By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Sargent launched the 'Odyssey of the Potato' Exhibition marking the International Year of the Potato

Mr Trevor Sargent TD, Minister for Food and Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, officially launched the 'Odyssey of the Potato' exhibition marking the International Year of the Potato (IYP) in the Irish Agricultural Museum in Johnstown Castle. The Odyssey of the Potato exhibition has been shown in several countries since the beginning of the year and will continue so after it leaves Ireland on 22 August.

Minister Sargent explained that the United Nations designated 2008 as the International Year of the Potato. He explained that "the IYP aims at raising the profile of this globally important food crop and commodity, giving emphasis to its biological and nutritional attributes, and thus promoting its production, processing, consumption, marketing and trade".

This exhibition is from the International Potato Centre (CIP) from Peru and will be in the Irish Agricultural Museum in Johnstown Castle until 22 August. The exhibition illustrates the history, evolution and impact of the potato in today's world. It includes, domestication, its importance in pre-Columbian cultures, its introduction and influence within Europe, its dissemination to other parts of the world and its importance today for food security, economic growth and health in the developing countries.

Ireland has a long association with the potato from its introduction by Sir Walter Raleigh, through the disastrous famine of 1845-1851 to today where growing potatoes on board a spacecraft is key to NASA plans for a manned flight to Mars. Minister Sargent stated that "this exhibition will increase the awareness and inform the public of the importance of the potato as a staple food product. The potato is the fourth most important crop in the world. It is grown in more than 130 countries and sustains more than a billion people worldwide".

Notes

The United Nations designated 2008 as the International Year of Potato (IYP) which will aim to raise the profile of this globally important food crop and commodity, giving emphasis to its biological and nutritional attributes, and thus promoting its production, processing, consumption, marketing and trade. Celebration of IYP is an opportunity to make a valid and effective contribution towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals of reducing world hunger. The celebration of the 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. DAFF provided €315,062 to the IYP for international activities.

Date Released: 14 July 2008