Over the past few decades the Canadian Provinces Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Alberta have exported a considerable amount of seed potatoes from Canada to Latin America and the Caribbean.
However, the export market in some of those countries has decreased substantially in the past couple of years.
On the other hand, seed growers from the Province of Quebec have almost exclusively exported their seed potatoes to the USA only.
More recently, a couple of seed potato companies from Quebec, together with the Centre de Recherche Les Buissons (CRLB) have started an initiative to export high quality seed potatoes to Latin America and the Caribbean.
For this purpose, the Centre de Recherche Les Buissons has developed and registered more than 23 potato varieties of which some are known in the United States only.
Progest also has its own breeding program and advanced selected clones are currently being evaluated in some of the target countries.
Progest 2001 Inc, a private research and development agricultural company based in Sainte Croix, Quebec has been given the mandate to promote Quebec’s seed potatoes in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Starting late 2013, Progest has sent seed samples to several private and governmental potato organisations in the region. Collaborative agreements were signed with institutions such as EMBRAPA (Brazil) and INCA (Cuba).
As part of the Progest agenda, their professional staff have actively participated in the 2014 (Colombia) and 2016 (Panama) Congresses of the Latin America Potato Association (ALAP) respectively. In addition, Progest potato specialists have visited potato growers in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Meanwhile, the first containers with commercial high quality seed have already being shipped to Uruguay.