Farming in Peru dates back 10 000 years. In the highlands, and particularly the Cuzco region, agriculture is believed to have started up between the fifth and fourth millennium BC in the temperate valleys. The early form of farming was basically limited go gathering roots and wild fruits and vegetables, and planting some seeds, but without the use of irrigation. Squash, beans, peanuts, ají chili pepper, maize, potato, achira and lúcuma fruit were possibly the first products to have been planted.
Throughout the difficult process of adapting to Peru’s complex highland geography, wich took around 2 000 years, Andean Man came up with ideas on how to make the best use of the different types of soil and how to improve the quality of his crops. Ancient Peruvians also developed the art of rearing livestock, breeding species of camelus, such as the llama and alpaca, that were also used as beasts of burden and sources of materials such as wool and leather. The gradual domestication of plants enabled the first villages to ensure a regular food supply for their growing populations. By the time the first civilizations had crafted pottery and weaving techniques, during the second millennium BC, Andean Man had already figured out how to make use of the rugged highland geography for agriculture and how to influence the natural evolution of species via selection, developing hybrids and employing other techniques