9th WPC News Media
The following are excerpts from China Daily which provided extensive coverage of the 9th World Potato Congress held at Yanqing County, Brijing, China,July 28-30, 2015.
Beijing World Potato Conference highlights research and development
Research and development was at the top of the agenda at the ninth World Potato Conference in Yanqing, Beijing.
The three-day event, which ends on Thursday, ran alongside the China International Potato Exposition and is the largest global potato conference in terms of scale and content.
“We will take advantage of the conference and constantly support the scientific research and industry development of potatoes, and improve research and development in that area in Yanqing,” Lin Keqing, vice mayor of Beijing, said.
The conference saw the establishment of the China branch of the International Potato Center, China’s first international agricultural research institution. Since 1978, China, the largest potato production and consumption country in the world, has cooperated with the IPC to reduce poverty and drive rural growth.
A total of more than 3,000 experts from the world of academia, industry and governments from 37 countries attended the conference.
“China’s potato yield has increased from approximately 12 tons per hectare 40 years ago to 16 tons per hectare now, and the planting area has grown from 2 million hectares to over 5 million hectares during the same period,” Barbara Wells, director of International Potato Center, said.
“I believe that with Chinese people’s dream for a better life, a cleaner environment, more nutritious food and better health, the market demand for potatoes and sweet potatoes will continue to grow at a rapid pace,” Wells added.
9th Beijing WPC Attracts High Profile Participants
About 3,000 researchers, entrepreneurs, government officials and growers in the potato industry from more than 30 countries have shown up for the world’s top potato event, presented by the World Potato Congress Inc., based in Canada, every three years since 1993.
This year, the Chinese government released a national food strategy that aimed to make the tuber a staple crop to address the nation’s growing demand for food and its dire water shortages. Potatoes need less water to grow than China’s three other staple crops: Rice, wheat and corn.
The WPC, which features exchanges of technologies, trade cooperation and exhibitions, has been held in Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, China’s Yunnan province, the United States and New Zealand.
The events cover all aspects of the industry, from genetic breeding, production and processing, to sales and promotion, and developing international cooperation and exchanges about the development of the industry.
Experts attending the event, include Barbara Wells, director general of the International Potato Center; Percy Misika, the U.N. food and agriculture representative in China; Cedric Porter, managing editor of World Potato Markets; Jin Liping, chief scientist of China’s Potato Research System; and Ke Bingsheng, president of China Agricultural University.