Field visit to pilot Quinoa field in Dhamar Governorate, Yemen

On 29 August 2013, Dr Fuad Aldomy, the permanent representative of Yemen to FAO  and H.E. Farid Ahmed Mogawar, Yemen’s Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation visited a pilot quinoa field planted by the Agriculture Research and Extension Authority (AREA) with the purpose of studying the adaptability of various quinoa seed varieties to local soil.

The main objective of the visit was to explore the areas in Dhamar where various demonstration trials are underway. A number of dual-purpose quinoa varieties have been planted in the site at the Central Highland Research Station 100 km south of Sana’a. The advantage of growing dual-purpose varieties is that they yield both greens and grain- quinoa leaves are very nutritious and have a taste similar to spinach.

The results so far have been promising. This is positive in the context of the proposed quinoa TCP (Technical Cooperation Programme) project, “Technical assistance through strengthening the quinoa food system in Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen ” that may be implemented in coordination with the Agricultural Research and Extension Authority (AREA) in the coming months.

The project will build the capacities of beneficiary countries in the production, evaluation, management, utilization, and marketing of quinoa. It will also strengthen the regional collaboration, coordination, information and knowledge exchange in the management of quinoa. Furthermore, the project will assist countries in developing a national and regional sustainable strategy for quinoa production and integration.

Visits were also made to a number of additional locations in the Jahran district to monitor the ongoing progress of food security and climate change programmes implemented by AREA in coordination with various development agencies such as the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA).

A visit was also made to the Potato Seed Company (PSC), a national seed enterprise set up in 1997 as part of the reorganization of the national seed sector in Yemen.

To view photos of the visit please click here.