Native potato species (NPS) are cultivated potatoes which do not belong to S. tuberosum ssp. tuberosum. They are maintained by the farmers of the Andes for subsistence under harsh environmental conditions where other potatoes cannot compete. Within the huge phenotypic variability between and within these species certain accessions possess resistances to different pests and diseases, remarkable culinary and processing quality and favourable nutritional properties. We present first evaluation results of a set of NPS for these characters and discuss prospects for exploiting this valuable germplasm for breeding and for developing novel products for niche markets.