typical of the Inca civilization, and adapts them to the context of contemporary society by using the collective work of their communities, the biogenetic conditions of their natural resources and the "sumak kawsay,” a lifestyle founded on the Quechua cosmology of respect and balance with “pachamama”, or mother earth and nature.
The Potato Park is an example of where traditional knowledge and new innovative technologies work together, not only to bring development to the communities through the production of byproducts derived from potato such as shampoos, soaps, medicinal inputs and tourism, but to face climate change issues that threats such as food sovereignty on the region.
Looking at the potato park experience and taking into account the exhaustive work from the communities behind this crop, we can set forth the main recommendations to create sustainable systems to enrich the potato production and its quality, as well as the improvement of the livelihood of the people surrounding this crop such as:
Promote small farmers opportunities to access to high-value markets.
Building an inclusive supplier chain.
Implementing smart agriculture practices (soil- regeneration, bio-based products – bio-fortification)
Climate change varietal development (Genomic selections).
Farmer education via their kids.
Innovative tools to add value to the product.
Promoting potato entrepreneurship in younger generations.
Market integration, and reduction of asymmetric information.
We invite you to reflect where does the potato come from? We have the responsibility to be another link of the “sumak kawsay”. Let’s support our Indigenous fellows in this journey.
*Chuño: is a freeze-dried potato product traditionally made by Quechua communities.
French Fries: are batonnet-cut deep-fried potatoes dish famous around the world.
Photography and text by Miguel Eduardo Monroy