Among food crops in terms of consumption, potato ranks fourth, most important and valuable crop worldwide in terms of production and area harvested after maize, wheat and rice. In the coming years, potato production must keep pace with global population expansion nutritiously and sustainably which can partially be achieved by reducing the yield losses caused by the destructive pest and disease activities to the crop. The challenge of 70–80% total microbial crop yield loss posed by pathogens must be addressed for sustainable potato production in order to properly alleviate the global starvation problem. Potato as a food security crop can help to achieve the four food security requirements: food availability, quality, accessibility and stability. Health benefits of potato have shown the presence of phytochemicals as well as resistant starch which serve as anticancer and antidiabetic. The role of potato in the global food security should not be over emphasized, hence in this chapter we want to give an overview on the global hunger and food security at present, and the role played by potato as a food security crop. In addition, potato yield losses caused by pests and diseases especially phytopathogens, their etiology and the role of crop protection in sustainable potato production to alleviate global starvation problem will be discussed.
Part of the book: Solanum tuberosum