N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 POTATO GROWER 7 were cultivated for future business deals. At the Potatoes USA Seed Symposium, the Senegal delegation met with U.S. suppliers. After the seminar, the Senegal group toured the seed potato growing area in California to learn about available varieties and to observe their seed order being bagged and stacked for export inspection the following day. They also arranged additional pur- chases during their visit from at least two different U.S. suppliers. Besides purchasing U.S. seed pota- toes for Senegal commercial farming operations, U.S. seed was procured by Senegal’s national agricultural development organization known as Anida, which encourages potato farming to improve rural lives. This government program provides qual- ity agricultural inputs to village farms to encourage community farming that reduces poverty by improving production value. In addition to being a nutritious food source, cultivating potatoes increas- es crop yield per drop of water. One of this summer’s delegation participants is the Director of Horticulture at the Senegal Ministry of Agriculture. A week after return- ing from his U.S. visit, which con- vinced him of U.S. seed potatoes’ superior quality, high yield poten- tial, and suitability to adapt to the African heat, the Director announced during his annual meet- ing with potato growers on August 11, that Senegal’s Ag Ministry would subsidize 40-50% of the cost of U.S. seed potatoes to encourage Senegalese farmers to plant them. This reduced-cost seed program is authorized to cover up to 1,200 tons of U.S. potatoes. If fully realized at this volume, Senegal would become our top export destination for U.S. seed potatoes outside of North America! If you are interested in more infor- mation about Potatoes USA’s seed program please contact Amy Burdett ([email protected]). Hammer-Lok Steel Building Systems | 44434 Harvest Ave. • Perham, MN 56573 | 1-844-203-4565 | www.hammer-lok.com Full service Design Build General Contractor for all your produce storage needs.