Preserving Agrobiodiversity and Ancestral Farming Practices in Peru

August 1, 2021

Photo by International Potato Center CIP

The Ccollasuyo Agrobiodiversity Zone supports indigenous communities in the Cusco region, and focuses on rescuing ancient agricultural practices capable of growing a wide variety of native crops sustainably. One of the first of its kind in the country, this area conserves over 35,000 acres of forest and the unique species that inhabit it.

Located in the Peruvian province of Quispicanchi, this area is home to a hundred indigenous Quechua families who cultivate more than 100 varieties of native potatoes, 12 types of native corn, and unique root vegetables such as oca, mashua, olluco, quinoa, kiwicha and tarwi. For generations, the families of Ccollasuyo have continued to apply their ancient practices to grow these plants that are important markers of the world’s agricultural genetic diversity.

Complementing the conservation of this region, we also helped a neighboring Quechua community, Marcapata Ccollana, establish a conservation area protecting an additional 50,000 acres. Combined, these agrobiodiversity zones and conservation areas help mitigate the effects of climate change in a unique way by promoting and preserving ancestral forest-friendly and climate-resilient farming practices.