THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is gearing towards increasing the production of potatoes in an aim to strengthen potato-based agri-enterprises across the region.
Farmers were gathered in the recently-held Mindanao Potato Summit last month in Malaybalay City, to craft a five-year road map for the country's potato industry.
According to DA-Northern Mindanao, the road map will serve as a blueprint in furthering the potato industry amidst the challenges, such as limited supply of disease-free potato seeds, low productivity, among others.
As of 2014, Northern Mindanao contributed to the national potato output, registering 537 hectares of potato production areas, producing 6,145 metric tons in volume and posting an average yield of 11.44 metric tons.
"Given the high demand for potatoes both for fresh/table and the processing types, including its recognition of being a substitute staple food, it would not be far that farmers will soon be successful in their ventures, as long as they have the quantity and quality of production of potatoes and with the heart for farming," the DA-Northern Mindanao said.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, production of white potato in the country reached 116,783 metric tons in 2016. Cordillera region remained the highest contributor with 85.6 percent share or 99,981 metric tons, followed by Davao region with 8.4% or 9,846 metric tons and Northern Mindanao with 5.9 percent or 5,879 metric tons.