Andean root and tuber crops

In addition to potato (Solanum spp.) and sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas), there are other nine species of lesser-known root and tuber crops domesticated in the Andes (ARTCs), which play an important role in nutrition, health and food security for thousands of farmer families in highlands: oca, ulluco, mashua, achira, yacon, arracacha, ahipa, maca and mauka.

Most ARTCs are clonally propagated and they are conserved under in vitro conditions. Many accessions are conserved in greenhouses and farmer fields, specifically in a rural community (La Libertad) located above 3800 masl in the department of Junín (11º49 'S and 75º18' W). Only maca and ahipa species are conserved as seeds in cold chambers as they reproduce sexually. 

Although none of the ARTCs is within the Annex 1 of the ITPGRFA, 1178 accessions held in the CIP genebank were acquired before the entry into force of the CBD (December 29, 1993) which allows for unrestricted distribution for research, breeding and training purposes. However, international distribution and use of ARTCs is restricted due to a lack of screening tools to adequately test the phytosanitary status of the collection to meet import permit requirements.

General information

Size of genebank collections

Other accepted names

Andean Root and Tubers

Taxonomic rules