Potato is a tuber crop cultivated for its tuber which is a source of carbohydrate. Potato belongs the same tuber group as yam and cassava but different in some areas. Potatoes is medium in size between yam and cassava.
Potatoes is one of the staple food all over the world, in 2014, it was the fourth largest food crop in the world after maize, wheat and rice.
Potatoes have no definite shape and size but specific colour. Their shape are always determined by the soil structure and texture while size is mostly determined by the soil fertility.
The origin of the potatoes was traced to the Andes region of South America. According to researchers, it was learnt that Indians living in the area between 4000 – 7000 years cultivate potato in such area.
The name potato was coined form Spanish word patata.
Potato is a tuber crop and at the same time herbaceous perennial tuber crop. Its plant has a flower that die back for fruiting and tuber formation. The plant produces different colours of the flower. The flowers are white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers and the stamen is yellow. Bumblebees carry out cross-pollination in Potato plant, transferring pollen from one plant to another and there’s is a substantial amount of self-pollination. This makes productivity to be less threatened. In addition, in 2016, India was ranked 3rd in the list of countries producing potato with 43. 8 million tonnes.
- It is a staple food.
- For making potato starch. The starch is used as adhesive in the textile industry and its uses for making papers and boards.
- For research.
- Potato is used as a fodder for livestock. Some farmer steam the Potato before giving it to the farm animal instead of feeding them raw.
- It is advantageous for bone formation because of the presence of iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
In conclusion, Potato is a staple food that is 4th largest in production in the whole world. It has many uses other than eating. It is also used for medicinal purposes.