'Production could double'

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United Nations' Director General says potato crop will be a bigger contributor to global food security

TOTAL production of the potato crop could double over the next 10 years, making a bigger contribution to global food security, according to QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

In his keynote presentation to the 11th World Potato Congress (WPC) recently, he said the crop generates income for small-scale producers, offers a low-fat, high-fibre source of healthy carbohydrates rich in antioxidants and nutrients, and generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other major crops.

By focusing on improving yields and making full use of historic potato cultivation areas, worldwide production can be raised to 500 million tonnes in 2025 and 750 million tonnes in 2030, the Director-General said.

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“Potato will become one of the advantage crops in the global food security system when the yield of other cereal crops is close to the limit,” Qu said.

He noted that Asia and Africa are the regions with the fastest growth of potato production, while output is declining in Europe and North America.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

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