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The dynamics of the global expansion of quinoa growing in view of its high biodiversity

Bazile D., Baudron F.. 2015. In : Bazile Didier (ed.), Bertero Hector Daniel (ed.), Nieto Carlos (ed.). State of the art report on quinoa around the world in 2013. Santiago du Chili : FAO, p. 42-55.

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinua Willd.) was first domesticated in Andean countries over 5 000 years ago. Following the Spanish conquest, quinoa was rejected and scorned as "Indian food". Its potential was rediscovered during the second half of the twentieth century and, since then, the number of countries growing quinoa has risen from 6 to 13, while 23 other countries are in the process of actively experimenting before launching field production in the near future. Another 20 countries are planning to plant quinoa for the first time in 2014. The organization of research has had a powerful impact, creating links and strategic partnerships between countries as is the case of the worldwide CIP/DANIDA programme in the 1990s or, more recently, with trials conducted by the European project SWUP-MED around the Mediterranean Sea. By networking researchers around the world, countries form partnerships based on affinities. One example is the United Kingdom which has established special contacts with India, Australia, China and Nepal. Today, experimentation centres are to be found in new countries that did not previously import quinoa. Although most publications of scientific findings are based on studies carried out in the Andean countries (Bolivia and Peru in particular), research is spreading around the world with studies conducted in new areas such as virology, dietetics, or quinoa processing for uses other than food. South American countries must now face global competition for the enhancement of quinoa varieties and must reflect upon possible competition between countries to access new markets. This is why some of them have already adopted the plant variety certificate (COV) system to protect their improved varieties, or they are in the process of applying for certificates. This paves the way for the conservation of plant genetic resources through recognition of local farmers' varieties and their use in future enhancement programmes.

Mots-clés : chenopodium quinoa

Thématique : Culture des plantes; Économie et politique du développement; Économie de la production

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