Promoting Quinoa in Morocco
Various events have taken place in Morocco throughout 2013 to mark the International Year of Quinoa and promote the crop’s exceptional qualities. As Mr. Michael Hage, FAO Representative in Morocco underlined, "this crop from Latin America can play an important role in the elimination of hunger, malnutrition and poverty."
Thanks to these initiatives, quinoa is more talked about in the Moroccan media today and more widely known throughout the country. IYQ events included a scientific seminar organized by the FAO Representation in Morocco and the Interdepartmental Steering Committee of World Food Day 2013 (10 October); the official celebration of World Food Day (23 October); and a cooking show and quinoa tasting event, ‘Les Journées de l’ Alliance Slow Food’ organized in partnership with Slow Food and the Embassy of Peru in Morocco (9-10 November).
‘Les Journées de l’ Alliance Slow Food’, Casablanca, 9-10 November
During this event, it was noted that quinoa was introduced into Morocco in 1999, in the area of Khénifra, approximately 250 km from Rabat, as part of the project on the adaptation of alternative crops (Agronomy and Veterinary Institute Hassan II – BAFI/BYU).
At this time a multiplication test and an evaluation of 14 varieties were undertaken as well as the cultivation of some plots by farmers in the locality of Agoudim. In 2004, after various tests and the development of adequate varietal materials, local production increased.
Today, quinoa is gradually integrating into the local landscape and culture with the development of new recipes such as quinoa Moroccan vegetable tagine and quinoa salads.
On 15 May 2013, FAO and Slow Food joined forces by signing a partnership agreement to improve the living conditions of small farmers in rural areas. In this context, the event in Casablanca enabled 50 small Moroccan producers to promote their local products. In total, 22 cooperation agreements between senior Moroccan chefs and small producers were signed.