To mark the end of the International Year of the Potato, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations unveils at its Rome headquarters in December a month of events and displays.
The celebration begins on 11 December when more than 350 Rome schoolchildren take a guided tour, entitled Coltivare per crescere ("grow to grow"), of an end-of-year Potato Exhibition assembled in FAO's glass-domed atrium. They will learn about the potato's history, its nutritional benefits, and its social and cultural significance, and about agriculture in general.
The following day, IYP's Informal International Steering Committee will meet to review the Year's achievements and discuss prospects for potato development beyond 2008. Formed in March 2007 to guide implementation of IYP, the committee includes representatives of international organizations, governments, producers and the potato industry.
Following the meeting, the IYP Potato Exhibition will be officially inaugurated. The exhibition consists of eight separate displays:
1. Odyssey of the potato
2. From the Andes to Oceania: the magic voyage of the potato
3. A tribute to the potato
4. Viva Patata
5. Winners of the IYP World Photography Contest
6. Painting by Pasquale Basile
Antonella Cassisi, of the Committee for Human Rights and Social Sciences of the Italian Commission for UNESCO, will introduce a painting by the renowned Italian artist Pasquale Basile.
7. Historic books on the potato
8. Potato plants
FAO's David Lubin Memorial Library has mounted a display of historical books on the potato from its own collection. The display includes 22 books, the earliest dating back to 1912, covering aspects such as origins and diffusion, production, harvest, varieties, biotechnology, and pests and diseases.
The International Year's guest-of-honour, Solanum tuberosum, will also be present – in a box of young potato plants grown by the FAO Gardener, Slavomir Nitov.