Andean roots and tubers at the International Potato Center (CIP)
Summary As part of its Andean biodiversity initiative, the Center has embarked on an emergency program to rescue wild and domestic Andean food crop species threatened by biological extinction or severe genetic weakening. CIP's goal is to maintain a genebank of nine crops of underexploited roots and tubers by working in cooperation with national researchers from Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil. Nine Andean species with edible roots and tubers play a major role in potato-based farming systems. These crops are of great economic and nutritional importance to subsistence Andean farmers, and are often used as substitutes for expensive fruits and vegetables in the diet. They are known in the Quechua Indian language as achira, ahipa, arracacha, maca, mashua, mauka, oca, ulluco, yacón.