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Korea-Peru-Algeria – Joining efforts around Seed Potato Production in Algeria

Organization(s):

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)

Country (ies):

Providers: Korea and Peru Recipient: Algeria

Overview:

Crop demand in Algeria has continued to rise sharply, thus expanding the volume of imports. Imports of crops have increased over 50%, especially the potato, which is one of the major staple foods in Algeria. Algerian potato production is so insufficient to provide to the Algerian people that they have to import 80,000 tons every year. Korea and Peru provided technical assistance in potato production skills in order to alleviate the food crisis and poverty in Algerian rural areas.

Background:

The recent fluctuations in global grain prices have aggravated the situation and made the poor more vulnerable to the risks of food in security. The UN declared 2008 to be the "International Year of the Potato" to stabilize food supplies. The 80,000 tons of seed potato, which is one of the major staple foods in Algeria, was imported from Europe every year, but in 2006 only 30,000 tons of the potato was secured. Over 75% of the population depends on seed potato, which takes up about 70% of total production costs. The Algerian government had set a high priority for the agricultural sector and made a 2005-2009 Agriculture plan spent 200 billion dinars for increasing agriculture productivity. However, Algeria was desperately in need of technical cooperation. Algeria requested the assistance for cooperation in agriculture and Korea dispatched the officials and experts twice for the discussion. Based on this understanding, the Korean government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Algeria for technical cooperation in agricultural education in 2006.

In line with the MOU, Algeria requested the seed potato project and KOICA had a feasibility study and make a several meeting in 2006, finally decided to help improve the techniques of seed potato production to help solve basic problems in potato production. In line with the Paris Declaration (PD) and the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), KOICA decided to increase South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation as a main entry door for collaborative modalities. During policy dialogue with Peru in 2008, the president of KOICA proposed to the president of Peru to join the project by dispatch experts for aid effectiveness due to its comparative advantage in this area on the base that the potato originated in Peru, which has over 400 species and is also home to the International Potato Center.

Peru President was agreed with Triangular Cooperation and hoped it will also improve Peru's capacity building of International cooperation. Through consultation between KOICA Office in Peru and Ministry of Agriculture of Peru Government, the detail of responsibility of each country was formulated.

Implementation:

In the planning, the project was initiated by KOICA and Ministry of Agriculture of Algeria, and terms of reference which included the details of project component and undertaking was agreed in 2008.

KOICA selected highland Agriculture Research Center of Korea (HARC) as project management consulting agency which had various experience and expertise. HARC transferred Korean technology and experience to INRAA in potato breeding by training and consulting. After Peru's commitment for the project, KOICA and HARC had discussed the detail of job description, the expert qualification, budget and period with the Ministry of Agriculture of Peru Government.The Ministry recommended the expert who specialized in potato breeding also was able in language (French and English) and the expert dispatched to the Algeria with HARC to introduce Peru's potato breeding system. National Institute of Agricultural Research of Algeria (INRAA) established project unit, and the Establishment of a potato research institute (Tiaret Laboratoire de production des semences de pomme de terre).

With comparison of breeding in potato in two countries, various aspect of breeding circumstance such as weather condition could be introduced to INRAA, so it was effective to research potato which will be more suitable in Algeria. The details of implementation are as follows:

Type of Cooperation
Triangular cooperation (North-South-South cooperation/North: Korea, South (Pivotal): Peru, South: Algeria)

Undertakings of Each Country
Korea: Construction of research facilities for seed potato production, equipment, technical cooperation in hydroponics, disease inspection, breeding, tissue culture and certified seed production

Peru: Technical cooperation in potato breeding

Algeria: Establishment of a potato research institute (Tiaret Laboratoire de production des semences de pomme de terre), and providing sufficient land and facilities necessary for the construction

Activity Details

1. Technical assistance
A. Introduction of a potato breeding program• Potato breeding programs in Korea• Potato breeding programs in Peru
B. Education on potato breeding techniques
• Introduction to breeding using potato varieties and lines released by some countries
• Traditional cross-breeding
• Potato breeding using various genetic resources of Peru
C. Evaluation of agricultural characters of potato varieties and germ plasm
• Major agricultural characters such as yield, tuber quality, disease tolerance and adaptability to the environment
• Discuss agricultural characters for the Algerian agricultural environment
D. Recommendation of a new potato breeding program for Algeria
• Selection of potato varieties and lines with heat- and drought-tolerances
• Selection of double-cropping potatoes

2. Construction and equipment
A. Construction of a research center (3,000 m2)
• Glass greenhouse, control center (micro propagation & disease inspection, and cold storage)
B. Equipment
• Tissue culture, disease inspection, and hydroponics

Outcomes:

1. Strengthening of Techniques of Seed Potato Production in Algeria
By upgrading research facilities and transferring related potato technology through the invitation of trainees and the dispatch of experts to the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRAA) in Algeria, a potato research center was established. The center will breed potato seeds that are most suitable for the Algerian environment, and the seed potato will be come into wide use for Algerian farmers.

2. Strengthening of Cooperation between Peru and Algeria in the Agricultural Sector
Through the project, sustainable cooperation between Peru and Algeria was initiated in agriculture. Peru donated 400 genes for large potatoes to Algeria in 2008, and participated in other types of cooperation, such as an agricultural exhibition.

3. Improving KOICA Triangular Cooperation Capacity
It was the first KOICA triangular project, so it was helpful to get a lesson learned specially project planning. As a main provider, KOICA had to make a plan with three countries, and consider not only comparative advantage also communication, pivotal country's ownership and harmonization through close consultation.

The project was a pilot project which demonstrated means to solve food security and poverty problems in developing countries, and KOICA will expand technical cooperation on the basis of each country's needs with this lesson.

Aid Effectiveness:

The Algerian government has set a high priority for the agricultural sector and spent 200 billion dinars in the sector. However, 80,000 tons of seed potato, which is one of the major staple foods in Algeria, was imported from Europe every year, but in 2006 only 30,000 tons of the potato was secured. The basic problem was the lack of technical skill in potato breeding.

Ministry of Agriculture make a 2005~2009 action plan include modernization of agricultural production and farming systems, open agricultural market for food security.

Even serious food security in Algeria, other donor countries had supported less in agriculture only 0.3% of total ODA and but more in economic and social infrastructure.

Recently, the Rural Development Administration in Korea developed a new potato breeding technique, which is resistant to high temperature conditions, such as those in Africa. The potato originated in Peru, which has over 400 species and is also home to the International Potato Center. Considering of each countries comparative advantage in potato breeding, the president of KOICA proposed to the president of Peru to join the project for aid effectiveness.

With combining of two countries' expertise and experience, it was more effective of developing a seed potato which will be more suitable to Algeria climate.

Algeria made a potato research center which finalize the seed potato experiment and will provide to the farmer.

Capacity Development:

Through the invitation of trainees and the dispatch of experts to the INRAA, capacity building was strengthened. A potato research institute in Algeria was established because there was a deep need for capacity building for the staff. The concept of training was based on basic potato skills like breeding programs and evaluations for agricultural characters of potato varieties and germ plasm.

Duration:

January 2007 to November 2009

Budget (Optional):

USD 1,800,000

Name of Primary Contact Person:

Mr. Jun Kyung-Moo

Title of Primary Contact Person:

Manager

City:

Seoul