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Potato farmers expected to achieve higher yields

Farmers in Davao del Sur are expected to achieve higher yields in their first potato cropping using quality Granola potato seeds from Prince Edward Island, Canada handed to them last March through the Sustainable Potato Program (SPP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 11.

The SPP is collaborative program of DA Region XI, Universal Robina Corp. (URC), Bansalan municipal government, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST).

The program, which was launched last March, seeks to improve farmers’ income and at the same time develop a sustainable seed system for potato production in the region.

Last April, farmers from Alegre and Balutakay planted one crate of seed tubers, or about 30 kilograms or 600 seedlings, and were expected to produce about 600 kilograms of potato tubers. From less than a kilo per potato plant, these seeds would result in harvest of about 2.5 kilograms per plant, a production that is high based on standards, the DA said.

Farmers also underwent training and were able to access research-based technology as part of the SPP.

This week, most recipients of the 17,000 kilograms of G3 Granola seeds tubers from Digos and Bansalan will carry out their first ever harvest. According to SPP program leader Melani Provido, they will be monitoring and assisting the harvesting of farmers in Brgy. Alegre, Bansalan on Tuesday.

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