Fighting poverty with potatoes and paintings

Paintings by artist Mamani Mamani celebrate the potato's amazing variety.

Paintings by artist Mamani Mamani celebrate the potato’s amazing variety.

Potatoes are the world’s most important tuber crop, a food staple for more than a billion people. Recognizing how many people in developing countries depend on this prolific crop for their very survival, the United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato.

In the Andean region of Peru and Bolivia, where the potato was first cultivated more than 7,000 years ago, the PROINPA Foundation, a SANREM CRSP partner, is promoting academic and cultural activities showing the significance of this highly nutritious food. Within this framework, the renowned Bolivian artist Roberto Mamani Mamani has joined PROINPA in the celebration with a series of paintings titled, “Potato: An Andean treasure.” The pictures are dedicated to the cultural, historic, and economic value of the potato and pay homage to the men and women who conserve and cultivate this invaluable crop. All proceeds from sale of the paintings will be used for conservation of native potato genetic diversity.

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