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    Yvan Pelletier and Helen Tai hope you'll never look at a potato the same way again.
     
    The agricultural scientists, who are co-leading a network to help expand the potato industry, are working to unleash the full potential of the humble tuber and create new markets for spud farmers to sell their product.

    "I look at a potato and I see all the possibilities,"Pelletier said Wednesday.

    Those possibilities probably aren't the ones you've dreamt up in your kitchen. They're things such as bio-plastic utensils that dissolve in water, extracts that can be used by the pharmaceutical industry and even insect repellents - all from a potato.

    The federal government announced $5.3 million in funding to create the BioPotato Network on Wednesday and help bring those possibilities closer to reality.

    Pelletier and Tai said the network will bring a significant portion of that investment to the Potato Research Centre on Lincoln Road in Fredericton.

    Canada's potato industry is already worth nearly $6 billion a year to the national economy and generates more than 30,000 jobs.

    Pelletier and Tai are confident their team can help expand the industry, and they're excited about the possibilities.

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