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43rd FAO Conference

WPC Receives Invitation to Deliver Address During the 43rd Session of the FAO Conference in Rome

ABOVE: From left to right: Dr. Maximo Torero, FAO Chief Economist, Dr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General FAO, Mr. Julio Eduardo Martinetti, Ambassador of Peru to Italy, Dr. André Devaux, WPC Director, and Mr. Christian Barrantes, Vice Minister of MIDAGRI, Peru.

Earlier in July, the World Potato Congress was honored to receive an invitation to deliver an address during the 43rd session of the FAO Conference in Rome, Italy.

WPC Director, André Devaux, was invited to deliver an official message at a side event organized by the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture (MIDAGRI) and titled: “Photographic Exhibition: The Biodiversity of Potatoes and Its Contribution to Food Security and the Global Economy”.

Speakers at the event included FAO Director General, Dr. Qu Dongyu, Ambassador, Eduardo Martinetti, of the Permanent Representation of Peru to the International Organizations based in Rome and Mr. Christian Barrantes, Vice Minister of MIDAGRI, Peru.

This event highlights included raising awareness to participants about the value and global importance of the potato for food and nutritional security, the promotion of sustainable agriculture and the preservation of food diversity while highlighting its potential to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially with regard to the eradication of hunger. It was an opportunity to promote the International Potato Day (IPD) resolution approved during the FAO conference.

The World Potato Congress has been involved during the last 2 years in the process to promote the celebration of an International Potato Day in coordination with FAO and with an international coalition of countries, led by Peru, and supported by Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Australia, and China. It has been a joint effort that is now getting very close to a formal resolution for the celebration an International Potato Day, on May 30th every year. Final approval and announcement of this is expected to take place in September at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) meetings in New York.

From left to right: Mr. Julio Eduardo Martinetti, Dr. Qu Dongyu, Dr. André Devaux and Mr. Christian Barrantes visiting the potato exhibition.

According to FAO, food demand in the world will increase up to 50% by 2050 and a key challenge is how to effectively produce more and better food with the same or less resources considering many other challenges such as climate change, COVID-19, inflation and global conflicts.

As Director Devaux stated, “The potato is a resilient crop. With a short maturity, it is one of the most productive food crops in terms of yield of edible energy and proteins per unit of area and unit of time. It is adaptable to various agro-ecological conditions and can be cultivated at sea level as well as at more than 4000m altitude. The potato crop requires much less water than other food crops such wheat, rice and corn. It is as high-quality food with rich and balanced nutrition, and it plays a dual role in family farming economy providing first food for home consumption and, as a cash crop, providing incomes.”

The WPC will continue working with FAO, Peru, and partners, such the International Potato Center (CIP), to explore opportunities to promote the celebration of the first International Potato Day, on May30, 2024. Please, save the date to celebrate it together.

Save the date!
Australia Congress is June 23-26, 2024.
Registration links coming soon.

Thank you to these World Potato Congress Sustaining Partners for their support of WPC educational webinars and global initiatives:

To learn how you might become a WPC Sustaining Partner please reach out to

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