The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Milton von Hesse, the Head of INIA, Juan Arturo Flores, and CIP’s Director of Research, Oscar Ortiz were present for the announcement. In his remarks, Ortiz noted that, “Kawsay represents the fruit of years of labor by various institutions that came together and worked in unison.”
Ortiz elaborated that Kawsay was specially developed for cultivation in the higher Andean regions where it has shown a great adaptability to temperate and cold climates. “Its resistance to late blight is another factor that makes this new breed highly desirable,” says Ortiz. It was also revealed that the new variety has an excellent crop yield of 25 tons/hectare, which makes it excellent for commercial production, and for food security of small scale farmer.
According to the Head of INIA, Juan Arturo Flores, “Kawsay is nutritious and has an excellent cooking quality, which makes it a perfect breed for local and commercial producers.” According to Flores, the texture of Kawsay is light and floury, and is perfect for use in mash, stews, and soups. It is also constitutes an ideal alternative nutrition source from breast milk for infants above six months of age.
The last part of the research process aiming at releasing the variety began in 2008, and the development of Kawsay is an achievement made possible by the participatory research of diverse institutions including INIA, CIP, CIP’s Red LatinPapa project and Issandes Project, the University for Andean Development (UDEA) from Huancavelica, Care Peru, PRISMA, CAPAC Peru, ADERS Peru and the Asociacion Pataz. However, according to Juan Arturo Flores, “An essential part of the development of this new variety relied upon the active participation of small-scale potato producers in the selection of varieties through participatory selection.” The small-scale producers came from diverse localities in Huancavelica, (Chapapunco, Ñahuinpuquio, San Pablo de Occo, Santa Ana, Mosoccancha, Buenos Aires, and Ccasapata), Apurimac (Arcahua, Kishuara) and La Libertad (San Juan and Pampa Racra).
Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Milton von Hesse
In closing, the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Milton Von Hesse stated that, “Kawsay represents a huge success in public and private cooperation. This is the way forward and this is how we are going to develop projects in the future.” Kawsay is now available to farmers across Peru.