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Spud studies to be offered in SW China

KUNMING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- A university in southwest China's Yunnan Province confirmed on Wednesday that it would establish a department dedicated to potato studies.

Yunnan Normal University begun potato research in the 1970s and has since led the field within the province.

The university held a meeting on a potato college in November.

In December, the university signed a strategic framework agreement with an institute for genome research under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, deciding to set up two majors -- potato genome studies and genetic breeding.

A university employee said the college is not yet open for enrollment.

China is the world's largest potato producer, with a planting area of 5.6 million hectares. The country is increasing potato production to make it a staple food, better ensuring food security as it faces tight supplies of farmland, water and labor.

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