Publications

FAO’s Food Outlook,  June 2013

FAO’s Food Outlook, June 2013

FAO’s Food Outlook focuses on developments affecting global food and feed markets, with comprehensive assessments and forecasts on a commodity by commodity basis.
This issue includes a special section on quinoa, examining the fundamentals of this ancient Andean crop with has the potential to become an important new food commodity. The growing global demand and booming exports from Bolivia and Peru have benefitted smallholder producers, but also present a challenge as market dynamics change.
Until the year 2000, the volume of global trade in quinoa was modest, less than 2.000 tonnes per year. Since then, world exports have expanded rapidly, especially during the last seven years, from approximately 5.000 tonnes to 40.000 tonnes. In 2012, 64 percent of the total was supplied by Bolivia, followed by Peru with 26 percent. Bolivia’s exports grew steadily from 10.000 tonnes in 2007 reaching 26.000 tonnes in 2012. In the same period, the value of quinoa exports grew six fold: from USD 13.1 million to USD 78.9 million.
Peru registered even stronger export growth, in particular after 2009, mostly in response to dynamic demand from the United States. Peru’s quinoa shipments increased from 1.300 tonnes, valued at USD 1.8 million, in 2007, to 10.000 tonnes, valued at USD 29.9 million, in 2012.
The report concludes that in the future quinoa could play a more important role in the global food system, given its adaptability to different agro-ecological regions and superior nutritional qualities. However, in the short term, the high price of this product, which has thus far catered to the niche market of health-conscious consumers in high-income countries, will preclude the expansion of consumption in poor countries. Given the current export price of over USD3 000 per tonne, quinoa cannot compete with other food crops such as rice, which is quoted approximately five times lower on international markets. In the short run, the growing consumption in developed countries will continue to be satisfied by exports from Bolivia and Peru. In the longer term, productivity increases are expected to take place not only in the Andean producing countries but also in the new producing areas, where investments are being made to cultivate the crop for commercial purposes. The current plans to expand quinoa production are expected to translate into much larger world supplies and declining prices at the producer, consumer and international levels,
which may alter the current dynamics driving the crop. However, it remains to be seen whether quinoa will ever become a major and world-wide staple.

Quinoa Post-harvest Operations

Quinoa Post-harvest Operations

QUINOA Post-harvest Operations provides useful general information on harvesting and post-harvest operations such as: storage, drying, threshing, packaging and transport of quinoa in the main producing countries. It also includes requirements for the special treatment of grain and its derivatives to ensure quality.
The publication, which is suitable for all readers, offers: an introduction, a second section on commercialization (last updated in 1997), a third part with valuable nutritional information taken from various publications, which provides a comparison of the properties of different quinoa species.
The fourth and fifth chapters provide information on quality requirements, harvest and post-harvest good practices, and information regarding production costs as of 1997 and thus relatively outdated.
This publication can be complemented by a recent and similar study (also referenced in this list of quinoa publications) named Quinoa: An ancient crop to contribute to world food security.

Descriptors for quinoa and its wild relatives (In Spanish)

Descriptors for quinoa and its wild relatives (In Spanish)

The international scientific community is aware of the outstanding properties of quinoa such as its ability to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions, including drought and poor soil fertility, and its nutritional value represented by its essential amino acid composition, which is ideal for human consumption. These remarkable qualities are an expression of the diversity found in its gene pool that is cultivated by farmers, conserved in seed gene banks and use by breeding programmes to develop superior varieties.
The need to characterize and evaluate quinoa’s genetic diversity, in order to promote its use and facilitate information exchange across national programmes using international standards is at the base of the updated list of Descriptors for quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) and its wild relatives. This publication is a revision of the "Quinoa Descriptors" (AGP: IBPGR/81/104) published in 1981 by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR, now Bioversity International).
Specifically designed for curators of quinoa’s collections and breeders, this technical publication provides a comprehensive list of standard parameters and traits that can be used to describe germplasm of quinoa and other wild relatives.
The document has been prepared by Bioversity International, member of the CGIAR Consortium and funded by the FAO’s Andean Seed Project (GCP/RLA/183/SPA), with Spanish Cooperation Agency sources.

Traditional High Andean cuisine

Traditional High Andean cuisine

Traditional High Andean cuisine is a collection of typical dishes to encourage a greater appreciation of traditional Andean products and introduce them to a wider audience. This cookbook was developed as part of a FAO project for Strengthening Indigenous Organizations and Supporting the Revival of Traditional Products in the High Andean Regions of Peru and Ecuador.

Indigenous people in the Andean region mostly depend on traditional farming both for their livelihoods and as a direct source of food.
Strengthening traditional systems and reviving traditional products and ancestral knowledge associated with national/regional cooking makes it possible to expand the food base, improve food security and to generate additional sources of income for rural households.
This cookbook was prepared thanks to the active participation of beneficiary communities over the course of cooking contests, food festivals, participatory workshops and other events in which it was possible to compile information about dietary habits and the use of traditional products.
The book begins with a description of some of the main traditional ingredients of the region, followed by a total of 147 recipes that are organized by the type of dish, specifying the person, community and/or institution that provided it.
It is aimed, in part, at professionals committed to productive diversification and the use of local resources. This collection of recipes is also designed to help gourmets and chefs discover the rich source of culinary inspiration of traditional High Andean cooking and ingredients, which appear here in ways that are both diverse and unique.

Quinoa: An ancient crop to contribute to world food security

Quinoa: An ancient crop to contribute to world food security

This technical report, produced by Fundación para la Promoción e Investigación de Productos Andinos PROINPA, offers a rationale and practical approach to the nutritional benefits and agricultural versatility of quinoa. The expansion of the crop to other continents show its potential to contribute to food security in various regions worldwide, especially in countries where the population does not have access to adequate protein sources or where food production conditions are currently limited by low humidity, reduced availability of inputs, and aridity.
Certainly quinoa contains all the essential amino acids - and has a favorable balance of them in comparison with other vegetable foods -, trace elements and vitamins and no gluten. In addition, the crop has an extraordinary adaptability to different agro-ecological regions, undoubtedly due to its strategic gene pool for developing superior varieties.
This report, although technical, is not a “know how” manual per se. It presents a sound analytical framework providing updated and detailed information with respect to: general context, nutritional properties, genetic diversity, varieties and germplasm banks, agronomy and adaptability, food and industrial potential, as well as economic and commercialization aspects throughout the world.
The publication targets all readerships and contributes to improving knowledge and information dissemination about this ancient crop, which has a significant strategic value for the food and nutritional security of humanity.

Neglected Crops: 1492 from a different perspective

Neglected Crops: 1492 from a different perspective

The book examines 65 crops, mostly of American origin, which for social, agricultural or biological reasons have lost importance over the past 500 years. These are species which in another time, or under other conditions, played a key role in agriculture and nutrition of indigenous people and local communities.
The study is oriented towards technical readers. It aims, on the basis of selected species analysis, to identify possible areas for further research and development, as well as to facilitate the reintroduction of some species in the land where they had previously adapted to over the centuries. A special chapter on quinoa presents the status of research and development as of 1994, when the study was published. It is interesting to note that the lines of research presented in the study (page 139) have been followed in the last years. A broad bibliography on quinoa complements the specific section.