In addition to the seven species of the cultivated potato (Solanum spp.), and sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas), there are other nine species of lesser-known root and tuber crops domesticated in the Andes (ARTCs), which play an important role in nutrition, health and food security for thousands of farmer families in highlands (Table 1). Although none of the ARTCs is within the Annex 1 of the ITPGRFAA, 1173 of the 2529 accessions held in the CIP-genebank were acquired before the entry into force of the CBD (December 29, 1993) which allowing their unrestricted distribution for research, breeding and training purposes. Most ARTCs are clonally propagated and they are conserved in CIP-genebank under in vitro conditions (1341 accessions). Many accessions have been recently acquired by CIP and they are conserved in greenhouses and farmer fields, specifically in a rural community (La Libertad) located above 3800 masl in the department of Junín (11º49 ‘S and 75º18’ W). Only maca and ahipa species are conserved as seeds in cold chambers (-20ºC) due they are species that reproduce sexually.
Main priorities for the conservation, distribution and use of ARTCs in CIP-genebank are (i) to reduce the number of accessions conserved in field and greenhouse; (ii) to identify and eliminate duplicates and redundant materials; (ii) to verify the identity of accessions conserved for more than 20 year under in vitro and filed conditions (true to type); and (iv) to facility the international distribution and use of in vitro materials.
International distribution and use of ARTCs is restricted due to a lack of screening tools to adequately test the phytosanitary status of the collection to meet import permit requirements. Therefore, a major priority for the genebank is the search of donors and the application of proposal for the funding of activities related to the development of phytosanitary tools for the diagnosis of virus in ARTCs. Moreover, the complicated web of ever‐changing regional and international legislation governing the species that no belonging to the Annex 1 of the ITPRGFAA hinder the international distribution of ARTCs. Therefore, national, regional, and international legislation and treaties will be used to clarify this trouble.