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Norte Am. 31/05/2024

Canadá: Eyes on the fries: Alberta snatches potato crown from P.E.I.

This story is from this week’s episode of the new CBC podcast Good Question, P.E.I.

Good Question, P.E.I. is available on the CBC Listen app, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Prince Edward Island no longer produces more potatoes than any other Canadian province.

Yes, you read that correctly. We’re No. 2.

Alberta, the Prairie province known for its thick cuts of red meat, is now the potato king of Canada. But just by a skin.

According to the most recent report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta produced 21.8 per cent of Canadian potatoes in 2022 — just 0.2 per cent more than P.E.I. Manitoba is also hot on our heels at 21.3 per cent.

And while our Irish ancestors may find themselves in a stew, potato farmers on P.E.I. are not exactly demanding a recount.

It’s fine, they say. All good.

Business such as the Little Potato Company has helped Alberta surpass P.E.I. in potato production. (Shane Ross/CBC)

In fact, the P.E.I. Potato Board says the Island is pretty much maxed out in terms of potato production. If anything, P.E.I. is eroding and shrinking. We could use the help supplying the world with spuds.

The North American frozen French fry industry in particular is still going up in demand. So places like Alberta are starting to fill that need. Have at ’er.

That’s not to say some farmers don’t think about what an oversupply of potatoes could mean, even south of the border.

"That’s always a fear," Keisha Rose Topic, a sixth generation potato farmer with R.A. Rose and Sons in eastern P.E.I.

"Especially this year, it was actually Idaho that planted 55,000 extra acres that created a glut in potatoes in Idaho, which they could then bring into Canada for cheaper than we wanted to sell ours out of P.E.I. for."

Some Alberta potatoes can be found in P.E.I. grocery stores, such as those cute little taters from the Little Potato Company. It started as a father-daughter operation in Edmonton in 1996 and has grown to about 400 employees.

P.E.I. still has more potato farms than Alberta, but that number shrunk from 262 in 2011 to 175 in 2021. In the same time period, Alberta went from 149 to 123.

Aerial view of tractors planting potatoes and plowing a field in  Roseberry, PEI on sunny afternoon, late-April. Pictured: Randy Visser, president of G Visser & Sons in Orwell Cove, P.E.I., and his nephew Ben Visser, farm operations manager Taken 21-Apr, 2022. 

Aerial view of tractors planting potatoes and plowing a field in Roseberry, PEI on sunny afternoon, late-April. Pictured: Randy Visser, president of G Visser & Sons in Orwell Cove, P.E.I., and his nephew Ben Visser, farm operations manager Taken 21-Apr, 2022.

P.E.I. still has the highest number of potato farms in the country, according to Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Unless more young farmers get into potato growing, P.E.I. may have to accept its fate.

But enough’s enough, Alberta. First you lured our hard workers out west, and now you’re wearing our potato crown.

At least we’ll always have Anne of Green Gables.

Have a question for an episode? Good Question, P.E.I. wants to hear from you!

Email goodquestionpei@cbc.ca or call our Talkback line at 1-800-680-1898.

Fuente: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/eyes-fries-alberta-snatches-potato-090053474.html?guccounter=1


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