Home News Minister McConalogue opens the 11th World Potato Congress

Minister McConalogue opens the 11th World Potato Congress

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Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue officially opened the 11th World Potato Congress today at the RDS in Dublin.

Minister McConalogue welcomed European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski and Dr. QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, who will speak at the Congress.

The theme of the Congress, “The Changing World of the Potato”, is underpinned by a four-day programme of high-profile speakers and topics covering key issues in the industry today including international trade, sustainability, food security, consumer trends, health and nutrition, innovation and development.

The four-day event will feature more than 60 speakers and is set to be attended by over 1000 delegates from over 60 countries.

Referring to the changing and challenging world of the Irish potato sector, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. at the official opening of the Congress said:

“Ireland is synonymous with the potato. It’s part of our history, our very identity. No one food or item has left such an indelible mark on the identity of a people than the potato has done in Ireland.

“The potato industry, like many others, has undergone changes over the last number of years but central to the success of our sector has been our commitment to quality and dedication to excellence. Our potato sector is really exciting and pioneering one full of committed farmers who are constantly innovating. The sector is one of the most technologically developed in the world with a cohort of professional growers and packers who supply premium local food to consumers.”

Last week Ministers McConalogue and Hackett announced funding of €€3m to support the seed potato sector in recognition of the challenges faced by the sector. The funding from Ireland’s allocation from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve will accelerate development of capacity within the sector and aid improvements in the production, storage and marketing infrastructure of seed potatoes.

The Department of Agriculture has an exhibition at Congress that highlights its work supporting Ireland’s high plant health status, the development and protection of potato varieties together with its long-term commitment to supporting developing countries. The Department of Agriculture has also provided financial support to enable delegates from developing countries to attend the Congress.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. at the official opening of the Congress said:

“To reinforce Ireland’s commitment under our framework agreement with the FAO to support agriculture in developing countries, my Department has provided €100,000 in funding to enable 50 delegates from developing countries to attend this Congress. This provides unique networking opportunities and the platform to share knowledge enabling businesses across the world to work together and create more sustainable communities.”

Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity at Department Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett T.D. said:

“The 11th World Potato Congress provides an opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst global potato professionals. Some of the learnings shared across this week will help contribute to our climate and sustainability goals. The Government last week approved a €3M scheme to assist the potato sector here in Ireland which, like many other sectors is currently facing challenges.”

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