Potatoes are set to become the staple food for the world’s largest population, with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) announcing plans to boost potato production by 2020.
Half of the country’s potato production will be used for domestic consumption by 2020, with China’s 5m hectares of potato farmland to double, according to the MOA.
The push for potatoes comes as China faces land shortages for its staple crops of wheat, corn and rice, and faces future food security issues.
“Potato can survive in cold, drought and barren environment. It has great potential to be planted in large vacant fields in the south during winter," said vice minister of agriculture Yu Xinrong in a press release.
Part of the scaling up of the potato consumption includes nation-wide media campaigns including potato recipes aired on state-run channel China Central Television, as well as encouraging users on the MOA’s Weibo site to post their own potato recipes.