Last July, the Committee of Agriculture of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) approved a proposal presented by the Peruvian government to declare May 30 as the International Day of the Potato.
The decision was the culmination of a long effort promoted by the working group set up by the World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc. in collaboration with FAO to achieve a unique celebration of the potato. It will be the first International Day declared by the United Nations for a major crop and it is a testament of the many qualities of the potato that make it a vital tool in helping to eradicate poverty, improving food security, and providing healthy and nutritious food to millions of consumers around the globe.
Members of the World Potato Congress Inc. have been lobbying the relevant authorities in different countries to ensure that the proposal was successful. They created an international coalition of support for the declaration of an International Potato Day led by Peru, center of biodiversity of the crop, supported by Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Australia, and China.
The unwavering support of FAO was also instrumental in reaching this positive outcome and Peru is keen on building on the success of the International Year of the Potato celebrated in 2008. The date chosen, 30 May, coincides with the celebrations of the Peruvian National Potato Day.
The following step will be the formal adoption of the proposal by FAO during their annual general assembly in December 2022 followed by the approval and resolution of the declaration during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2023.
That means that the first International Potato Day will be celebrated on 30 May 2024, just a few days before the next World Potato Congress to be held in Adelaide, Australia.
The working group set up to guide this initiative, led by André Devaux, recently appointed to the Board of the World Potato Congress Inc., will continue to work with the Peruvian authorities, FAO, and partners from the potato sector, both public and private, to develop communication strategies for the first International Potato Day that can truly reflect and celebrate the impact of the potato around the world.