Internat ional Year of the Potato T’ikipapa commercially interesting The famous Potato Valley, referred to as holy by the Incas, is centrally situated in the mountains near Cusco. This valley covers over 12,000 hectares of land. The current generation of Peruvians grows potatoes in small plots at a great height. A wide range of wild local potato varieties can be found in the Potato Valley. To grow potatoes, six villages are actively involved. They not only grow potatoes, but also work as guides to show tourists like me around. Besides working as tourist guides, the Peruvian communities in this area sell potatoes under the brand name T’ikipapa. A name that means potato flower in Quechua. The local potato varieties are sold, for example, in Wong supermarkets under this name, which was given with the assistance of CIP. Wong is one of the largest supermarket chains in Peru. The object of this social brand name is that potatoes from local varieties, grown by poor farmers in the mountains, are profitably marketed under a recognisable brand name. The potatoes are sold in 1 kg bags. In 2006, 59 tons had already been sold in the Wong supermarkets. Due to severe frost in the 2007 growing season, sales dropped to 27 tons. This year, yields appear to have improved again, so that the local growers can continue to grow potatoes commercially. If these sales should disappear, the question could arise as to whether the diversity of species of the Andes would remain available for future generations. ● Jaap Delleman Potato World 2009 • number 1 29 Pagina 28

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