World Potato Congress Recognizes Zaotong as ‘Potato Plateau Seed Potato Capital of the World’
World Potato Congress (WPC) President Romain Cools, Dr. Peter VanderZaag, WPC secretary and Brian Douglas, general manager, recently attended a meeting in China, where Zhaotong was recognized as the “Potato Plateau Seed Potato Capital of the World”.
On behalf of the Zhaotong Municipal Committee, the municipal government, and the city’s 6.29 million people, Yang Yalin, party secretary of the Zhaotong Municipal CPC Committee, thanked the World Potato Congress, the ministry of agriculture of China, the agricultural and rural department of Yunnan province, and all well-known international and domestic potato experts. He said: “the inextricable relationship between potatoes and Zhaotong not only comes from nature and a long history, but also has long become a part of the production and life of Zhaotong people, and has been integrated into the blood and culture of Zhaotong people”.
Today, in Zhaotong, potatoes are not only an important means of support to bring millions of people out of poverty, but also the hope for accelerating development, Yang Yalin pointed out. For poverty alleviation, the potato industry has the closest connection with the population. Zhaotong must make full use of new ideas, new technologies and innovation mechanisms, and strive to leverage its unique assets.
The potato has become important for poverty alleviation given the area’s specific advantages of geographical and climatic conditions. Therefore, there is a need for large-scale development of a high-quality seed potato base to meet both local and broader demand, he stressed.
Yang Yalin said: “we will take the opportunity upon receiving this award of “Potato Plateau Seed Potato Capital in the World” to build 40,000 hectares of high-standard seed potato base and 160,000 hectares of high-quality commercial potato base in Zhaotong. We will actively expand cooperation and exchanges with surrounding regions in Asia.
On behalf of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center of the ministry of agriculture and rural affairs, Li Zhiping congratulated Zhaotong on the accomplishment. She hoped that Zhaotong’s potato industry would pay attention to scientific and technological research and development and increase the added value of the potato industry; strengthen industrialization construction and promote farmers to enter the market; promote the sharing of industrial development and poverty alleviation experience at home and abroad, and speed up the promotion of the potato industry.
On behalf of the WPC, President Romain Cools, Elven Huang, director, and Lu Xiaoping, international advisor, awarded the plaque to Yang Yalin along with city leaders Zhang Shaoxiong, Su Jianhong, and Hao Liuyong.