New light on a hidden treasure

FAO releases on 15 December 2008 a 144-page illustrated book, New light on a hidden treasure, which records the achievements of the International Year of the Potato and underscores its essential message: that the potato is a vital part of the global food system, and will play an ever greater role in strengthening world food security and alleviating poverty.

The review - available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish editions - describes the rationale for IYP, its objectives and implementation. It introduces the Year's guest-of-honour, Solanum tuberosum, the "humble tuber" that spread from the Andes across six continents and changed the course of world history. The review also provides the most recent FAO statistics on world potato production and consumption, and profiles of 52 major potato producing countries.

The International Year was observed around the globe in scientific conferences, growers' congresses, festivals, cooking contests, art exhibitions and school projects. The book presents highlights of those events, as well as the winning entries in the IYP Global Photography Contest. The review concludes with viewpoints gathered from some of the world's leading "potato people" – those whose daily work with the potato has become a passionate way of life – and an overview of prospects for potato development beyond 2008.

Download the full publication


New light on a hidden treasure tells the story of the International Year and the potato in seven chapters, with seven maps and 12 tables on world potato production.

1. The International Year

2. The potato

3. Potato world

4. IYP around the globe

5. Focus on a global food

6. Perspectives

7. Beyond 2008