GLOBAL CELEBRATION OF ALL THINGS POTATO

International potato day

U.N. BODY SHOWCASES WORK AND CONTRIBUTION OF POTATO SUPPLY CHAINS WORLDWIDE.

THE first International Potato Day took place recently, a new annual event which pays homage to the crop, its diverse farming systems globally, its contribution to food security and nutrition, and those employed in the sector.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations organised the event, sharing case histories and the efforts of those in the industry on a newly-established website page, while encouraging anyone involved in the supply of potatoes to draw attention to the date and organise celebratory events, as well as sharing on social media and website posts.

Regarded as an opportunity to build on the International Year of the Potato observed in 2008, the event highlighted the importance of the crop in combating hunger and poverty and addressing environmental threats to agrifood systems.

The roles of small-scale family growers, a significant proportion of whom are women, in safeguarding the wide spectrum of the crop’s diversity, was also recognised, while the cultural and culinary dimensions of the crop’s cultivation and consumption were celebrated.

The FAO shared little-known facts such as the 12,000-hectare potato park in the Andes near Cusco, Peru, being one of the few conservation initiatives in which local communities are managing and protecting their potato genetic resources and traditional knowledge of cultivation, plant protection and breeding. Another fact it sought to raise consumer awareness on is that many consumers are unaware that potato starch is being creatively used as a sustainable alternative to traditional plastics, with materials based on potato proteins and starch being used for various packaging such as food containers and medicine capsules.

Kyle Greer, head chef at Belfast’s Europa Hotel, is pictured celebrating all things potato with guests Gayla Greening and Sonja Brigman from Kansas in the United States.

Photo: Richard Halleron

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British Potato Review
Potato Review reports on new developments in all areas of crop production, storage, handling and packing, as well as scientific, technological and machinery innovations in the UK and overseas. We also keep readers abreast of consumer trends and legislation changes impacting on the industry.
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