Maca cultivation is restricted to the departments of Junin; in the towns of Huayre, Carhuamayo, Uco, Ondores and Junin and Pasco; in Ninacaca and Vico. Also, in the upper parts of the Mantaro Valley. These areas are located at 4,000 and 4,450 meters above sea level that correspond to the ecological floor of the Puna, which is characterized by having average temperatures between 4 and 7 °C, high solar irradiation, frequent frost, strong winds and acidic soils (pH < 5).
CLIMATE: It is a crop that supports very adverse factors such as the climate (3 900 to 4 500 masl), in which other crops do not prosper.
PRODUCTION AREA: Junin: 45%; Cerro de Pasco: 35% and others: 20% (Huancavelica, Apurimac, and Puno).
HARVEST SEASON: July – August (High Production Season) / January – June (Low Production Season).
THE MACA HARVEST
It is done under the following points of view:
- When the crop has completed its vegetative period (7 to 8.5 months).
- When the plant has a 5% to 10% green leaf area, a root sampling is performed, and a resistance (hardness) is checked pressing it with the fingertips.
- Harvest in summer seasons without the presence of rain.
If the product is destined for consumption, it is necessary to carry out the following process:
1.The Organic Maca is placed in a black plastic on the ground and exposed to the sun, for a period of 30 – 40 days.
2. After being in the dryers. They pass to a waste and debris processing machine (leaves and soil) of the maca. The waste is filled in bags, and then it is taken to a segregation area where it is burned.
3. After the drying period in the sun, the dry Maca is ready for its size selection process.
4. Once the respective selection is finished, it goes to a drying period for another period of time (10-15 days) in some Greenhouse tents.
5. After 10 – 15 days in the Greenhouse tents. The final product of dry Maca is put in crates for then being packed in bags and taken to their storage area.
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