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United Nations Declares International Day of the Potato, Emphasizing its Role in Combating Hunger

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BNN Correspondents
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United Nations Declares International Day of the Potato, Emphasizing its Role in Combating Hunger

The United Nations has declared May 30th as the International Day of the Potato, following a proposal by Peru to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The resolution, originating from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference on July 7, 2023, aims to highlight the critical role of this tuber crop in fighting hunger and malnutrition.

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Potato: A Key Player in Global Agriculture

Recognized for its significance in global agriculture, economic development, food security, and nutrition, the potato has been crowned as the hero of the day. Peru, housing thousands of potato varieties and the International Potato Center (CIP), has been a vocal advocate in supporting this celebration.

The potato, originating from the South American Andes, ventured into Europe in the 16th century and has since evolved into a global commodity. The FAO emphasized the potato's contribution in elevating livelihoods in rural areas where resources such as arable land and water are constrained. Moreover, its low greenhouse gas emissions compared to other crops highlight its climate-friendly attributes.

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Challenges in Potato Production

Despite its numerous benefits, potato production is not devoid of challenges. Threats from pests and diseases, such as late blight, bacterial diseases, and the potato beetle, pose significant risks to its cultivation. Consequently, the FAO aims to assist its members in constructing resilient and context-adapted value chains for the potato to combat these challenges.

Looking Forward: The International Day of the Potato

The establishment of the International Day of the Potato signifies a global recognition of the importance of this staple food in our lives. The annual celebration on May 30th will serve as a reminder of the tuber's role in combating malnutrition and hunger, and its potential to contribute to sustainable development. The potato, humble in its origin but mighty in its impact, continues to be a symbol of resilience and adaptability in the face of global challenges.

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