Potato, the wonder crop, emerged as the third most important food crop in terms of human consumption primarily because of its overwhelming popularity in two Asian giants, i.e. China and India who jointly contributes about 38% of total world production. In India, the potato sector witnessed rapid growth during last seven decades as a direct consequence of strong R4D support extended by ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla. For example, total potato production in India increased from 34.7 million tonnes in the year 2008 when the second global potato conference was held in India to 53 million tonnes now; an increase of almost 53% in 10 years. Moreover, the sector is expected to grow at about 3% annual compounded growth rate in India till 2050. However, shifting economic status and aspiration of people of India as well as emerging global food market are casting inevitable influence on R&D orientation. The changing global climate and agricultural landscape also necessitate continuously fine-tuning of ways and means to achieve desired quality and productivity in sustainable manner through eco-friendly and climate smart technologies. I am sure we would be able to prepare a vibrant roadmap for the potato sector in India with your active participation that will facilitate achievement of the desired goals set by the policy makers and realize the dreams of our population in general. The Global Potato Conclave 2020 (GPC 2020) is one step towards the same. This Conclave will provide one such platform to share and celebrate our achievements and for contemplating Potato for a Better World.
I have already invited you to participate in GPC 2020 when I mailed the first circular of the Conclave during May 2019, in which I had informed that, the Indian Potato Association (IPA) in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, and ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla, is going to organize the Global Potato Conclave 2020 (GPC 2020) during 28–31 January, 2020. This mega event is having equally important three major components; (i) The Potato Conference, (ii) The AgriExpo and (iii) Potato Field Day. The GPC 2020 will provide an opportunity for researchers to present their work and share their knowledge with national and international scientists and academicians; to trade and industries to showcase their products/technologies/implements etc. and to the farming communities about the latest in potato technologies related to various components of potato value chain including seed, production technology, storage, marketing, value-addition etc. It is expected that more than 2500 academicians, researchers, farmers, representatives from trade and industries, officials from various government organizations, students etc. will be participating in this mega event. The Conclave will be organized at The Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, which provides 5-star facilities for holding such events.
It is my pleasure to share that, the First Circular evoked overwhelming interest and support from potato workers and related organizations/institutions across the globe. I feel highly encouraged and motivated by such an overwhelming response from potato growers, the world leaders in potato research, technology, trade and the policy makers. In furtherance to the First Circular, on behalf of organizers of the GPC 2020, I once again invite you to participate in this global event and add value to the three dimensions of potato; Farming, Health and Business. You can contribute as researcher through lead papers, oral/ poster presentation. If you deal with any aspect of trade in potato you can demonstrate/ display your products/ technologies. As industry you can showcase your tools/ implements/ any other relevant process or product. Field Day component of this conclave will provide a platform for live demonstrations of your technologies/varieties/tools or implements etc. which is expected to be a very effective demonstration, meant for developers as well as the end-user. I do hope that your participation in the Conclave will help in devising a systems based roadmap for enhancing the role of potato in making our world a better one for all. Being at the venue of the Conclave will itself have the feel of our rich cultural heritage.
Chairperson, Organizing Committee