Many developing countries seek to increase trade, income, employment, and agricultural production in more isolated areas. Improvements in postharvest technology are often seen as a key element in such initiatives. This paper analyzes attempts to develop small‐scale, village‐level processing techniques for potatoes drawing on the recent experience in Peru and a number of other countries. Transfer of the technology through a rural development project resulted in a series of modifications intended to develop adequate processed products, alter plant size and design, and improve final product processing. Although the project was not replicated in its entirety for financial, technical and organizational reasons, new ideas and useful knowledge were disseminated. Results should be of interest to those working on postharvest improvements in developing countries.