The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launch a new crop known as ‘’Quinoa’’ in Ghana to help boost and strengthening our food system.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three day Regional Training of trainer on strengthening the food system of Quinoa in West Africa at Dodowa Forest Hotel, Dr. Lamourdia Thiombiano, FAO Country Director to Ghana noted that, the Food and Agriculture Organization declared 2013 as the ‘’ International Year of Quinoa’’. The benefit of the Quinoa crop have been established with some evidence demonstrating its potential for hunger and poverty reduction at the National, Regional and Global levels and it is importance as an essential source of nutrition.
Dr. Thiombiano noted that demand for the crop (Quinoa) has risen in recent years as a result of its ‘super food’ nature and desirable traits: thus quinoa is classified as a plant food that offers all essential amino acids, trace element and vitamin in a healthy balance and it is also gluten free. Adding that in 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization following request made by member countries for assistance in Quinoa Production and post-harvest management, approved US$800, 00 in support of 14 countries in East and West Africa under its Technical Cooperation Programme. The assistance was to ascertain, the agro- ecological adaptability of the crop in the respective countries and measures to enhance its adoption, production and utilization.
According him, the cultivation of Quinoa has spread to over seventy countries, the Andean region of the South America has been responsible for the vast majority of Quinoa production, with Peru and Bolivia accounting for 92% of global Quinoa production.
He stress that, Bolivia remains the number one exporter of Quinoa having exported in excess of 26,000 tons of Quinoa with export revenue of US$ 80million in 2012.
Dr. Thiombiano said, this training workshop is to increase capacity at country level to develop and support Quinoa initiative in the selected West Africa Countries.