The potatoes grown by the rural communities of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador on the high Andean plateaus at altitudes higher than 3,500 metres display an extremely rich biodiversity, which the Papa Andina initiative has made it possible to exploit. The project has resulted in the development of a line of original, high-quality products, enabling small-scale farmers to become players on the national or regional markets.
Combining traditional resources with advanced research
Today, around 30 traditional varieties of potato are sold in Lima, La Paz or Quito – wrapped up in «gourmet» packages, in the form of crisps, coloured purées or even freeze-dried soups. These products, which result from the work done by more than 2,500 farming families living in remote areas, are enjoying increasing success. Between 2000 and 2010, the volume of native Peruvian potatoes sold increased by 73% (from 167,000 to 289,000 tonnes) – at the same time prices went up by 55%.