- The International Potato Center, the Crop Trust and Inkaterra bring a broad-based coalition of leaders together in Cusco to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s agrobiodiversity in the Food Forever Experience: Cusco
- Participants include senior representatives from:
- the Office of the President of Peru, and the country’s ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Development and Social Inclusion;
- the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Geographic;
- major industry players—PepsiCo, Cencosud and Unilever.
- Wong Supermarkets and Pepsico are the corporate partners that make the Food Forever Experience possible, due to their commitment to the conservation of biodiversity.
- Organized by the Food Forever Initiative.
Lima, 22 May 2019 – To mark the International Day for Biological Diversity, the International Potato Center (CIP), the Crop Trust and Inkaterra will come together to host the Food Forever Experience: Cusco this week. The three-day event will highlight the importance of agricultural biodiversity—particularly in the South American country — and the role it can play in in improving food and nutritional security, resilience to climate change, and innovation and competitiveness.
The event— on the 22-24 May in the ancient city of Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes —will underline how nature and science are key to tackling climate change. With expert panel discussions and a visit to the Potato Park, participants will learn about how climate change is putting our food systems at risk, hindering crop productivity and jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of farmers, and how agrobiodiversity can be part of the solution.
“Peru is home to an enormous wealth of biodiversity, meaning it is a key ally in improving nutrition and safeguarding global food security,” said Maria Haga, Executive Director of the Crop Trust. “The Food Forever Experience: Cusco will be a catalyst for politicians, business leaders and other influencers to join forces in promoting the sustainable conservation of biodiversity to strengthen our food systems in the face of pressures from climate change.”
Potato: A Key Crop for Food Securit
The potato, whose ancestral home is in the Andes, will take center stage at the Food Forever Experience: Cusco. Many of the thousands of potato varieties cultivated in the region are nutritious and able to withstand some of the effects of climate change, including erratic rainfall, rising temperatures, and increased soil salinity.
“Potato is the world’s fourth most important food crop. There are more than 3,500 cultivated varieties of potato in Peru alone, making the Andean nation a protector of the food security and livelihoods of billions of people worldwide,” said Barbara Wells, Director General at the International Potato Center (CIP). “Representative of Peru’s natural wealth and intertwined with its culture, the potato forms a backdrop to unique and exciting culinary expressions which have conquered the world and should continue to be promoted,” she added.
The Experience will also underline the importance of the role played by consumers in promoting the conservation of agrobiodiversity around the world. Consumer demand is an essential component driving farmer decisions about what to grow. By featuring tastings of some of the most delicious and important crop varieties in the Andes, the event aims to reach people through their stomachs to highlight the importance of these varieties and how delicious they can be too.
Participants in the symposium include:
- President of Peru, Martín Vizcarra
- Vice President of Peru, and Chair of the Food Forever Initiative, Mercedes Aràoz;
- Minister for Development and Social Inclusion, Paola Bustamante;
- Minister for Agriculture, Fabiola Muñoz;
- Mei Xurong, Vice President of the Chinese Academy for Agricultural Sciences (CAAS);
- José Koechlin, founder of Inkaterra;
- Other government, research and private sector leaders.
Those present, will reaffirm their commitment to supporting the sustainable conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity in Peru and across the world.
A roundtable discussion—the principal activity of the three-day event— will take place from 10.30–16.30 on 23 May at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, in the Sacred Valley. The following day, participants will visit the Potato Park, where five local indigenous communities safeguard more than 3,000 potato varieties in one of the most innovative examples of in situ conservation in the world.
About Food Forever
Food Forever is a global campaign to raise awareness of the fundamental importance of safeguarding the diversity of crops, and domesticated animal species, to guarantee food and nutrition security, and address climate change. The campaign is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agenda, pertaining particularly to goal 2.5, which states that the task of conserving and promoting the sustainable use of and equitable access to agrobiodiversity should be realized by 2020. Given the sense of urgency, Food Forever seeks to bring together all the different actors, whether they be politicians, farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs or activists, in a unique concentrated effort to ensure the availability of our food supply forever.
The International Potato Center (CIP) was founded in 1971 as a research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweetpotato and Andean roots and tubers. It delivers innovative science-based solutions to enhance access to affordable, nutritious food, foster inclusive, sustainable business and employment growth, and drive the climate resilience of root and tuber agri-food systems. Headquartered in Lima, Peru, CIP has a research presence in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
CIP is a CGIAR research center, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations, and the private sector.
About Crop Trust
The Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust for short) is an international organization, the mission of which is to support crop conservation in genebanks for the future. With the returns generated by its endowment fund, the Crop Trust provides financial support for key international, regional and national genebank collections, as well as the main back up of crop seeds, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (in the Arctic). The Crop Trust’s patron is HRH the Prince of Wales.
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