This spud's for you: UN unearths year of the potato
- January 2, 2008 11:47 AM
- By Commodities
Be it ever so humble, the potato will be in the global spotlight this year with the United Nations declaring 2008 in its honour.
Potatoes are the fourth largest crop in the world, the UN's website said, noting that it has an annual global harvest of 315 million tonnes.
"More than half of that total was harvested in developing countries," the UN said in its declaration that this year will the international year of the potato.
As to why the potato was chosen, the UN said the lowly tuber is grown in many parts of the world, and plays a key role in feeding and preserving the planet.
The potato can be grown "more quickly, on less land and in harsher climates than any other major crop," the UN said. And it ensures "food security for present and future generations, while protecting the natural resource base on which we all depend."
In the tuber's honour, events are planned throughout the year. They include an international exposition in Kolkata, India, from Jan. 9-11. In February alone, two events will be held in Canada, a conference and trade show in Grand Falls, N.B., from Feb. 7-8, and an international potato and technology expo in Charlottetown on Feb. 15-16.
Growing conditions for potatoes in Canada were good in 2007, Statistics Canada said in a report released last November.
The average yield across the country was 31.27 tonnes per hectare, compared to 32.18 tonnes per hectare the previous year.
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