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Maca is an Andean crop of narrow distribution. It is restricted today to the suni and puna ecosystems (Bonnier 1986) of the Departments of Junin and Cerro de Pasco of Peru at elevations above 3,500 m and often reaching 4,450 m in the central Andes of Peru (Leon 1964; Tello et al. 1992). The largest cultivated area is found around Lake Junin at Huayre, Carhuamayo, Uco, Ondores, Junin, Ninacana and Vicco. Apparently maca occupied wider areas of cultivation in the past (Johns 1981). In addition to Junin and Cerro de Pasco, presumably, it also was grown in Cusco and in the Lake Titicaca watershed. Some of the writers of the time mention that many natives did not have any other food but maca. It was also used as payment of taxes to the Spanish administrators (Castro de Leon 1990).

Geographic Distribution of Maca in Peru

Maca cultivation is restricted today to the Departments of Pasco and Junin. In the past, it is believed that it was cultivated much more widely, covering from Junin to Puno.

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