Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Andean Agriculture, Peru

GIAHS since 2011

Andean agriculture is one of the best examples of the adaptation and knowledge of farmers to their environment for more than 5000 years. Actual presence of indigenous agricultural knowledge includes terraces, ridges fields, local irrigation systems and traditional agricultural tools, crops and livestock spread at different altitudes.

Millennia of experience and selection have led to the domestication of a number of endemic species such as potatoes and quinoa. This knowledge includes three main agricultural systems, each one related to their respective altitude: maize crops (2800-3300 m.), potato crops (3,300-3800 m.) and the livestock area with high altitude crops such as quinua, cañihua (3,800-4500 m.). For each altitude, native selected crops are cultivated.

The indigenous communities in this site are very well organized and maintain their own norms and cultural rituals such as the tribute to the Pachamama (mother earth) leading to sustainable practices but also to solidarity. Indeed, identity strengthening is probably one of the main goals developed through agriculture.

These areas maintain most of the ancient traditional agricultural technologies in the area. However, issues such as a migrating youth to the cities, lead to a severe loss of knowledge and biodiversity.

Flickr Album

PERU - Andean Agriculture


Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems: an opportunity to restore ecosystems and achieve the SDGs

GIAHS site representatives from China, Japan, Peru, Morocco, Spain and Tanzania shared their experiences and challenges on the sustainable use of natural resources as well as the types and functions of their ecosystem services. They explored how GIAHS can contribute to the objectives of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.


From the countryside with love

Huamani Cardenas lives in Lima, but is originally from Conayca, a rural town of roughly 1 300 people in the central highlands of Peru. When he received a delivery of fresh food from his hometown, he was thrilled. “I sincerely thank the authorities of Conayca for thinking of us,” he wrote in a social media group for young Conaycans living in Lima.

In the media

FAO: Perú posee uno de los sistemas importantes del Patrimonio Agrícola Mundial

Gracias a su enorme agrobiodiversidad y la salvaguarda de cultivos con el conocimiento ancestral de las comunidades campesinas, el Perú es uno de los 22 países del planeta que forma parte del programa “Sistemas Importantes del Patrimonio Agrícola Mundial” (SIPAM), de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO).


GIAHS and SlowFood

Together, the GIAHS Programme and SlowFood Foundation enhance, through their collaboration, the recognition and the valorization of GIAHS sites as well as Slow Food products. Read more