National Potato Day in Peru

Friday June 7, 2019
National Potato Day in Peru

Did you know that Peru has over 3500 varieties of potatoes, which is the largest in the world? Furthermore, there are over 700 000 local families in 19 regions that make their living growing these potatoes. Last Thursday, May 30, it was National Potato Day in Peru. A great day to get to know everything about the potatoes.

Peruvian potatoes all have different qualities, structures, taste, contents. We thank this incredible variety to the conservation work of small-scale farmers that are living in the 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, because a wide variety of the most famous Peruvian dishes are prepared with this tuber.

Nowadays, Peruvian consumers have a better understanding of their native potatoes and their nutritional benefits. Especially varieties such as Camotillo, Huamantanga, Queccorani, Huayro Macho, Sangre de Toro, Puka Soncco, Leona, Wencos, area consumed often, for being natural, innocuous, and for having an edible skin.

The National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA) in Peru 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 characterisation.

According to the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry (Minagri), potato production in 2018 reached 5.1 million tons (90% for the domestic market). This number made the Inca country into Latin Americans number one leader with the 14th position on a global scale. In 2017, the Peruvian potatoes contributed 10.7% to the gross value of agricultural production in Peru.

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