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DG of the International Potato Center: “I’m proud and humbled to be leading some inspiring work”

The International Potato Center (CIP*) celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. Dr. Barbara Wells has been Director General since February 2014. She recently told us why potatoes are so important, why sweet potatoes now also fascinate her, and what CIP’s future may hold. To many people around the world, potatoes may seem rather dull. What makes them so fascinating for you? “It all goes back to my childhood.  I was raised in mining camps high in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia. Potatoes were central to the diets and livelihoods of the region’s poor miners and farmers, their families and communities. Native potatoes, whether fresh or freeze-dried, were a staple of our own family meals.  The variety and diversity of potatoes have fascinated me ever since, as has their importance in Andean cultures going back some 4000 to 5000 years ago. When I joined CIP and returned to the Andes, I was reminded of the deep history and diversity of potatoes, and of their importance for human livelihoods.” More

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