The traditional freeze-drying of tubers in the high Andes mountains is becoming increasingly difficult due to global warming.
Three Belgian organizations, ILVO, HOGENT and TRIAS, are helping the local Peruvian agricultural cooperative optimize the semi-industrial production of its traditional white lyophilized potato (Chuno), which plays an important role in the daily diet of the local population.
Peru is one of the largest potato producing countries in the world. For example, in the Kishuar region (Andean region), from the time of the Incas, there was a natural technology for processing potatoes.
Local producers bring tubers above a certain height and allow them to dry in the icy mountain air. The potatoes are then immersed in running water and dried again in the open. The result is white lyophilized potato or tantas, an important basic component for the local population.
But due to climate change, the low night temperatures that are necessary for the processing process have not been achieved in recent years, which leads to a loss of quality and threatens the livelihoods of hundreds of farming families.
In Kishuar, farmers joined together in a cooperative and, with the help of Belgian experts, built a small tantas factory, equipped with semi-industrial equipment such as a freezer, water pools and a dryer.
For two years, Peruvians and Belgians will work together to set up the production process in the factory, while at the same time providing students and teachers at the local UNAJMA University with the necessary knowledge to consult farmers.
All this should lead to the highest quality lyophilized potatoes, which can be produced all year round, even in the rainy season. The project is supported by CIP (International Potato Center).
(Source and photo: www.potatopro.com).
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