Thank you for joining us for today’s Spotlight program. I’m Joshua Leo.
And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting.
It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.
Experts believe the first potato vegetable plants grew about 7,000 years ago.
These first potatoes grew in the Andes Mountains in South America.
The ancient people there, the Incas, had particular beliefs about these plants.
They thought of the earth as a mother to all growing things.
The moon gave “Mother Earth” fertility.
It moved her to offer potatoes at harvest time.
Men and women each had a special part in growing the potato.
Men put the seeds in the land.
The women cared for the seeds until they produced potatoes.
Around the world, this is still true.
Women have an important part in planting, caring for, and harvesting the potato.
The United Nations has declared 2008 the “International Year of the Potato.”
In an earlier program we explained that the UN believes potatoes will have a large influence on future food security.
They contain many good substances people need to be healthy.
And they are easier to grow than many other crops.
Food security is an issue in many developing countries.
People must have enough to eat.
When people do not have enough to eat, whole communities suffer.
Food security also depends on gender equality.
Producing food is an important goal.
But people cannot reach this goal when men and women receive unequal treatment.