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Peruvian Quinoa

Quinoa is an indigenous crop of the Andean range of South America. It possesses significant nutritional
characteristics with a high protein level and balanced amino acids. The fact that quinoa can only be
produced at high altitudes to maintain its nutritional profile has kept quinoa from being produced around
the world, as the tomato and potato were, prolific crops also developed in the Andean Region of Peru
and Bolivia.


The Andean region of Peru is one of the poorest regions of the country with few viable sources of income
available to the local people. To support these populations and expand sustainable incomes, government
and aid agencies have been working to find markets for the few crops that can be produced in this region.


Through a cooperative effort between businesses in Peru and the USA with support of USAID, Care and
the Government of Peru, a “new” variety of quinoa was discovered which has unique characteristics
which allows it to fill a different market niche than conventional quinoa. This variety has since been
multiplied and provides sufficient volume for commercial markets in the USA. In fact, demand still exceeds
 supply with continued efforts to expand
available seeds while continuing to support the market.

This example illustrates the strength of development efforts when coupled with industry from the start of
the program. The private sector identified the opportunity and the development community helped by
providing the in-country support necessary to overcome the hurdles of developing a new crop with
existing resources.


2020 was involved as a subcontractor on this project, supporting the project from beginning to end. 2020
President Jim Krigbaum, discovered red quinoa, the product that was eventually brought to market
through this project.