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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Quinoa set to serve as major food

Due to its high nutritional, agronomic and economic values, Quinoa is set to be a major food for future generations and an important alternative crop considering the challenges caused by climate change, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The Director of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Division of Nuclear Techniques in FAO, Qu Liang, made disclosure in a public statement on FAO website.

He  said in the battle to help developing countries overcome threats from declining food production caused by climate change, NaijaAgroNet gathered, one species of edible grain-like crop has caught international attention because of its unique nutritional value. New and improved varieties of quinoa, historically grown in the highlands of South America, will be made available to farmers in mutations adapted to challenging environments in Bolivia and Peru.

Also speaking, Principal Professor and Head, Cereals and Native Grains Research programme, National Agrarian University of La Molina in Peru, L. Gomez-Pando, pointed out that increased genetic diversity is the result of the use of nuclear techniques in collaboration with the IAEA and FAO, said the

“There are 64 mutant lines of quinoa selected by yield potential and quality for the market. These mutant lines will be further evaluated and the best lines will be released as new varieties in 2015–2016,” Gomez-Pando said.

NaijaAgroNet learnt that Quinoa has exceptional nutritional composition, with higher protein content than brown rice, barley and millet. Besides being gluten free, quinoa is an excellent source of dietary fibre and has elevated levels of phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium. It is also rich in vitamins.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE
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