Quinoa, once a staple food of only the indigenous people in the Andes, has become a darling of food aficionados around the world since 2013 was declared the International Year of Quinoa. So popular it has grown that even some fast food restaurant chains now serve dishes and salads with it. Its exceptional nutritional composition makes it one of the healthiest grains. Quinoa is highly nutritious, gluten-free and rich in essential amino acids and vitamins. But it is not only quinoa’s nutritional value that is winning it followers worldwide. The crop has remarkable genetic diversity, resilience, and adaptability to harsh environmental conditions. It can grow in poor saline soils with annual rainfall as low as 250 mm.
Thanks to continued advertising and promotion, the food has seen a rising global demand. However, quinoa is still viewed largely as a niche upmarket food. Making it a staple crop among smallholder farmers and rural communities beyond South America remains a priority as it holds great promise for helping to address food insecurity and malnutrition.
Since 2018 a global movement of individuals and organizations from different countries have celebrated 7 July as the International Day of Quinoa Consumption to promote awareness about the crop and popularize it further.
As a center with a global quinoa program, ICBA has also joined this movement to help facilitate collaboration and discussion on ways to make quinoa a crop of choice in marginal environments where major crops are dominant but are becoming less productive due to climate change, soil and water degradation, and other factors.
As part of this day, a wide range of activities from fairs to food tasting events to seminars are organized by participating individuals and organizations every year.
To keep up the momentum of the International Day of Quinoa Consumption, a series of international webinars will be hosted on 7-10 July 2020 to share and discuss experiences, success stories and issues related to quinoa production and consumption in the face of COVID-19.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of this year’s activities will be held virtually.
These webinars will be livestreamed on the dedicated page on Facebook and other social media platforms.
ICBA will host a webinar to look at whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected quinoa production and consumption and what ways there are to promote quinoa production and consumption in marginal environments. The webinar will provide perspectives from the research, public and private sectors.
Date and time: Friday, 10 July 2020, 13:00-14:00 GMT (17:00-18:00 in the UAE)
Moderator: Dr. RK Singh, Program Leader on Crop Diversification and Genetics, ICBA
Opening remarks by Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, ICBA
A statement by Mr. Jean Boroto Ruhiza, Senior Land and Water Officer / WASAG Team Leader, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
A presentation by Mr. M.R. Porchezhian, Organic Farming Specialist, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA)
A presentation on ICBA’s quinoa program - Dr. Juan Pablo Rodriguez Calle, Post-Doctoral Fellow, ICBA
A statement by Mr. Jamal Mohamed Khalifa Bin Ghanim Alhemeiri, Private Farm Owner
The world of quinoa in the kitchen - Mr. Luca Cobre, Executive Chef & Manager, Healthy Farm Eatery
Closing remarks – Prof. Ricardo Rodriguez, Bolivia