International Day of Potato 2024 (30th May), Theme & History

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International Day of Potato 2024

The very first-ever International Day of Potato is being celebrated, on Thursday, May 30th, 2024! The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations designated this day to recognize the importance of the potato as a global food source.

International Day of Potato Theme 2024

The theme of the International Day of Potato 2024 is “Harvesting Diversity, Feeding Hope”. The theme underscores the fact that with over 5000 improved varieties, and farmers’ varieties/landraces of the crop, there are ample choices for the needs of diverse production systems, culinary preferences, and industrial applications, especially in these turbulent times, when many agrifood systems are in peril around the world.

The key focus area of the International Potato Day is maintaining diversity, as over-reliance on a few varieties will expose potato crops to pests, and diseases. Wild varieties need to be conserved as their heritable traits can be used in plant breeding to increase resilience and nutrients in the cultivated varieties.

History of International Day of Potato

The potato holds significant importance as one of the key contributions from the Andean region to the world. It ranks among the top five staple food crops globally, playing a crucial role in ensuring food security.

Small-scale and family farming practices, particularly by rural and women farmers, play a vital role in potato production. This supports initiatives to alleviate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, ultimately contributing to food security. Moreover, potato cultivation promotes the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

In December 2023, the General Assembly designated May 30th as the International Day of Potato. This initiative aims to raise awareness of the potato’s multiple benefits, including its nutritional, economic, environmental, and cultural values. By highlighting the potato’s role as a vital food resource and income generator for rural families and producers, the International Day of Potato aligns with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Significance of International Potato Day 2024

A millennia-old food with origins in the South American Andes region that made its way to Europe in the 16th century and then spread around the world, the potato is much more than a source of nourishment.

  • Potato Power: This day recognizes the potato’s importance as a major food source for over 1 billion people globally.
  • Nutritious and Essential: Potatoes provide essential nutrients, contributing to healthy diets and food security.
  • Sustainable Spuds: The day promotes eco-friendly potato farming practices for a healthy planet.
  • Celebrating Diversity: Thousands of potato varieties exist, and this day honors their role in various cultures and cuisines.
  • Potatoes are an important component of strategies to provide accessible and nutritious food and improved livelihoods in rural and other areas where natural resources, especially arable land and water are limited and inputs expensive. The crop’s versatility and ability to grow in a variety of conditions make it an advantageous crop choice.
  • Potatoes are also a climate-friendly crop, as they produce low levels of greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to other crops.

30th May 2024 Special Day

On May 30th, 2024, the inaugural International Day of Potato marks a significant milestone in recognizing the potato’s global significance as a vital food source. Designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, this day celebrates the potato’s essential role in addressing food security and nutrition challenges worldwide. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the potato’s versatility, nutritional value, and contribution to sustainable agriculture and livelihoods.


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