When you think about potatoes, where do you imagine they’re grown? Popular locations might include Ireland, Idaho or maybe Poland. But would you also think of India, China and North Korea as being major producers?
The map above was created by the CGIAR‘s Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas. It shows the percentage of cropland devoted to potato cultivation around the world.
It demonstrates a few rather interesting facts about worldwide potato cultivation (A statement I never thoughts I’d write):
- Potatoes are indigenous to the Andes of South America, yet are not widely cultivated there. For example, according to to potatopro.com, Peru is only the world’s 17th largest producer of potatoes.
- Ireland does not devote a particularity large amount of its cropland to potatoes and is not among the world’s top 25 producers.
- China is by far the world’s largest potato grower, growing more each year than second place India and third place Russia combined.
- US potato cultivation is very concentrated in only a few places, yet these places make the US to be the 5th largest potato grower in the world.
- 364,808,768 tonnes of potatoes were grown in 2012, the equivalent of 110 lbs (50 kg) for every man, woman and child on earth!
Love potatoes? Then you might like the following from Amazon:
- Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent
- 101 Things to Do with a Potato
- Priority Chef Potato Ricer and Masher
- Potato Gun
- Culina French Fry Potato Cutter with Round Bottom for Easy Slicing
- 4M Potato Clock
- POTATOES RUSSET FRESH PRODUCE 5 LBS
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So to you, Irish potato is more famous than Belgian?
Ireland is FAR more famous for potatoes than Belgium will ever be. You probably have to live close to Belgium to even realize they eat potatoes. And again, most of Europe eats potatoes anyway so it’s not like they’re special for it or anything. Belgium probably isn’t special for anything honestly. They’re kind of the definition of nondescript European country. They’re just kind of . . . there.
Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t fries kind of a world wide hit?
Alan Williams says
They are known as French Fries though, not Belgian Fries.
They are known as Pommes Frites and they’re Belgium.
Joseph Mingrone says
Prince Edward Island, shown on the map as 0% potato cropland, is basically one giant potato field.
Apparently a lot of European countries have potatoes as a staple (though they obviously don’t produce a whole lot overall) when it’s often thought of as being specific to only a few countries. Surprised it’s grown in Asia and Africa though. Guess potatoes can thrive almost anywhere.
It’s not really surprising that Ireland doesn’t rely on potatoes as often as they used to, ’cause that really worked out well for them in the past when all they had to rely on for food was potatoes.
Most people don’t realize that no European or Asian ever ate a potato until explorers brought them back from the ‘New World’ in the 16th century.
In New Zealand we don’t have potatoes #worldmapswithoutnz
Brian Bassett says
If you can’t use a graphic that is hi res enough to blow-up and actually look at then stop wasting time.
So Angry says
No potatoes grown in Wales or Australia? I think not.