C.A.R.A.H. wins Award27/02/2020


C.A.R.A.H.  wins ‘Best Oral Presentation Award’ at Global Potato Conclave 2020 in Gandhinagar (Gujarat, India)


C.A.R.A.H. is the Non-profit Agri-Food Research and Extension Center of the Hainaut Province in Belgium. In a region where potato is one of the main crops and is very important economically, the control of potato late blight has always been a priority. Since 1987, CARAH late blight model is used to warn farmers in Hainaut and later in the whole Walloon Region (38,000 ha) about the most efficient moment to spray preventive fungicides, using data collected by a weather stations network and field observations.

Potato & India: Today, India is the second largest producer of potatoes, with 49 million tonnes being the annual production. 95 % of the varieties grown in India have been developed by the ICAR-CPRI. Processing companies such as Pepsico and Mc Cain have also introduced imported varieties, which are doing well in niche segments such as French fries and Chips. Also, the latter two companies along with other India companies are highly involved in contract manufacturing with the farmers across the country.

Global Potato Conclave: In lines with growing importance of potatoes in India, Global Potato Conclave 2020 was held from 28th January to 31st January in Gandhinagar in Gujarat. It was to deliberate on the decadal progress in the potato sector with a view to prepare a roadmap for the next ten years, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nation. The purpose was to highlight achievements and opportunities in the area of potato research, trade and industry, and value chain management. Speakers and exhibitors included learned personnels, leaders from private companies, senior scientists and researchers from CIP,  ICAR and CPRI, various International Research based Universities and Companies from UK, USA, Canada, Bangladesh, Kenya, Peru, etc.

C.A.R.A.H. had the opportunity to present their paper with title ‘VigiMAP, a Walloon (Belgium) potato late blight Decision Support System at individual field scale, fruit of 20 years Belgo-Chinese cooperation’ at the Conclave where they secured First Position in Dr. Mukhtar Singh Memorial Best Oral Presentation Award. There were 21 participants registered for this competition. Mr. Francois Serneels and Mr. Maxime Bonnave from C.A.R.A.H. explained how in collaboration with Chinese agronomists and Beijing HSJD company, they implemented this system in almost all the Chinese provinces and how it was a great success, decreasing the losses due to Late Blight by an average of 30 %.  Thus, this shows a huge potential for the development of this tool in a country like India which is the second largest producer of Potatoes in the world!

AWEX supported C.A.R.A.H. by connecting with some big companies for seeking potential pilot projects in India. The meetings were fruitful. Also, since the Indian Government is supporting agriculture strongly (evident in this year’s budget as well), we look forward to help Indian farmers through our Walloon Organization C.A.R.A.H.