Home Insider Washington to Import Potatoes to Myanmar

Washington to Import Potatoes to Myanmar

“Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) is planning to import pota- toes to Myanmar’s hotels and food chains. WSPC will import 28 metric tons of pota- toes, mostly with container for trial import and see the result”, said WSPC Executive Director Chris Voigt at Washington State Reception Seminar at Sedona Hotel, Yangon  on 5th November.

He also said that if local people like the pota- toes, WSPC has a plan to liaise with growers from Myanmar by sharing technology. Owner of Mr.Potato, fried potato, U Theik Soe said, “I welcome the American potato importing program to come to Myanmar as sometime local potatoes have bad qual- ity. Good quality potato has yellow color when fried. If red, that potato has the large amount of water and sugar mineral con- tent.”

State Department of Agriculture Director Bud Hover said, “Imported potatoes can be more expensive than the price of Myanmar potato, however, the quality will be better. We also collect the data by meeting busi- nessmen from Bayintnaung wholesale cen- tre, Union of Myanmar Federation of Cham- bers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and others”.

Potatoes are imported from U.S so that the tax can be expensive. So WSPC’s main tar- gets are famous restaurants like KFC and hotels, according to the commission.

Hover said in a Washington State Depart- ment of Agriculture (WSDA) Statement, “Washington is home to the highest yielding potato fields in the world. Our growers con- sistently produce the qualified potatoes that are desired throughout many countries. We continue to see international exports play a larger role for our industry and we look for- ward to building upon that success with our trade mission.”

Ryan Holterhoff, director of marketing and industry affairs for the WSPC, said, “This year, our organization has provided growers with full equipments to assist them step-by- step guidance for updating their food safety procedure. This effort is to ensure they are fulfilling all requirements of the industry,” reported in The Produce News, U.S news- paper, on 1st August.

According to the statement, Washington exported $5.6 million in food products to Myanmar in 2012. Myanmar opened its markets to Washington food products in 2011.

At present, WSPC import potato to Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico and Canada.

This year, there is decrease in potato yield because of bad weather condition and the prices has rise in Myanmar. In the past, 1 Viss (1.65 kilogram) of potatoes cost only 500 kyats ($0.5), however, it is now 700- 800 kyats ($0.7-0.8), according to U Theik Soe.

Daw Khin Khin Lay, a businesswoman in agriculture sector said, “Potato farmers cul- tivate other fruits in the season as they have very little support. So the potato price rise may be due to fewer growers than before”. In Myanmar, potato was mainly grown in Pin Laung, Hel Hoe, T Kyit, Aung Pann in Shan State and good quality potatoes also come from Sin Phyu Kyun Town in Magwe division.