International Year of the Potato

 

Logo of the International Year of the PotatoThe potato (Solanum tuberosum) originated some 8000 years ago in the Andes of South America. It was appropriate, therefore, that the initial impetus for declaring 2008 as the International Year of the Potato came from the Government of Peru.

 

At the biennial Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in November 2005, the Permanent Representative of Peru proposed - and the Conference adopted - a resolution that sought to focus world attention on the importance of the potato in providing food security and alleviating poverty. The resolution was transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with the aim of having the UN General Assembly declare the year 2008 as the International Year of the Potato.

 

The Sixtieth Session of the General Assembly accepted the resolution in December 2005, and invited FAO to facilitate the implementation of IYP 2008. The resolution noted that the potato is a staple food in the diet of the world's population and affirmed the role that the potato could play in achieving internationally agreed development objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.

 

IYP stamps from SwitzerlandThe International Year of the Potato has raised awareness of the potato’s fundamental importance as a staple food of humanity. But it also had a very practical aim: to promote development of sustainable potato-based systems that enhance the well-being of producers and consumers and help realize the potato's full potential as a "food of the future".

 

Over the next two decades, the world's population is expected to grow on average by more than 100 million people a year. More than 95 percent of that increase will occur in the developing countries, where pressure on land and water is already intense. A key challenge facing the international community is, therefore, to ensure food security for present and future generations, while protecting the natural resource base on which we all depend. The potato will be an important part of efforts to meet those challenges.

 

 

Links

 

The official website for the IYP 2008.

All the International Years proclaimed by the General Assembly.

 

 

Stamp catalogue

 

Netherlands Antilles             23 October 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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last revised: 18 July 2009