Peru has managed to consolidate itself as the first potato producer in Latin America and the second in the American continent, only behind the United States, the Andean country's Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry (Minagri) reported on Monday.
"Indicators tell us that we are already the first [potato producer] in all of Latin America and the 11th worldwide," Agriculture and Irrigation Minister Jose Manuel Hernandez affirmed.
On a global scale, the Inca country ranks below China, India, U.S., Russia, among others.
Peru's potato output stood a little above 4.5 million tons in 2016, with an estimated 318,530 ha crop area and an average yield of 14.5 tons per hectare, official data reveals.
On the other hand, the Agriculture head underlined potatoes' role as the main tubers in Peru, serving as a source of livelihood for 711,313 families.
Said households are distributed among 19 Peruvian regions, with the largest producers being Puno, Huanuco, Cusco, Cajamarca, Huancavelica and Junin.
"90% of [Peru's] potato production is focused on the highlands," he pointed out.
He also noted the crop has generated more than 110,000 permanent jobs and close to 33.4 million daily pays.
In addition, Hernandez underscored potato growing —of close to 3,000 varieties— accounts for 4% of the country's agricultural GDP.
It is worth noting nearly 3.5 million Peruvians are engaged in the said activity.