Peru is not only the country of origin of the potato, it is also the country with the largest number of varieties. Apparently, there would be more than 4000 !
The number of peasants producing potatoes is estimated to be around 600.000.
The total cultivated surface being 300.000 ha.
National production is about 3,7 million tons per year.
Each Peruvian eats about 80 kg of potatoes per year.
Native potatoes are still today the most important cultural aspect of the highlands (around 3 to 4000 m high).
Their nutritional value is important. Their shape, interior and external color, their flavor and texture form the basis of the andine culture.
These native potatoes are grown following a very traditional pattern. The fields are small and situated on the slopes of the mountains. A family sometimes grows up to 300 varieties.
The cultivation is done using traditional utensils. Like for instance the « chakitaqlla », or andine spade.
It makes it possible to work on the very steep slopes.
The andine potatoes are an important biodiversity potential.
The CIP (centro internacional de la papa) in Lima has around 4000 potato varieties.
At the occasion of a short vacation we took these photos in Anatolia of the potato harvest.
Well lined up bags and good looking potatoes.