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A guide to the International Day of Potato 2024

Harvesting diversity, feeding hope










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    Book (stand-alone)
    Workshop to commemorate the International Year of the Potato - 2008 2008
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    At its sixty-eighth session in December 2005, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato. The UN Declaration reflects the importance of the potato in the diet of the world’s population and affirms the need to focus world attention on the role that the potato can play in providing food security and alleviating poverty in support of the Millennium Development Goals. The potato is the world’s most important tuber vegetable, with a vital but often underapp reciated role in the global food system. It is a staple food that contributes to the energy and nutritional needs of more than a billion people worldwide. In most of the developing countries today, the potato is considered to be the fourth most important food crop after rice, wheat and maize. Therefore, the potato should be a major component in strategies aimed at providing nutritious food to the poor and hungry. Potatoes are rich in protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, and have an especi ally good amino acid balance. The crop is ideally suited to places where land is limited and labour is abundant, conditions that characterize much of the developing world. Moreover, the potato is a highly productive crop. It produces more food per unit area and per unit time than wheat, rice and maize. There is no doubt that in recent times the potato has become significantly more important for Asia and the Pacific region, which, like many other parts of the world, is facing enormous challenges today as a result of soaring food prices. In this connection, and taking into consideration the importance of this crop in the region, this one-day workshop aimed to: raise awareness of the merits of the potato; review the situation regarding the potato sector in Asia and the Pacific region; and elaborate on key issues and propose further actions needed to promote sustainable potato crop production and development in the region.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    International Year of the Potato 2008 - New light on a hidden treasure
    An end-of-year review
    2009
    The International Year of the Potato (IYP) in 2008 was a celebration of one of humanity’s most important and universally loved staple foods. This end-of-year review records IYP’s achievements and underscores its essential message: that the potato is a vital part of the global food system, and will play an ever greater role in strengthening world food security and alleviating poverty. The review describes the rationale for the International Year, its objectives and implementation. It introduces our guest-of-honour, Solanum tuberosum, the “humble tuber” that spread from the Andes across six continents and changed the course of world history. Specialists from FAO and the International Potato Center deepen our knowledge of the potato in 10 factsheets on key issues in potato development. The review also provides the most recent FAO statistics on world potato production and consumption, and profiles of 52 major potato producing countries.
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    Booklet
    Fair prices for Irish potatoes in Rwanda
    A new price-setting mechanism
    2024
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    Rwanda is home to around 300 000 Irish potato smallholder farmers and is one of the top ten producers of Irish potatoes in Africa, with an estimated production of about 908 000 tonnes in 2022. They are readily available as they are grown in most regions and are a key crop for national food security. Irish potatoes are also a main food staple in the Rwandan diet thanks to their nutritional value and are culturally important in Rwandan cuisine. However, despite various policy efforts in place, market prices have risen so much so that they doubled in price from RWF 262 per kg in 2021 to RWF 561 per kg in 2023. Against this backdrop, the Government of Rwanda requested policy analysis support from FAO’s Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme to evaluate the current price-setting mechanism used to set the reference price that farmers can expect to fetch at “farm gate”. The study recommends a new formula to calculate a reference price that should include wholesale and retail prices, have up-to-date cost figures, and account for a simple inflation adjustment. It also recommends stakeholder meetings twice a year – at the beginning of each production season in February and September – up from only once a year, as Irish potatoes are prone to seasonal price volatility. As such, the proposed improvements to the price-setting mechanism would help ensure fair prices for Irish potato farmers.

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