Submitted to: Sustainable potato production: global case studies
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2011
Publication Date: May 31, 2012
Citation: Defauw, S.L., He, Z., Larkin, R.P., Mansour, S. 2012. Sustainable potato production and global food security. In: He, Z., Larkin, R.P., Honeycutt, C.W., editors. Sustainable potato production: global case studies. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Springer. p. 3-19. Technical Abstract: The potato (Solanum spp.) is currently the leading non-grain commodity in the global food system with production exceeding 329 million metric tonnes in 2009. The extraordinary adaptive range of this species complex combined with ease of cultivation and high nutritional content have promoted steady increases in potato consumption especially in developing countries. Compared to cereal grain yields, potato production potential is exceptionally high as up to 85% of the plant constitutes edible food. Recent uncertainties in world food supply and demand have placed the potato in the upper echelon of recommended food security crops. However, some of the greatest challenges to overcome as we strive to enhance the sustainability of potato production systems are the interrelated impacts of soil erosion, tillage-induced soil degradation, control of soilborne plant pathogens, and nutrient enrichment of watersheds resulting from current crop management practices. This introductory chapter provides the latest updates on geospatial patterns of potato production world-wide and briefly discusses the potential impacts of climatic change, biotechnology and soil resource management on sustainable potato production.