D-3: Agriculture in Peru

As I said in “D-5:wwoff finally accepted!“, Peru is the barn of the world… lets look at stats about that…

Is agriculture a really important sector in Peru?

Population of Peru is 29M inhabitants living on 129MHa. As a comparison, France, my home country, has a population of 63M inhabitants living on 55MHa.

About 1,4MHa (2011) are dedicated to permanent crops in Peru (see graph below) while it is 1MHa (2012) in France… doesn’t seam that different but when you compare to the country population, you can guess more people are likely to be involve in the agricultural sector, especially since agriculture is less intensive than in France and population is more rural.

Land use in Peru

Land use in Peru (FAO)

470,000 people work in agriculture in France in 2014 and it is decreasing by 4,5% each year. In Peru it is a complete different story, 23% of the population work in agriculture, so approximately 3,8Milllion people… for more stat about agriculture in Peru, read faostat report

Now I know I am likely to find easily people working the land… but what will they grow exactly?

Top crop production in Peru

Let’s look at the corps most cultivated in Peru, I will probably find them more easily on my way and they are probably the most consumed.

Top 10 Commodities in Peru FAO

Top 10 Commodities in Peru 1993-2013 (FAO)

Plaintains will probably provide nice dishes in the rainforest area. I beleive cassava can also be found on the coastal area, I know it is a side dish of ceviche. And as per mangoes, I am looking forward! I hope there will be nice desserts based on mango.

I see nothing concerning avocado (called palta in Peru) or cofee while I thought it was a very important market for Peru…

I am glad potatoes and maize which are really existing in the widest variety in Peru are two of the largest productions of the country.

I am wondering if Peru is a large of producer of poatoes…


Everybody who has been to Paris “Parmentier“‘s metro station know the potatoes come from Peru… Spanish brought them back to Europe in the 16th century and it saved europeans several times from starvation… It is now widely produced all over the world (see graph below)

Share potatoes production in the world

Share of potatoes production in the world, average 1993 – 2013 (FAO)

Americas account for only 12,6% nowadays… while 5 centuries ago it accounted for 100%…

Potatoes production in France and Peru

Potatoes production in France and Peru 2011 (FAO)

Potatoes producers ranking 

China is producing 96 Mtonnes of poataoes in 2013 with India, Russia, Ukraine, USA, Germany, … and Peru ranks only 17th with 4.6Mtonnes prduced a year. And in 2011, France produced nearly twice more potatoes than Peru…But in France could we display 3,800 varieties of potatoes?

What is unique in Peru?

Peru is a craddle of poatoes and all kinds of maize but currently they are not main producers even if they still have a unique variety range.

But some crops are still unique in Peru, for example quinoa which also  an indigenous crop which is nowadays exclusively produced in Latin America.

Ranking quinoa production

Ranking of quinoa producers, average 1993-2013 (FAO)

Peru is the largest producer of quinao but unfortunately if has also the lowest yield efficiency…

There are other interesting crops which are produced in very low quantities, exclusively in the andes or amazone forest… Some of they aliemnt are classified as superfood… here is a wikipedia list of superfood in which you will find some specifics of Peru and surrounding countries:

Inca Berry, Physalis peruviana

Sacha inchi: a plant from the amazon forest in Peru

Chia seeds: well know from vegetarians

Lucuma: peruvian fruit which makes very nice desserts


Cape gooseberry also called the inca berry (see photo)

Maca: it is a kind a cereal what is sold in France to add to dishes and drinks into to improve vitality, You can buy it in Paris in Sol Semilla.




You can find more on Fao Stat


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