14:03 | Puno (Puno region), Apr. 5.
A Peruvian university has developed new varieties of quinoa —a highly nutritious and medicinal Andean grain— with improved yield and quality that make them resistant to adverse weather conditions.
"This is the result of the cross between genetically distant and closely related varieties," said Angel Mujica, a professor at Puno-based Universidad Nacional del Altiplano
His remarks were made during the presentation of demonstration plots at Camacani Production and Research Center, situated 25 km south of Puno
The academic event featured quinoa
producing associations and agronomy students from the aforementioned university.
According to the expert, the new varieties offer improved yield and are resistant to plagues and adverse weather conditions, which could lead to a production of 1,250 kg per hectare, outpacing the average 800 kg per hectare.
Three new varieties will be launched in 2019, and subsequent launches will take place in 2020.
The delivery of seed to farmers in the high plateau area will be led by Universidad Nacional del Altiplano along with the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA) at every launch.
"This academic achievement was made possible thanks to international cooperation funds and the support of Germany-based University of Hohenheim
, whose laboratories were used to obtain molecular characterizations," Mujica stated.
The long-term aim is to strengthen organic production of quinoa, which is highly demanded in international markets so that Puno farmers
can increase their incomes and quality of life.