The World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc. announces it has officially adopted the ‘Declaration of Dublin: Fostering Potato Partnerships for Food Security’, through its mission of creating value chain networking within the global potato community.
During the 2022 World Potato Congress in Dublin, former WPC President Romain Cools (top photo) presented the ‘Declaration of Dublin’. With this sector initiative, the congress calls on the potato chain worldwide to invest in potato-related solutions to achieve the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and improving lives.
With a world population of 9.7 billion people by 2050 and the need for 70 percent more food that comes with it, increased productivity should contribute to combating poverty in rural areas, according to the WPC. The Declaration, which the WPC has drawn up specifically for this purpose, consists of four pillars: expanding the profile and benefits of the potato, forging new collaborations (in the fields of both research and development), advocating best practice and, finally, the role played by the World Potato Congress in all of this. ‘Reaching back to discussions with industry players over the past few editions of the congress, momentum has built around the conversation on how WPC might assist in poverty alleviation and help countries struggling with the challenges of food security. There is a disparity between the high yields and low yields within some regions of the world. In countries where the national average yields are considered very low, there are examples of innovation that have led to much higher overall performance of the potato crop and its utilization’, the Congress states, adding that public-private partnerships are often the drivers behind breakthroughs leading to higher potato yields. The Dublin Declaration promotes linking partners in the global potato industry to share knowledge and success stories.
‘I envision that WPC Directors, International Advisors, Sustaining Partners and others will join in the mission to work together to meet the needs of those who live in food insecure places, through improving potato production as a great food’, states WPC President Peter VanderZaag. Currently, 10 percent of the funds received under the WPC Platinum Sustaining Partnership are used towards this vision. ‘The declaration creates inspiration for the 12th World Potato Congress in Adelaide, Australia to be held from June 23-26, 2024, by providing a global forum to foster collaboration and to establish partnerships to further address the highlighted needs’, Dr. Nigel Crump, co-organizer of WPC 2024 shares enthusiastically.
At the World Potato Congress in Dublin last year, 40 bursary recipients from countries where the potato is an important crop yet food security is an issue were present. WPC is reaching out to these recipients, to ensure that the support and networking opportunities provided at the Dublin Congress have proven successful. Over the next few months, the WPC Board of Directors and International Advisors will be exploring how best to provide linkages and networking opportunities under the umbrella of the Declaration of Dublin.
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