“Consumed by more than a billion people worldwide, including many of the world’s poorest, potato has long been one of the most important crops to avert hunger,” Senior Scientist at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Kenya, Monica Parker, said prior to the 11th World Potato Congress convened in Dublin last month.
In an article published by Irish Examiner, Parker says that with vulnerable smallholder farmers undertaking around a third of global production, potato provides a crucial stopgap thanks to a growing period of as little as three months. Yet, in some of the world’s remaining potato frontiers, a range of obstacles are preventing this staple food from delivering its full range of benefits to sustainably tackle hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.
In Sudan, for example, 9.8 million people – or one-fifth of the population – faced high levels of acute food insecurity in 2021 and required urgent assistance.
“That’s why those gathering at this year’s World Potato Congress in Dublin should be committed to expanding support to under-serviced countries where a developed, functioning potato sector could reduce chronic hunger and generate reliable incomes,” Parker said.
Source: Irish Examiner. This is an excerpt – read the full article here
Photo: Smallholder potato farmer harvesting in Kenya. Credit: iStock via Irish Examiner