Top Chinese potato specialist joins World Potato Congress speaker programme

Dr Qu Dongyu, chair of the Potato Association of China (PAC), is to speak at the World Potato Congress (WPC2012) in Great Britain next year.

Dr Qu, vice governor of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, will address the congress on Feeding China’s Future. The country’s most influential potato industry spokesman and a specialist in food security with many scientific successes to his name, will set out to explain how China’s potato industry – it produces close to 25 per cent of the world’s potatoes for consumption and starch production – will develop to keep pace with the demand for food by the country’s 1.5 billion-strong population as expected in 2030.

Dr Rob Clayton, director of the Potato Council (GB), and organizer of WPC2012, says that all delegates will relish an insight into the Chinese potato industry, no matter what their reason for attending the congress. The potato is China’s fourth most important food crop after rice, wheat and maize, grown on more than five million of the country’s 123 million arable hectares.

“I’m delighted that Dr Qu has agreed to travel to Europe because all delegates attending the world’s premier potato event need to understand how those that influence such a major market as China are planning to develop profitable production, cost-effective processing and successful marketing to meet increasing demand from processors and consumers. What happens in the Chinese market in terms of science and supply and demand will increasingly influence the potato industry worldwide, both locally and globally.

“World Potato Congress will be a dynamic global knowledge exchange enabling those with a technical or commercial interest to meet others from around the world to improve their potato enterprise performance,” says Dr Clayton. “There’s something to be had from the event for everyone in the industry – I can guarantee that!”

Allan Parker, President and CEO of World Potato Congress Inc (Canada) welcomes the news that Dr. Qu has agreed to speak at the 8th WPC. “The mandate of our organization is to promote the global potato industry,” says Parker, “Dr. Qu’s participation in the dialogue, at Edinburgh, indicates the significance of the congress and strengthens the international appeal of the event.”

Other high profile international speakers, announced recently, include Prof Sir John Beddington, UK government chief scientific adviser; Dr Glenn Bryan of The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Scotland and Prof Anton Haverkort of Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre.

WPC2012, taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland May 27-30, is revealing its speakers as they sign up to the speaker programme. Up-to-date programme details are available on the event’s website, as is information on industry tours in Scotland and a comprehensive networking and social programme.

Online registration for delegates and partners to attend WPC 2012 is available at www.wpc2012.net. Delegate registration is priced at £487.50 plus VAT (Value Added Tax) when applicable. Partner fees range from £286, including VAT, with what the organisers claim are very reasonable charges for social activities ranging from a golf tournament, to a whisky distillery visit and a banquet in the State Dining Room on Royal Yacht Britannia. Full details are available on the website and organisers stress that booking early is the key to delegates securing a choice of industry interaction tour.

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