The presence of wild potato plants in Mexico indicates that it lies within the potato's area of origin. However, some evidence suggests cultivated varieties were brought there by Spanish conquerors during the 1500s.
Until the early 1960s, potato growing was limited to rainfed areas above 2000 m in volcanic zones of central Mexico, with annual production of about 300 000 tonnes and yields below six tonnes per hectare. Over the following 20 years, production expanded into irrigated commercial areas in the north and west, where yields today reach 40 tonnes. While the area dedicated to potato has changed little since 1980, average yields have almost tripled since 1961 and production reached a record 1.80 million tonnes in 2012.
Per capita consumption of potato in Mexico is around 15 kg a year, very low compared to its maize intake of 400 kg. But potato imports from Canada and the USA have grown steadily in recent years, reaching 65 000 tonnes of fresh potatoes and 122 000 tonnes of frozen products in 2006.(Source: International Year of the Potato)