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Foreword
 
 

Foreword

The potato (Solanum tuberosum), originating from South-America, is an increasingly important staple food all over the world. This is because potatoes contain nutritional elements that are important for our health, such as fibre, iron, potassium and vitamins B and C.  They contain no fat, are low in calories and have an attractive taste. While the availability of fresh water will become a major concern in decades to come, potatoes offer the advantage over other major food crops of efficiently producing dry matter, protein and energy. Thanks to their many specific qualities, potatoes can be successfully grown under the most varied climate and production conditions all over the world. 

 

The global potato sector has to cope with many different developments, such as changes in consumers? diets, a growing trend towards convenience food and a healthy lifestyle. Supermarket chains and the processing industry are becoming ever more influential, competition is growing and consumers are demanding traceable, sustainable production. Another important development is the increasing acreage of other crops, for example those grown for the production of energy. And then there are the factors of climate change and better possibilities of communication.

 

Potato breeders constantly face the exciting challenge of responding to such developments by marketing new varieties to optimally meet consumers? diverse wishes. Considering the success of Dutch varieties worldwide, the breeders of the range of Dutch potato varieties are obviously doing an excellent job. Every year, the Netherlands exports around 700,000 tonnes of high-quality seed potatoes to more than 70 countries all over the world.

 

Especially as far as seed potatoes are concerned, the Netherlands occupies a leading position. This is partly due to our country?s favourable geographical location, with a low risk of virus diseases, and its fertile soil. Also very important is our  inspection organisation NAK (Nederlandse Algemene Keuringsdienst; Dutch General Inspection Service for Agricultural Seed and Seed Potatoes), our fundamental, practice-oriented research and good infrastructure. But the key sources of the Netherlands? high productivity are good entrepreneurship, innovative entrepreneurs, efficient chain organisation and our wide range of varieties, which we constantly improve to meet the wishes of consumers all over the world. Foreign users of Dutch seed potatoes want potato varieties with specific characteristics, geared to their local conditions where possible. A new variety can succeed only after many years of trials and selection in the world?s main potato-growing areas.

 

Since 1975 the Netherlands Catalogue of Potato Varieties has been published on a regular basis. The catalogue contains a selection of varieties marketed by Dutch breeders, mainly potato varieties that are annually produced in the Netherlands on an acreage of more than 40 hectares. In the present catalogue, several varieties have been replaced by promising new ones that will become increasingly important for the potato industry. In view of the positive experiences with the catalogue?s availability on the Internet, the 2011 edition will also be accessible online in seven languages at www.nivap.nl. The printed version will only be available in English.

 

We hope that this 14th revised edition of the Netherlands Catalogue of Potato Varieties, combined with the multilingual internet version, will find its way to all parts of the world and contribute towards the further development of the potato industry. The right variety combined with the availability of high-quality seed potatoes is an essential prerequisite for profitable, sustainable cultivation. In the years to come, still many countries may experience to double their production by using the most suitable Dutch seed potatoes and the right cultivation methods. The information in the 2011 Catalogue of Potato Varieties offers you essential support for obtaining an optimum potato crop.

 

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this publication, and also our sponsors LTO and NAO.

 

Mr. R. van Diepen,

managing-director of the NIVAP, the Netherlands Potato Consultative Foundation

The Hague, 2011



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