Andean Root and Tuber Crops

The Promise of Neglected Crops

Nine native Andean root and tuber crops hold economic and nutritional importance for subsistence farmers in the Andes. They grow at high altitudes under extremely difficult conditions of drought, freezing temperatures, and UV exposure.

These lesser-known roots and tubers offer high vitamin, micronutrient, and starch content; good yields, and various medicinal properties. As a result, they also hold potential for further research, adaptation and use in other regions of the world, and exportation.

The crops are known by their Quechua Indian names: achira, ahipa, arracacha, maca, mashua, mauka, oca, ulluco, and yacon.

CIP protects and maintains the remarkable genetic diversity of wild and domestic Andean root and tuber crops threatened by extinction or genetic weakening. The genebank contains some 1,500 accessions collected from seven countries.

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