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A Potato That Can Fight Against Anemia

Potato is the third most important food crop after rice and wheat in the world. As per the data available, China is the largest producer of the potatoes and India is in the second position. Out of 25 countries producing potatoes, Peru’s position is 17. Yet it has come up with the Super Potatoes with Iron and zinc rich properties.  

The new potato is another important building block in achieving the government's goal of solving the anaemia problem caused by malnutrition in the Andean region. It is estimated that around 44 per cent of Peruvian children suffers from this condition.  
 
The new breed, according to researchers, is defiant to disease and can be cultivated up to 4,000 m above sea level, with yields averaging 21 tons per ha. Because of the striking purple colour and the associated high recognition value, there is also the potential for export. 

An iron and zinc rich potato, designed to help fight anemia, has been bred by Peruvian scientists from the National Institute of Agricultural Innovations in Lima (INIA). The genetically modified potato called INIA 328, unofficially known as "Kulli Papa" (lilac potato) because of its color, contains about 23 mg of iron and 19 mg of zinc per 100 g, according to the researchers. That is about twice the amount of conventional varieties. 

According to the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture, the new potato variety also has almost twice as many polyphenols and antioxidants, and it might prevent certain forms of cancer. At the recent presentation of the new crop in Cusco, Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Mostajo was convinced that this unique variety could make an important contribution to "eliminating hunger and anemia".   

The new potato will be available soon, as the Ministry will distribute shoots, seedlings or small tubers to growers in the Andes. These should then be planted in the next season, to be available in a few months. Ministry of Agriculture has announced a major plan to distribute to the Andean producers shoots, seedlings or small tubers. The idea is that the "Kulli Papa" is planted at the beginning of the next season and available commercially in a few months. Especially since the famous potato can be grown up to 4000 meters above sea level, making it possible to grow in the region. It is also very resistant to diseases and to complete the whole, it has a yield of 21 tons per hectare, which guarantees a good profitability to farmers. 

A potato against anemia 

Despite all its apparent benefits, it is difficult to know how "Kulli Papa" will make anemia less present. But this new potato is just one element among others. Peru wants to reduce this condition among children aged 6 to 3 to 19 percent by 2021. A rate that is close to 44 percent at present according to a demographic and family health survey. That's one million children. The fifteen government ministries will coordinate to fight anemia and the marketing of "Kulli Papa" is part of the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture. 

Top 25 Potato Producing Countries 

 
Source: FAOSTAT (Retrieval Date: September 16, 2018)  

Rank 

Country 

Potato Production in 2016 in tonnes 

 China 

99,122,400 

 India 

43,770,000 

 Russian Federation 

31,107,800 

 Ukraine 

21,750,300 

 United States 

19,991,000 

 Germany 

10,772,100 

 Bangladesh 

9,474,100 

 Poland 

8,872,440 

 France 

6,834,680 

10 

 Netherlands 

6,534,340 

11 

 Belarus 

5,985,810 

12 

 United Kingdom 

5,373,000 

13 

 Iran (Islamic Republic of) 

5,164,890 

14 

 Egypt 

5,029,020 

15 

 Algeria 

4,782,690 

16 

 Turkey 

4,750,000 

17 

 Peru 

4,400,300 

18 

 Canada 

4,324,110 

19 

 Pakistan 

4,000,360 

20 

 Brazil 

3,851,400 

21 

 Kazakhstan 

3,545,700 

22 

 Belgium 

3,402,790 

23 

 Uzbekistan 

2,925,020 

24 

 Nepal 

2,805,580 

25 

 Romania 

2,689,730 



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