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UN’s First-Ever International Day of Potato – 30 May 2024

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International Day of PotatoUnited Nations (UN)’s first-ever International Day of Potato was observed across the globe on 30th May 2024 to raise awareness of the various nutritional, economic, environmental, and cultural values of the Potato (Solanum tuberosum), the 3rd most consumed food crop globally.

  • The day also recognises the contribution of Potatoes to global food security, as an invaluable food resource and income generator for rural families and producers.

The annual observance of the day is facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


The theme of the inaugural International Day of Potato 2024 is “Harvesting diversity, feeding hope”.

The 2024 theme focussed on potato’s contribution to the lives of producers and consumers.


i.On 8th December 2023, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/78/123, proclaiming 30th May of every year as the International Day of Potato.

ii.The annual observance was championed by Peru, which submitted a proposal for adoption to the UNGA, based on an FAO Conference Resolution of July 2023.


i.This Day offers a chance to expand on the 2008 International Year of the Potato.

ii.It highlights the potato’s role in fighting hunger and poverty and addresses environmental threats to agrifood systems.

iii.It also emphasises the contributions of small-scale family farmers, particularly women, and acknowledges their efforts in preserving the crop’s diversity.

About Potato:

i.Origin: The potato originated in the South American Andes region and was introduced to Europe in the 16th century before spreading worldwide.

  • The potato sustains the Inca civilization and is revered as the flower of ancient Indian civilization”.

ii.Versatility: Potatoes grow in diverse conditions, making them ideal for areas with limited natural resources.

iii.Potatoes produce low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, contributing to climate-friendly agriculture.

iv.Economic and Social Benefits: Global potato production has increased by 10% in the past decade, boosting employment and income.

v.Genetic Diversity: The potato was 1st cultivated around 8000 B.C. Now, there are over 5,000 improved potato varieties, with many unique to their original location in Latin America.

  • The 150 wild relatives of the cultivated potato offer genetic characteristics for improving resilience to environmental changes, pests, and diseases.

Global Significance:

i.Potato contributes to key objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through its widespread cultivation and consumption.

ii.The SDGs include achieving zero hunger, promoting sustainable agriculture, and advancing economic opportunities.

Key Facts:

i.About two-thirds of the world’s population consumes potatoes as a staple food. Nearly 50% of potatoes are used as household staple food or vegetables.

ii.By 2030, total potato production will reach 750 million tons, with an increase of 112%.

iii.Asia, Africa, and Latin America will produce over 440 million tons, with an increase of 100%.

iv.These regions will account for about 59% of global production.

2024 Events:

i.FAO celebrated the 1st International Day of Potato on 27th May 2024, in Brussels, Belgium, co-hosted by Peru, which gathered European Union (EU) institutions, UN Member States, and policymakers.

ii.FAO also hosted the inaugural celebration of the Day by organising a hybrid event on 30 May 2024 in Rome, Italy.

About Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):
FAO is a specialized agency of the UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
Director-General– Qu Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy
Established- 1945