On December 5, NPC, state partners and individual growers met with Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Services Greg Ibach, APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea and other senior officials for an in-depth discussion on the domestic and international programs that APHIS is undertaking and how they can best engage with the industry to support its health and profitability.
“We sincerely appreciate the time and attention of Undersecretary Ibach, Administrator Shea and all the members of the APHIS team supporting potato industry programs. Their close coordination is highly valued and essential to achieving our long-term goals,” said Kam Quarles, NPC CEO.
Updates included progress on key commitments such as supporting the phytosanitary health of U.S. potatoes in grant proposals to USDA’s National Institute of Food Agriculture’s (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative. As a result of this cooperation, NIFA funded six projects totaling more than $2.5 million in 2019. Additionally, APHIS’s cooperation with the industry resulted in seven projects receiving more than $1.8 million in Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program funding in 2019.
APHIS also updated the group on their support of the industry’s trade priorities, including year-round market access for chipping potatoes in Japan, expanding access beyond the current 26-kilometer zone in Mexico, coordinating with Canada on bilateral approaches to diseases, expanding cooperation with South Korea, opening the Chinese market, finalizing the protocol for seed potato exports to Egypt, and expanding discussions with Morocco.