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Quinoa heritage as an important resource to be maintained through tourism experiences

Bazile D., Martinez E.A., Negrete Sepulveda J., Thomet M., Chia E., Hocdé H., Nuñez L.. 2011. In : International Geographical Union. International Geographical Union Pre-Conference Symposium Tourism and Heritage: Opportunities and Challenges for Conservation Geography, Valparaiso, Chili, 10-13 November 2011. s.l. : s.n., 14 p.. International Geographical Union Pre-Conference Symposium Tourism and Heritage: Opportunities and Challenges for Conservation Geography, 2011-11-10/2011-11-13, Valparaiso (Chili).

The regions of Chile where Quinoa, an ancient Andean crop, is still cultivated, share certain common characteristics such as the marginality of its peasants, an isolated location, and a long distance to markets. However there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of its high nutritional quality and the potential of genetic resources they represent for the global biodiversity heritage. The concept of "agrobiodiversity" includes specific geographic circumstances that explain the development and specialisation of the agricultural practices of the region, and the concept of "agrotourism" could play an increasingly important role in maintaining this crop diversity and also the various local practices (agronomic and cultural associated traditions) that contribute to a very particular biodiversity of the Chilean quinoa. In the case of the production of quinoa in Chile (held by Aymaras communities in the North part, Small-scale farmers in the Centre, and Mapuche communities in the South), our research team has been studying how the development of tourism in rural areas could stimulate to the revival of agriculture when it is encouraged by the tourism stakeholders of the area. The goal of this work is to develop a sustainable alternative to traditional agriculture, with consideration of the promotion of the landraces diversity and cultural associated practices. So first, we will demonstrate that a strategic analysis of agrotourism is necessary, studying both supply and demand. Second, we will demonstrate the need of improving the competitiveness of small-scale farms to achieve the sustainability of these farming systems.

Mots-clés : chenopodium quinoa; développement rural; tourisme; chili

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