National Potato Day: Peru has over 3,500 varieties of this Andean tuber

11:11 | Lima, May. 30.

Peru has more than 3,500 varieties of potatoes, the largest in the world, and over 700,000 families in 19 producing regions make their living growing this crop. Learn about this Andean tuber —grown in Peru thousands of years ago— on National Potato Day.

These varieties —with various properties, contents, and qualities— have been made available thanks to the laudable conservation work of small-scale farmers living —above all— in Andean regions.

In addition to being one of Peru's major food contributions to the world as well as freeing Europe and other continents from hunger, Peruvian potatoes have decisively contributed to the South American country's gastronomic boom, given that a wide variety of internationally-accepted Peruvian dishes can be made with this tuber. 

Nowadays, consumers have a better understanding of native potatoes and their nutritional benefits, particularly the consumption of varieties such as Camotillo, Huamantanga, Queccorani, Huayro Macho, Sangre de Toro, Puka Soncco, Leona, Wencos, among others, for being natural, innocuous, and for having an edible skin.

The National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA) has 6,408 varieties of native potatoes registered, of which 36% originated in Cusco. The remaining ones were originally cultivated in Huancavelica, Puno, Ancash, Cajamarca, among other regions.

Of this total, 729 varieties of registered native potatoes include source information and morphological characterization.

According to the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry (Minagri), potato production in 2018 reached 5.1 million tons (90% for the domestic market), turning the Inca country into the Latin American leader and placing it in the 14th position on a global scale.

Additionally, in 2017, this crop contributed 10.7% to the gross value of agricultural production. 


Published: 5/30/2019