Potatoes as a solution to counter climate-fueled hunger in Africa

Potatoes are one of the world’s most important food crops consumed by billions of people across the globe. They are becoming “an advantage crop” in the global food security system, according to Food Agriculture Organization Director-General Qu Dongyu. Qu told the World Potato Congress in Dublin last year, that potato production is set to double in the next 10 years with Asia and Africa becoming the fastest-growing production regions of the crop.

"By focusing on improving yields and making full use of historic potato cultivation areas, worldwide production can be raised to 500 million tonnes in 2025 and 750 million tonnes in 2030," he said.

Do Christophe Ouattara, West Africa regional director for World Neighbors — a nonprofit that trains farmers in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali, Uganda, and Tanzania to plant and grow potatoes — said as climate change fuels food insecurity, farmers need to switch to climate-resilient crops such as potatoes. Potatoes are a cool-climate crop, but breeders have managed to develop heat- and drought-tolerant varieties that are also disease-resistant, early-maturing, and can be harvested when the rainy season ends early.

Source: devex.com

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