(Oct. 3, PACKER WEB EXCLUSIVE) More than 200 industry leaders, educators and students are expected to attend the International Symposium on Living with Potatoes Oct. 7 at California State University-Fresno.

The event is being staged in conjunction with the year of the potato celebration as declared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, said N. Premchand Mahalik, assistant professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at CSU-Fresno.

“After corn and rice, the potato is the most consumed food item in the world,” Mahalik said. “Potatoes prevent hunger even in developing countries.

Among the speakers scheduled for the symposium are Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, Moses Lake; Jerzy Nowak from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s department of horticulture; John Bamberg, of the U.S. Potato Genebank, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Vegetable Crops Research Unit, Madison, Wis.; and G.N. Mohan Kumar from Washington State University, Pullman.

The goals of the symposium, Mahalik said, are to generate support for production-oriented research efforts and to share information among the growers, associations, academicians and scientists who will be represented at the Fresno event.