
According Devaux, in addition to further develop potato varieties that are increasingly resistant to drought and sudden changes in temperature, it is necessary to improve supply chains and what is known as “post-harvest process.” “Since it collects harvest until it reaches the consumer’s plate can lose up to 40% of it by the poor organization of the supply chain, “said the scientist.
Also urges, according to experts, increase domestic consumption, it is necessary to demolish the myth that the potato fat, and develop better seeds, to provide more nutrients and can thus help to alleviate the problem of food security in Latin America.
United States and Canada are the largest exporters of America of this crop, of which more than 4,000 varieties exist and today is the third most consumed in the world, behind corn and rice, according to the Alap.
Mexico, with more than 70,000 hectares planted and more than a million and a half tons of potatoes produced annually, is the largest producer in Latin America.
Panama, for example planting each year about 10,000 hectares offering an average yield from 23 to 27 tons per hectare, said the Minister of Agricultural Development, Eduardo Carles.