Like arracacha, oca, and ulluco, mashua is apparently heavily infected with plant viruses, most of which are undescribed.13 One recent test identified it as a carrier of potato leaf roll virus.14
There is a possibility that consuming large quantities of mashua, combined with low intakes of iodine, could cause goiter.15 This is unlikely in most diets; nonetheless, goiter is a problem in parts of the Andes—for instance, Bolivia.
Further collections of mashua germplasm are needed throughout the Andes. Relict populations from Argentina and Chile may provide germplasm with more adaptability to long daylengths.
Mashua sets seed freely and hybridizes well. Thus, there seems to be considerable potential for breeding new and improved types.
Much basic information on the plant's gross horticultural requirements is needed. Investigation of its ecology in field situations and evaluation of its intercropping potential could lead to higher yields and, consequently, to broader utilization.