Sunday, March 11, 2012

Diversity in potatoes

I was intrigued by this photo showing potatoe varieties from Peru on a facebook group. I traced back the origin of the photo. It goes back to the CIP, the International Potatoe Centre in Peru which seeks to ensure the genetic diversity of this staple food crop.

The picture comes with the following subtitle:

A few of the many varieties of potatoes. CIP maintains the world’s largest genetic bank of potatoes, including 1500 samples of 100 wild species collected in eight Latin American countries, as well as samples of 3800 traditional Andean cultivated potatoes. The collection is maintained under the auspices of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, and is available to plant breeders worldwide free upon request.

Here are more pretty pictures about potatoes. Unfortunately in Western Australia the marketing of potatoes is limited through the Marketing Potatoes Act 1946. But the limitations in what kind of potatoes you can grow and sell in WA only apply to commercial producers. These are people who grow more than 100 square meters of potatoes. Luckily this is a lot bigger than my garden. Sadly the problem remains how to get the potatoes through quarantine. Also the Perth weather would probably not be suitable to grow any of these successfully anyway.

But they are so pretty!