SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Sep. 7 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, and the island councilor for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Javier Parrilla, have met with more than twenty restaurateurs, hoteliers, supermarkets, distributors and potato producers on the island to try to establish synergies that strengthen the cultivation, distribution and marketing of potatoes.
During the meeting, which was also attended by the insular director of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cayetano Silva, issues such as the decrease in potato consumption by the population, the need to increase the strategy to combat the Guatemalan moth or the problems in the production and marketing of this tuber.
“We are all very proud of the potatoes that we are capable of producing in Tenerife, but if we want to maintain this crop and generate an economy on the island, we need to sit down with the entire sector and collect proposals and ideas to know where we have to improve and where we have to direct our efforts to support the potato farmer,” said Pedro Martín in a note.
The island president also expressed his commitment “to intensify the fight against the Guatemalan moth, which is what prevents us from selling abroad, through the release of pheromones”, and highlighted the importance of continuing to work to position the Tenerife potato in the market, highlighting its nutritional benefits and publicizing its many commercial varieties.
“To the extent that the demand for potatoes from Tenerife increases, their cultivation will be encouraged, better income will be obtained by our farmers, and greater guarantees that this activity can continue over time,” he asserted.
For his part, Parrilla stated that the potato is one of those products that “identifies” the island because it also comes from a very powerful seed bank, hence the importance of this meeting.
In this regard, the island official recalled that “in recent years, potato productivity per hectare has increased, thanks in large part to the improvements in the irrigation systems carried out by this corporation, which has contributed to counteract the losses derived from the drought and the damages caused by the Guatemalan moth”.
At the end of the meeting, the insular president summoned the attendees to send their improvement proposals to the corporation and it was agreed to hold a second meeting to study the feasibility of the measures.
THE POTATO IN TENERIFE
The potato is the third most important crop on the island, behind the vineyard and the banana, although in the mid-range areas it is one of the most economically important crops.
According to the 2021 crop map, there are currently some 1,745 hectares cultivated with potatoes, which means, according to the Crop Plan of the Island of Tenerife, 9.3 percent of the total planted area of the island.
In 2021, 46 million kilos were produced on the island –compared to 43.1 million in 2021– and average yields are around 18,000 kilos per hectare.
With the aim of continuing to promote the consumption of the island’s potatoes, the Cabildo has launched a new promotion campaign this year to value the quality of local products, promote the training of farmers and increase the area cultivated and productivity of farms on the island, reducing abandonment.