Potato is the world’s fifth most important food crop in the least developed countries ranked by total production (159 MT) and the third most important ranked by food consumption (118 MT). Potato is grown in diverse environments in Asia, Africa, and LAC. Originating in the Americas, wild potatoes are a tremendous resource for breeding, with a wide range of ecological adaptation from the high Andes through cool temperate rain forests to coastal plains, and carry resistances to many important pests and diseases.
Cassava is the second most important food crop in the least-developed countries, and the fourth most important in developing countries, with total production (218 MT), of which over half is in Africa and another third in Asia.
Yams are a multispecies crop with a wide range of ploidies and rank eleventh among global food crops in both total production (49 MT) and food consumption in developing countries. Production is concentrated in tropical Africa (96%), mostly by smallholders.
Bananas, including dessert banana, plantain, and cooking banana, are the fourth most important food crop in the least developed countries ranked by total production and food consumption. Total global production in 2010 was 136 million metric tons.
The minor root and tuber crops are a rich but neglected resource for food, nutrition, and income. The Andean root and tuber crops (ARTC) (achira, ahipa, arracacha, maca, mashua, mauka, oca, ulluco, yacón) play a major role in Andean potato-based farming systems, where they are of great economic and nutritional importance to subsistence farmers.