In case you missed it, the International Day for Biological Diversity was celebrated on 22 May. Food Forever Champion and Vice President fo Peru, Mercedes Aràoz, marked this occasion with a reflection on the meaning of potato diversity for her country:
“The potato is a gift from Peru to the world, and we will always be its stewards. I first started to learn this when I was an economics student, working on a project to restore old Inca terraces in the highlands of Lima. Just above the city, these are the same terraces where – centuries ago – Inca farmers carefully bred thousands of traditional Andean potato types, which still represent the largest share of this crop’s global diversity. The work of Andean potato farmers continues to this day.
It was a life-changing experience for me to sit on those terraces, eating with farmers under the stunning highland sky. Eating together, but also learning from them about their needs and concerns for the future: their crops, their environment, their livelihoods, their health.”