Quinoa - a potential key element in the fight against food insecurity in Pakistan and Malawi

Researchers  around the world attend the International Quinoa Research Symposium organized in partnership with FAO.

Santiago, Chile, August 20, 2013 - Researchers from Pakistan and Malawi attending the International Quinoa Research Symposium highlighted the potential role of quinoa in fighting food insecurity and malnutrition in their countries. The event took place at the Washington State University (USA) from 12 to 14 August.

The latest FAO figures (SOFI 2012) reveal that in Pakistan 35 million people suffer from undernourishment while in Malawi it affects over 4 million people.
According to FAO, due to the potential nutritional value of this crop, the introduction of quinoa in these countries can be an opportunity to address the challenges of hunger and food insecurity.

The aim of the symposium, held during the International Year of Quinoa, was to gather and share the state of the art on field work and research currently being conducted on quinoa worldwide.

Tania Santivañez, technical coordinator of the International Year of Quinoa (FAO), pointed out that "the greatest challenge is to create a coordinated mechanism to share the information and knowledge about this ancient grain."

Didier Bazile, research scientist of the International Center for Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), said that research about quinoa is increasingly focused on several themes, such as diet and nutrition, agronomy, botany and plant physiology.The countries more actively carrying out research on the subject are Bolivia, Chile and France.

International Year of Quinoa
This symposium was held within the framework of the International Year of Quinoa 2013, declared by the United Nations in recognition of the indigenous peoples of the Andes, who have maintained, controlled, protected and preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations thanks to their traditional knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature.

The goal of the International Year is to focus the world’s attention on the role that quinoa’s biodiversity and nutritional value can play on food security, nutrition and poverty eradication.