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The oca plant. (S. King)

such as northern India, northern China, southern Africa, and the sprawling region from southern Brazil to Argentina.

The plant will probably perform poorly in tropical lowlands because it is susceptible to heat, and also because its soft, fleshy stems are easily infected by bacteria.

Industrialized Regions. Given New Zealand's experience, oca seems poised to become a commercial crop in warm-temperate areas of Australia, North America, Japan, and Europe. Products from oca “chips” to oca “fries” seem possible. It will never reach the potato's overall level of consumption, but it has the potential to become a well-known, widely enjoyed, and profitable crop.


Oca can be used in many ways. In the Andes, a few types are eaten raw. Most, however, are added to stews and soups; steamed, boiled,

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