KUNMING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Zhaotong, a mountainous city in southwest China's Yunnan Province, has been given an honorary title in recognition of its success in growing potatoes in highland conditions.
The city was handed the title of "World Mountain Plateau Seed Potato Capital" by the World Potato Congress (WPC) on Tuesday at an award ceremony conducted by video conference.
The presentation was made by Lu Xiaoping, director of the Asia and the Pacific branch of the International Potato Center, having been entrusted with the task by WPC president Romain Cools.
Located in northeast Yunnan, Zhaotong has an elevation of nearly 2,000 meters, but its unique climate is suited to growing potatoes in all seasons. The city has an annual average temperature of between 11.3 and 21.1 degrees Celsius, an average of 1,902 hours of sunshine, and annual precipitation of 760 mm.
Aided by these favorable conditions, Zhaotong has had great success with its potato crop, making it a pillar industry for poverty alleviation in recent years.
According to Yang Yalin, Party secretary of Zhaotong, who attended the award ceremony, the city currently plants more than 173,000 hectares of potatoes.
"Potatoes are not only an important means by which millions of poor people in Zhaotong can shake off poverty, but our best hope for future development," Yang said.
Also at Tuesday's ceremony was Li Zhiping, deputy director of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. She said the development of the potato industry is of great significance to global food security, and as a major production area for potatoes, Zhaotong has built a high-standard, high-quality potato production base to help poor locals increase their incomes. Enditem