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    Potatoes are for more than just french fries. With the federal government's aid, a nation-wide network of researchers co-ordinated from Fredericton is hoping to develop new uses for spuds - and help Canadian farmers cash in. The federal government is investing $5.3 million in the project, called the BioPotato Network. The three-year project will bring together 12 organizations and 32 scientists from across Canada, to be managed by a duo of scientists at Fredericton's Potato Research Centre.

    "There are several things we can do with potatoes aside from turning them into mash, and fries,"said Yvan Pelletier, a co-leader of the BioPotato Network, at the funding announcement in Fredericton. "That's what we would like to explore."

    Pelletier will be directing the program along with co-leader Helen Tai.

    The network will focus on producing value-added uses for the potato, such as health and pharmaceutical products, dietary properties, potato-based plastics and insect control.

    Mike Allen, MP for Tobique-Mactaquac, said the funding is designed to develop and harness new markets for potato farmers across the country.