Why Pacha Mama and a half thousand varieties of potatoes?

Why Pacha Mama and a half thousand varieties of potatoes? One of the "souvenirs" year of 2008 - a status assigned by the UN International Year of the Potato. By talking about the food crisis in this highly productive and responsive to the care of crops have been brought to the attention of millions. Harvested, sleep in barns, held festivals, fairs, competitions, where potatoes are figured as a birthday. At most times, When the wolf cutlets with mashed potatoes (well beaten, with no lumps of butter yellow butter, and if powder - for color and flavor - finely chopped green dill !!!), read something interesting about the "devil's apples" - and be filled, if not respect, at least interest in the culture-mission of the plant Solanum tuberosum.

In the homeland of potatoes - not at all in America, and in Peru, the initiative is implemented now Papa Andina – по возделыванию мелкими товаропроизводителями местных сортов картофеля, выпуску продуктов из него и продвижению их на рынок. О том, как проект претворяется в жизнь, рассказывается на сайте International Year of the Potato.

Here is an example of this activity.

Six farming communities in agreement with the International Potato Center have created a "potato park". This - not a research institution, but a sort of folk selection station. Communities were taken under the park of 12 hectares of their land, putting to ensure completeness of biodiversity of local varieties of potatoes.

Of the fleet headed "keeper potatoes» - papa arariwa. The park has grown nearly a thousand varieties of culture. Peasants and decide where to plant each of the "varieties", takes into account the needs - the composition and structure of soil, micro-relief terrain, microclimate.

Park is busy maintaining, testing and breeding "varieties." Seeds of good varieties of the owners of the park give other communities. Nevertheless, in Peru, potato parks occupy 15,000 acres, these lands are cultivated varieties and nearly 1200 varieties of potatoes. And it is only about a third of what can be put into culture! This potato is similar in shape to the BlackBerry, then the banana, then the crumpled cloth. With white, pink, red, yellow, purple skin - either rough or smooth, waxy to the touch. The flesh on the cut - a deep-yellow, then purple, then pink, then white in different shades ...

Peruvian potato farmers almost deify. Growing many varieties of it, they regard as an act pleasing Mother Earth - Pacha Mama. Is there a kind of "xenophobia" in relation to the classes, so to speak, "others" - a modern, industrial, and rowing - highly productive, but a standardized machine-cleaning and require intensive farming with the mandatory application of mineral fertilizers and chemical protection against diseases and pests.

Peruvian peasants prefer to preserve ancestral and varieties, and growing technology and consumption - in short, to keep the traditional way of the local potato industry.

Do not disparage such installations. These traditions have their source in hoary antiquity and is the world an example of human interaction with nature during the creation of high agricultural civilization. Yes, of course, one of the leading food crop here since time immemorial has always been corn - but the potatoes! (Yield it is believed the researchers, was among Andean peasants to one hundred tons per hectare). Extraordinary stock in public repositories Inca was chuo - suhozamorozhenny potatoes. To measure the time period used, the requirements for the cooking pot of potatoes. To this day, the unit square in some areas of the Andes is a topo - area required to feed from season to season, one family.

Traditional local peasants is growing at an even small pieces of land of several varieties of potatoes - each has its own ecological niche (in order to understand the usefulness of this enough to understand how agriculture specifically in the vertical zonation). Yes there field - Peruvian salad can include 3-4 different varieties of potatoes!

It was from Peru, from the cradle of the potato (8,000 years ago, it was here he saw a man in a plant with beautiful flowers on a rich food resource) and the initiative's launch of the International Year of the Potato (IYP). The UN General Assembly, in adopting resolution of the CIM, primarily had in mind - to promote the spread of potato to solve the food problem and alleviating poverty. But the true meaning of the action marked the slogan "hidden treasure", of course, wider. In this sense, as time and read by the anxious attitude of Andean peasants to the potato - as a gift from the Pacha Mama.

We, the people of another civilization - a practical, rational Europeans - to us, then why are Peruvians tenderness communicate with Mother Earth? Arrested, dug, ate ...

Yet for us it makes sense is application papa arariwa of selhozobschiny Sakoka: "Such a large number of varieties are pleased our Pacha Mama ...». The fact is that when in the XVI century from the New World to Europe began to arrive potato tubers - their genetic material contained only a very small part of the Andean variety Solanum tuberosum (again propose to apply to those figures, that there are: 12 hectares - a thousand varieties, and varieties of crops to grow one!).

Europe has got very unlucky potatoes - is unstable against late blight, submissive Colorado beetle and nematode ... Centuries-old potato breeding in the Old World was aimed at removing varieties resistant to these diseases and pests. But the selection was conducted in a deliberately fragmentary seed material!