The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation has declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato (IYP 2008). The UN FAO says that it decided to promote the potato this year because this crop has been consumed for the past 8 000 years; is grown worldwide; is readily available and relatively cheap compared to other crops; is a nutritious food source, especially for the poor; and because the global demand for potatoes is growing dramatically.
The IYP 2008 website adds: “World attention must be focused on the importance of the potato in providing food security and alleviating poverty. The potato is a staple food in the diet of the world’s population and could play a role in achieving international objectives.” South Africa will also be featuring prominently in the 2008, with Potatoes SA planning a wide variety of programmes to promote its product at all levels of society. – Lloyd Phillips For more information visit www.potato2008.org.