Tuesday, April 08, 2008

2008: International Year Of The Potato

The United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year Of The Potato:
The celebration of the International Year of the Potato (IYP) will raise awareness of the importance of the potato - and of agriculture in general - in addressing issues of global concern, including hunger, poverty and threats to the environment.

Over the next two decades, the world's population is expected to grow on average by more than 100 million people a year. More than 95 percent of that increase will occur in the developing countries, where pressure on land and water is already intense. A key challenge facing the international community is, therefore, to ensure food security for present and future generations, while protecting the natural resource base on which we all depend. The potato will be an important part of efforts to meet those challenges.
Some things I learned (answers below):
  1. Where in the world was the potato first cultivated? (~8000 years ago)
  2. Which country is the world's largest potato producer today? (I should have known.)
  3. How many varieties of potato are there worldwide?
I'd love to try all of them. (Why are there only 4 at my local grocer?) Below are a few from the FAO's Potato Page. I've had Numbers 1, 3, and 5. Maybe I've had Number 13, I'm not sure. I'm still mulling the one with the "smooth good looks".

Potato Varieties
1. Along the Andes mountain range, on the Peru/Bolivia border.
2. China.
3. About 7500 varieties.

No comments: