United Nations Proclaims May 30 as International Potato Day

Fresh Potatoes
Diciembre 16, 2023
In a historic move, the United Nations (UN) has unanimously adopted a resolution declaring May 30 as International Potato Day, recognizing the significant global importance of this humble tuber in addressing food security and nutrition challenges.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has warmly welcomed this decision, hailing it as an opportunity to raise awareness about the potato's vital role in providing sustenance for billions of people worldwide and its immense value for global food security. Beth Bechdol, FAO Deputy Director-General:
"This International Day will shed light on the significant value of the potato – nutritional, economic, environmental, and cultural. It will also highlight the contribution of the potato to global food security, poverty reduction, and the livelihoods of millions, while emphasizing the key role of Indigenous Peoples' knowledge and practices."
Víctor García Toma, the Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations, addressed the General Assembly:
"This Day will allow us to draw attention to the importance of this ancestral crop in sustaining efforts to reduce hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, as well as encourage agricultural development, food security, biodiversity conservation, and ecosystem functions."
Peru had submitted the proposal to establish May 30 as International Potato Day to the UN General Assembly based on an FAO Conference Resolution from July 7, 2023.

This initiative builds upon the International Year of the Potato, observed in 2008, and seeks to underscore the potato's crucial contribution to addressing pressing global issues, including food insecurity, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability.

In celebration of this historic declaration, the International Potato Center (@Cipotato) shared a message on Twitter, emphasizing the potato's pivotal role in global agriculture and its contribution to addressing hunger, while highlighting its remarkable journey from the Andes to becoming a global hero.

The potato, with its millennia-old history, originally hailing from the South American Andes region and later introduced to Europe in the 16th century, has grown to become more than just a source of sustenance.

It plays a vital role in providing accessible and nutritious food, especially in regions with limited natural resources and expensive inputs.

Furthermore, its adaptability to various conditions and low greenhouse gas emissions make it a climate-friendly crop. Over the past decade, global potato production has surged by 10%, leading to increased employment and income.

However, more work is needed to fully harness the crop's potential in the global fight against hunger and malnutrition.

The observance of the International Day of the Potato aligns with FAO's Strategic Framework 2022-31, which seeks to support the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by transforming agrifood systems to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.
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