Anselma Apasa Ccana: Native Potatoes are making a comeback

Anselma Apasa Ccana – Amaru Community, Cuzco, Peru

Native potatoes were disappearing from my community of Amaru, but they’re making a comeback. Native potatoes are smaller than improved varieties; they’re tastier too. Improved varieties of potatoes produce greater quantities of larger tubers. But if you plant them year after year, they start shrinking. After two years, we’d need to purchase new seed potatoes.

Potatoes are our staple food. In every dish, the potato takes center stage. In all of our customs, in our marriages, in any event we have to use potato.

We plant our native potatoes at the highest altitudes to prevent losses. We are trying to adapt to climate change, to identify which native potato varieties are resistant to climate change. Which potatoes can withstand frost and hail?

I traveled to the United States and there the food we ate filled our stomachs, but a short while later, I would be hungry. What we eat here gives us the strength to work, it is not just to fill a stomach.

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