FAO welcomes resolution to have fun Worldwide Day of Potato yearly on Might 30

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New York/Rome –The Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO) immediately welcomed the UN’s resolution to designate 30 Might as Worldwide Day of Potato, a possibility to boost consciousness of a crop recurrently consumed by billions of individuals and of worldwide significance for meals safety and diet.

The annual observance was championed by Peru, which submitted a proposal for adoption to the UN Common Meeting primarily based on an FAO Convention Decision of July 7, 2023. The impetus for the Day, which builds upon the Worldwide 12 months of Potato that was noticed in 2008, originates from the necessity to emphasize the numerous function of the potato in tackling prevalent world points, reminiscent of meals insecurity, poverty and environmental threats.

“This Worldwide Day will make clear the numerous worth of the potato – dietary, financial, environmental and cultural.  It’ll additionally spotlight the contribution of the potato to world meals safety, poverty discount and the livelihoods of tens of millions, whereas emphasizing the important thing function of Indigenous Peoples data and practices,” mentioned FAO Deputy Director-Common Beth Bechdol.

The Day “will permit us to attract consideration to the significance of this ancestral crop in sustaining efforts to scale back starvation, malnutrition and poverty; in addition to to encourage agricultural improvement, meals safety, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem capabilities,” Víctor García Toma, Everlasting Consultant of Peru to the United Nations advised the Common Meeting immediately.

One crop, a lot potential

A millennia-old meals with origins within the South American Andes area that made its strategy to Europe within the sixteenth century then unfold all over the world, the potato is far more than a supply of nourishment.

Potatoes are an necessary element of methods to offer accessible and nutritious meals and improved livelihoods in rural and different areas the place pure sources, particularly arable land and water are restricted and inputs costly. The crop’s versatility and talent to develop in a wide range of circumstances make it an advantageous crop selection.

Potatoes are additionally a climate-friendly crop as they produce low ranges of greenhouse gasoline emissions compared to different crops.

Previously decade, world manufacturing of potatoes has elevated by 10 p.c resulting in progress in employment and revenue however, extra work nonetheless must be finished to harness the complete potential of the crop within the quest to finish starvation and malnutrition globally.  

As well as, there’s a extensive spectrum of variety amongst potatoes, with over 5,000 improved varieties and farmers’ varieties/landraces, a lot of that are distinctive to their authentic location in Latin America. The 150 wild relations of the cultivated potato present a large genetic variation with a variety of traits, together with the flexibility to adapt to completely different manufacturing environments, resistance to pests and illnesses, and completely different tuber traits. They’re a repository of the heritable traits for the continued genetic enchancment of the crop to answer ever altering environmental circumstances, new biotypes of pests and illnesses and customers’ preferences. 

FAO’s work: challenges and concrete actions

Potato manufacturing faces a number of threats and challenges, particularly pests and illnesses, such because the virulent late blight and its varied kinds, in addition to bacterial wilt, blackleg, Colorado potato beetle, lesser leaf blight, cyst nematodes, and quite a few different. The much-desired better cultivation and consumption of potatoes, particularly in creating international locations, are additionally constrained by weaknesses alongside the crop’s worth chain, starting from low availability of high quality seeds and suboptimal agricultural practices, by means of insufficient storage and processing services to restricted entry to markets.

FAO is dedicated to supporting its Members to construct resilient, context-specific worth chains for potato. The observance of the Worldwide Day of Potato will absolutely align with FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-31, which goals to help the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Growth by means of the transformation to extra environment friendly, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood techniques for higher manufacturing, higher diet, a greater surroundings and a greater life, leaving nobody behind.


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