The UN has given 2008 several designations, of which International Year of the Potato (IYP) is another one.* The reason for IYP is given as follows:
The celebration of the International Year of the Potato (IYP) will raise awareness of the importance of the potato – and of agriculture in general – in addressing issues of global concern, including hunger, poverty and threats to the environment.
The origin of IYP was apparently a proposal by Peru within the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which eventually resulted in a UN General Assembly resolution.
The IYP website is a nicely organized with information in the 6 UN languages, including activities for children.
* I’ve previously commented on the International Year of Planet Earth, and for the International Year of languages, have commented briefly and devoted a section of this website.