By George Munene
Published in 2020, The Potato Crop, is a 500-word, open-access book that gathers contributions by internationally respected potato experts, providing global and local perspectives on a diverse array of topics related to the potato, particularly, how best to grow Kenya’s second most important staple crop.
The book which has garnered over 300,000 downloads since publication is written in jargon-free language, making it appealing to a much broader readership than just academics.
According to its publishers, it is firmly based on scientific evidence gathered through thorough research and contributions of renowned authors.
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According to the International Potato Center (CIP), the 14-chapter book covers all aspects of the potato from the basic science of its growth and physiology to the role it plays in food security, development, gender transformation, and climate change resilience for smallholder farmers in developing countries around the world. Each chapter emphasizes the need to work in a participatory way to connect disciplines, farmers, scientists, and organizations.
It is meant to provide guidance to academics and students of crop sciences, as well as policymakers and other stakeholders involved in the potato value chain.
The publication is a fresh, updated, and science-based perspective on the current status and prospects of the diverse topics related to the third most important global food crop in terms of consumption. Its authors are distinguished scientists with hands-on global experience in research aspects related to potatoes.
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Speaking just after its launch, co-editor Hugo Campus, CIP’s Interim Deputy Director General for Research and Development, explained why making the book freely available was so important. “Right from the start, we planned for this to be an open-access book, available free of charge to anyone, to maximize the reach of our research to as many people as possible…”
To download; The Potato Crop: Its Agricultural, Nutritional and Social Contribution to Humankind