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Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) - Neglected and Underutilized species

A selection of different quinoa.


Quinoa has been cultivated for 7,000 years. Called the "mother grain" by the ancient Incas it sustained their population until the Spanish conquerors arrived in 1532 and replaced their cultivations with wheat and barley. Today, the scientific recognition that quinoa has a protein level equal, if not superior, to powdered milk, plus a high calcium content, it is returning to "mother grain" status in some parts of the Andes.


“Neglected no more”, an IFAD funded Bioversity project designed to bring neglected crops such as quinoa back into the daily lives of the rural poor, has been crucial in helping these farmers return to their traditional crops by working with them to determine which varieties work best and introducing them to better production methods.


Working with women in India and Bolivia to process Neglected and Underutilized Species:


Read more about Bioversity International’s work in Central and South America


Credit: Bioversity International\ D. Astudillo

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Taken on February 28, 2004