Posted by: Mahdi Ebrahimi | October 22, 2007

2008 International Year of the Potato, is better convert to Organic Potato

The mission of the International Year of the Potato is to increase awareness of the importance of the potato as a food in developing nations, and promote research and development of potato-based systems as a means of contributing to achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
 I think if  this title convert to  International Year of the Organic Potato, is much better because organic potato can induce the way of sustainability more than convectional potato.
Food Security – improving access to safe and nutritious food
Despite the great increase in global food production over the past half-century, many individuals and communities – mainly in rural areas – do not have physical or financial access to food year round. Undernourishment places vulnerable people in a downward spiral of bad health that frequently ends in death. By disrupting access to traditional sources of nutrition, HIV/AIDS and social and political conflicts create large groups of at-risk individuals. In addition, many developing countries face a “double burden” of malnutrition: the persistence of under nutrition, along with a rapid rise in overweight due to unhealthy diets associated with urbanization. Nutrient-rich potato (and sweet potato) can contribute to improved diets thus reducing mortality rates caused by malnutrition. As well as improving food security, such action will inevitably improve the health of target populations, especially women and children.
IYP can focus global attention on the need to reach the vulnerable with solutions that reduce constraints, create opportunities, improve productivity and reduce risks in the farming systems on which they depend.
use of biodiversity
To overcome the multiple challenges of plant pests and diseases, low yields, natural resources degradation, drought and climate change, potato-based agricultural systems need a continual supply of new, improved varieties. That requires access to the genetic resources contained in the totality of potato biodiversity, which needs to be conserved, yet at the same time made available to researchers and breeders in a responsible and equitable way.
IYP can focus global attention on the range of actions needed to protect, conserve and utilize potato diversity.
Sustainable intensification of potato-based farming systems
Most of the world’s farms are less than 2 ha in size. In sub-Saharan Africa and many parts of Asia, farms are still shrinking and may continue to do so for the next several generations. As farm size shrinks, many farm families are switching from grains and legumes to root and tuber crops to meet subsistence and income goals. Farms with declining area are being managed more and more intensively, leading to soil erosion and ecological imbalances that encourage pest and disease outbreaks.
The IYP can focus global attention on solutions for sustainable intensification of farming systems that will stop or reverse the loss of natural resources.

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