Although western Argentina lies within the area of origin of wild potatoes, evidence of potato production there dates from the 1870s, when 2,400 hectares were planted with tubers almost certainly imported from Europe. Today, potato production is large-scale and highly mechanized, and concentrated around Buenos Aires and Santa Fe.
Over the past 50 years, Argentina's potato output has changed very little: the 2007 harvest of 1.9 million tonnes was only slightly less than that of 1961. In fact, since the early 1960s the national harvest has averaged around 2 million tonnes, with only occasional peaks (such as in 1998, when it reached 3.4 million). Levels of potato consumption - around 44 kg per capita per year in 2005 - have changed little since 1990.
What has changed markedly is yield. Along with a steady drop in the size of the harvested area, from 200 000 ha in 1961 to around 68 000 in 2007, per hectare yields have more than tripled to almost 30 tonnes. In 2005, Argentina exported 33 000 tonnes of potatoes and 4 000 tonnes of potato flour. (Source: International Year of the Potato)