“This day is part of the UN’S International Year of the Potato (IYP) – an opportunity to celebrate the potato as one of the world’s undisputed champions of food security.” So said Mark du Plessis, of Potatoes at the recent World Food Day commemorations in Hoopstad in the Free State. He explained that the IYP brings about a great opportunity for the world to focus on the potato’s continuous role in fighting poverty and malnutrition. D u Plessis explained that the PSA’s corporate social initiative, called Spud Buddies, lies at the heart of the IYP programme.
It was established with the support of Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths and Fruit & Veg City. “Through this initiative, we support needy communities and schools in planting potatoes and we also donate funds to the Heartbeat Foundation’s feeding programmes. We want to support self-sufficiency through potato cultivation and simultaneously expose children to agricultural opportunities.” e added that they are going all-out to make the most of the opportunities offered by the IYP. “We are involved with farmworker training, funding of potato trails to assist subsistence farmers and bursaries for studies at universities and agricultural colleges, amongst other things,” Du Plessis said. – Annelie Coleman