The comprehension of how irrigation can benefit agriculture is evident by the expansion into the highland areas. They developed drainage systems and canals to expand their crop resources. Potatoes, tomatoes, cotton, peanuts and coca were among the many crops grown by the Inca. Llamas were used for meat and transportation. There was more than enough resources available for everyone.
The vast majority of these agricultural terraces are built on the sides of mountains and hills. The Incas planted potatoes, crops and other plants. The Andean area offered a diversity of plant domestication, the handicaps of terrain and climate presented severe obstacles. To overcome them, Inca engineers demonstrated extraordinary skill in terracing, drainage, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers.
Agriculture was the soul of the Inca Empire; it determined everything. The Andean farmers' year was divided into two seasons: wet and dry. The wet season began in October and extended to May; the dry season, starting in May, although subject to considerable caprice (hence the Inca's preoccupation with obeisance to the unseen powers), continued into November.
Since in that period the vast land under Inca was stretched from north to south, they had different climate zones. Also the altitude was different in different zones. Foods that was grown in mountain zone was totally different than the food that was grown in the coastal zone.
Inca Farming Methods
The Incas had great farmers. They were the first people to ever grow potatoes. Other important crops that the Incas managed were Indian Corn, Sweet Potatoes, and Cassava. Other Foods that they grew were beans, squash, quinou, peanuts, cotton, peppers, tobacco coca, and others.
Agricultural practice was not performed solely by peasantry, but was an active part of the ruling class' lives as well. The plowing or breaking of the earth was an annually significant event dictated by the ceremonial calendar based on solar occurrences. When the ceremonial calendar dictated the day in which plowing and planting would occur, a sacred field would be tended to solely by royalty.
The Incas develop an extraordinary variety of Inca farming procedures to preserve food. They dry, salt or dehydrate pre cooked food; manipulate the Inca food was complicate and it takes time. Probably the Incas learn these procedures during centuries of practice.
The adaptation of agricultural techniques that already were used previously in different parts, allowed the Incas to organize the product production diverse, as much of the coast, mountain range and forest, to be able to redistribute them to towns that did not have access to other regions.