TRADE AND MARKE T ING UN objectives Do you see a role for the potato in realising these objectives? I even see a very important role for the potato in the objectives that the U.N. drew up in 2000. The first objective is the banning of extreme poverty and starvation. The potato can play a very important role there. Compared to 1990, the U.N. wants to reduce the number of people that live in extreme poverty from 1.25 billion to 700 million in 2015. Objective number five sets out that the number of children that die within the first five years of their lives as a result of starvation should be reduced by one third. At the same time, the organisation wants to cut back the number of deaths from lack of food by more than 200 million. The potato is a particularly high-quality food product that can be grown in many areas in the world. To introduce the ‘International Year of the Potato’ is an extremely good idea as far as I am concerned. What position does the CIP take in that, do you think? At CIP, we have a research programme whereby we guide poor areas step-by-step via a development circle. This starts with identifying the areas where poverty, hunger and child mortality are high. We then put this data on the map to see where in the world potato growing is possible. This gives us an excellent picture of the way the potato can contribute to the millennium objectives. In addition, we have a wide research programme to attend to the various problems in potato growing. Not only do we cover cultivation, we also look at storage. At the same time, we use our extensive gene bank to offer countries material that they can use to breed new varieties, to improve the cultivation. What kind of role do you envision for the world-famous gene bank of the CIP? Our gene bank is the heart of the CIP organisation, which is available to the entire international community. As CIP, we are the keepers of this treasure in the Andes. We join in the research ourselves to take advantage of the material and, as a result, make our knowledge and breeding material available for all the breeders in the world. This does not include the breeding of new varieties itself. That is the responsibility of the partners in other countries. We are a public organisation and all that we develop should be available to the public. We do not have any protected varieties of our own. And that won’t happen either. That’s why it is difficult to work together with commercial breeders, because they want to market the breeding results for themselves. How does CIP survive financially? Thirty percent of our income currently comes from basic sponsoring from a variety of areas in the world. Seventy percent comes from projects. This means that it is increasingly difficult to maintain our gene bank. We need 1.2 million dollars annually to do that. And I haven’t even mentioned the use of our sources when developing resistance. We need even more funds for that. How are you going to put all your knowledge into practice? We have not only transferred knowledge at the congress. There have been meetings with various working parties to find out where the various research disciplines can reinforce each other. We are going to bring all these experiences together in the ‘Cusco challenge’. This document will include a research agenda, which we will put on our website and which we will keep developing in the coming period. All this with the aim of banning poverty and hunger from the world. ● Jaap Delleman Potato World 2009 • number 1 5 Pagina 4

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