London, Apr 17: Often derided for contributing to expanding waistlines, the potato is now being touted as an answer to global food crisis.
Scientists have suggested that rising food prices and the production of crops for biofuel rather than food have led to rediscovering potato cultivation as a nutitious alternative to food crisis. ''The shocks to the food supply means we could potentially be moving into a reality where there is not enough food to feed the world,'' the Telegraph quoted International Potato Centre director, Pamela Anderson, as saying.
For population struggling to feed themselves, especially the developing countries, the potato was a good option for both food security and income generation, she added.
Calling it a ''hidden treasure'', the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation recently launched the International Year of the Potato at a conference in Peru.
The potato, which was first domesticated in South America 8,000 years ago, is a good source of complex carbohydrates. It also contains vitamin C, potassium, iron and zinc.