The Origin of Potato
In many parts of the world, potatoes are one of the most important staple foods. As the main food crop, potato is grown in more than 100 countries from the south pole to the North Pole. It is the fourth largest food in the world. In addition to the consumption of fresh potatoes (such as cooking, baking, frying, etc.), potatoes are also widely used, such as the production of alcohol, dehydrated food, animal feed, commercial starch and frozen food. In fact, the consumption of fresh potatoes in the total amount of potatoes harvested in the world is less than 50%.
Potatoes originated in the Andes (in Bolivia and Peru), where the Incas have long used them as their daily meals. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers brought them to Europe, and since then, potatoes have gradually spread throughout Europe. Later, European explorers brought potatoes to all parts of the world, including Asia. By 1990, North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union were the top three potato producers in the world. However, the statistics and trend of the significant increase of potatoes are Latin America, Asia and Africa. By 2005, the potato production of developing countries exceeded that of developed countries for the first time.
At present, potato has become one of the most widely planted crops in the world. By 2017, the global potato planting area is estimated to be 19.3 million hectares (about 290 million mu). In recent ten years, the global potato production has increased from 267 million tons in 1990 to 388.19 million tons in 2017.
The top five countries in the global production ranking lead the world potato industry. Their output together exceeds half of the global output. In 2017, the total output of the top five largest potato producing countries was 219 million tons!