Atlantic Potato Seed Multiplication Program - Bangladesh
Crops of focus: Potato
Countries of focus: Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, there is an increasing demand for processor-grade potato varieties. Thus, in 2015, the Atlantic variety was introduced and registered for use. Although there were initial challenges for its adoption, this variety has the potential to fill the gap for processors in the market, including Kellogg’s – a U.S.-based multinational food processing company. SEBA Agro Tech, a local seed company, adopted the variety but has not yet been able to increase production to acceptable levels. Our project aims to assist SEBA in increasing its production to meet the local demand of off-takers (e.g. Kellogg’s).
US-originated Atlantic potatoes are popularly known as a chipping variety due to their high specific gravity, dry matter content, and flake quality. It has also been identified as a profitable variety for farmers worldwide due to its average competitive yield (30-35 tons per ha).
On the demand side, Kellogg’s company has since 2016 procured flakes from Bangladesh. At present, Kellogg’s is sourcing around 2,000 metric tons of flakes. However, demand is continuously rising, with around 20,000 metric tons flakes being demanded by Kellogg’s and other off-takers.
The objective is to provide technical assistance to increase the adoption of the Atlantic potato variety and grow commercial seeds for commercial growers, enabling smallholder potato farmers to access remunerative off-take markets for process and export potatoes.
Production Protocols: SFSA has been conducting field trials in order to embed a more effective production protocol for the Atlantic variety and as a result, this protocol is in its final stages before being adopted as an industry standard.
Commercial Seeds: In 2021 to 2022 production season, SEBA Agro Tech imported 20,000 Generation zero (GO) mini-tubers from Technico (India). SEBA has continued seed multiplication to obtain commercial seeds, to the point that it now has 15 metric tons of 2nd generation seeds stock for next seasons’ multiplication.
Multiplication Techniques: SFSA successfully facilitated the implementation of Apical Rotted Cutting (ARC) techniques to get quality commercial seeds by half-time compared to other multiplication techniques.
Demand-led Production: Kellogg’s has submitted their revised Flakes demand and support strategy to SEBA Agro Tech (2023-2027). Since this time, the SEBA Agro Tech farming strategy review contract is under process. These developments have restored and reinforced farmers’ faith in the potential of the Atlantic potato variety.