A global role to play

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15 August 2023
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Importance of the potato highlighted at 43rd conference of United Nations agency.

THE global importance of the potato was highlighted at the 43rd conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations leading international efforts to defeat hunger and event highlights included raising awareness to participants about the value and global importance of the potato for food and nutritional security, the promotion of sustainable agriculture and the preservation of food diversity while highlighting its potential to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially with regard to the eradication of hunger. 

According to FAO, food demand in the world will increase up to 50% by 2050 and a key challenge is how to effectively produce more and better food with the same or less resources considering many other challenges such as climate change, COVID-19, inflation and global conflicts.

World Potato Congress (WPC) Director André Devaux delivered an official message at a side event organised by the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture (MIDAGRI) entitled 'Photographic Exhibition: The Biodiversity of Potatoes and Its Contribution to Food Security and the Global Economy'.

André said: “The potato is a resilient crop. With a short maturity, it is one of the most productive food crops in terms of yield of edible energy and proteins per unit of area and unit of time. It is adaptable to various agro-ecological conditions and can be cultivated at sea level as well as at more than 4000m altitude. The potato crop requires much less water than other food crops such wheat, rice and corn. It is as high-quality food with rich and balanced nutrition, and it plays a dual role in family farming economy providing first food for home consumption and, as a cash crop, providing incomes.”

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The World Potato Congress has been involved during the past two years in the process to promote the celebration of an International Potato Day in coordination with FAO and with an international coalition of countries, led by Peru, and supported by Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Australia, and China.

The WPC will continue working with FAO, Peru, and partners to explore opportunities to promote the celebration of the first International Potato Day, which is scheduled to take place on May 30th, 2024. 

Pictured are Ambassador Julio Eduardo Martinetti, FAO Director General Qu Dongyu, André Devaux and Peru's Vice Minister of MIDAGRI Christian Barrantes visiting the potato exhibition.

Source: World Potato Congress

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