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Quinoa as innovation factor for territorial development in the Andes

Bazile D., Chia E., Martinez E.A., Hocdé H.. 2013. In : Proceedings of SWUP-MED Project Final Conference "Sustainable water use for securing food production in the mediterranean region under changing climate", 10-15 march, 2013, Agadir, Morocco. s.l. : s.n., p. 375-385. Conference "Sustainable water use for securing food production in the mediterranean region under changing climate", 2013-03-10/2013-03-15, Agadir (Maroc).

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is an annual plant native of the Andes. The International Year of Quinoa in 2013 highlights this underutilized culture. Is thus recognized the potential role of this plant but this pathway may also have an impact on territorial development. Since the 1980s, quinoa has experienced a boom with an increase in international demand. In the Andean countries, it remains a staple food. hi North America and Europe, it is appreciated as organically produced and fair trade product. To meet demand, production has more than doubled in Bolivia, the leading producer along with Peru, while in Chile, initiatives have been launched to develop and promote this marginal crop. In Bolivia, quinoa is produced mainly in the southern Altiplano, an area with extreme environmental conditions. From 1990 to 2010, production has more than doubled. Revenues increased. However, the commercial dynamism induced profound changes and conflicts. But development of the territory through the quinoa value chain is real and results of the population dynamics, and the involvement of NGOs in support of producers' associations. Research action with the use of role playing game to discuss staging innovations have helped to address both individual and collective problems and to shared common vision of the territory. The comparative study of the Bolivian Altiplano, the central Chile region and the Mapuche region in southern Chile shows that the quinoa sector can, depending on the context and the type of accompanying process, either structure or weaken the development of territories in question. The quinoa boom in the Andean countries is the opportunity to analyze the territorial dynamics in real time. Organic production systems or those based on agroecology are possible, and can also be recognized on the domestic market. The sector can then serve as a lever for new relationships between family farms and markets, providing an alternative to the conventional agricultural export model. Collective action makes it possible to go beyond the scale of the farm in order to plan the integration of agricultural innovations into the region and to consider a renewed connection between agriculture and society. A shared understanding of the problems and the support of local actors in the construction of a territorial project are the keys to success. These can be facilitated by a mediator. Another lesson is that territorial governance must take into account the governance of the sector.

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