World Potato Congress in Beijing July 28-30 to Draw Thousands

More than 800 potato experts from research institutions, agriculture and food industries in approximately 30 countries are expected to attend the 9th World Potato Congress in Beijing, China July 28-30. Scientists and industry leaders will exchange information on the latest advances to improve potato production and processing at the international event, which should enhance global cooperation to harness the potato’s full potential for reducing hunger, improving diets and stimulating economic growth.

The Congress will be held at Badaling International Convention Center, in Yanqing County, Beijing, in conjunction with the China Potato Congress, China Potato Expo and an International Workshop on Potato-Derived Staple Food Products and Industry Development. Beijing is an ideal venue for the World Potato Congress, since China is the world’s top potato producer and consumer, harvesting more than 73 million tons of those tubers each year.

China aims to expand its potato research, and an important partner in that effort is the International Potato Center (CIP), based in Lima, Peru. CIP’s Director General, Barbara Wells, will give a keynote speech at the Congress on the role of potato in global food security, and will deliver the opening address for the International Workshop on Potato-Derived Staple Food Products and Industry Development. The Chairman of CIP’s Board, Rodney Cooke, will chair a keynote session, and CIP’s Deputy Director General, Oscar Ortiz, will give a speech on potato diversity and utilization in Peru.

Lu Xiaoping, Director of the CIP-China Center for Asia Pacific (CCCAP) will also participate in the event, together with other CCCAP scientists. CCCAP is a cooperative endeavor between CIP and China, a collaboration that will grow in the coming years thanks to a new CCCAP research campus currently under construction in Yanqing County. Once completed, CCCAP will be a world-class root and tuber research center dedicated to improving the production and value of potato, sweetpotato and other root crops in China, East Asia and the Pacific.

CCCAP will help Chinese scientists stay current on the latest advances in root and tuber science and technology, and it could also improve the country’s agricultural research system as a whole. CCCAP will host cutting-edge crop research, technical exchanges and other cooperation, and extension services aimed at tapping the full potential of root and tuber crops to improve lives across the region.

Yanqing County, where the World Potato Congress (WPC) will take place, is becoming a hub of agricultural research, development and technological innovation, thanks to the presence of CCCAP, China’s National Engineering Research Center for Potato, and a National Potato Industry High-Tech Park. Yanqing also holds part of China’s Great Wall, and the WPC will close with an award ceremony and dinner held at the Badaling section of the Great Wall, where delegates will enjoy traditional Chinese cuisine with a view of that iconic monument.

“Yanqing is home to spectacular natural scenery, abundant tourist resources, a solid industry foundation and good infrastructure that make it a perfect host for the World Potato Congress,” said David Thompson, President of WPC Inc. “Having the Congress in Yanqing will not only provide a boost to China’s potato industry, but it can strengthen WPC’s influence as well.”


Beijing, world potato congress