To raise awareness of the importance of the competent agriculture and natural resources management. Peru observed National Potato Day on 30th may.

The potato is the world’s fourth-largest food crop which has become a staple food in many parts of the world. Most people are so used to it that they rarely think about where it originated from. The potato was first domesticated in parts of modern-day Peru and Bolivia. Peruvians even celebrate National Potato Day in honor of one of the world’s most important food crops originating in Peru.

The potato is still an important food staple and field crop in Peru. Some estimates put the number of species or types of spud at almost 4000. Most of these are still only grown in Peru. Elsewhere in the world, people tend to favour one or two varieties. If you find yourself in Peru don’t miss the chance to try the Pink, Sweet, Purple, Huayro, Black, and Chuño versions or varieties, many of which are not sold outside of the country.

The potato was first domesticated in South America about 7,000–9,000 years ago. Potatoes provided the main energy source for the Inca Empire and were the staple food of most Pre-Columbian Mapuches. The potato was introduced to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century after they had conquered the Inca Empire. Since then, it has become one of the world’s most important field crops.

In present-day Peru, the potato is an important food product cultivated for its high nutritional value. In the country’s capital of Lima there’s a research facility named the International Potato Center. The Center carries out scientific research on potato crops to reduce poverty and achieve food security in developing countries. It is one of the 15 specialized research centers that belong to the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research.

Given the importance of the potato for the economics and culture of Peru, there is no wonder that the Peruvian government has created National Potato Day celebrated on May 30. The holiday is designed to raise awareness of the importance of the competent agriculture and natural resources management.

Peruvian purple potatoes contain high levels of nutrients not found in the perfectly formed, clean, white potato sold in supermarkets in the west. The purple potato, which might not appeal to consumers in the west, it packed with nutrients and cancer fighting properties.

 

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi



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