In agricultural lands impacted by high salinity, smallholder farmers realize lower than average yields and reduced incomes. In these regions, improving food production and creating new opportunities for earning a livelihood are desperately needed.
Researchers at Wageningen UR have come up with a non-genetically modified salt-tolerant quinoa that not only grows, but also thrives in saline soils. By making this high-value super grain available to farmers in areas impacted by high salinity, there is a potential to reduce fresh water consumption, reduce food scarcity, reclaim unused or underused agricultural lands, and create new livelihood opportunities for smallholder farmers.
Milestone and Achievements
Wageningen has sown field trials of the salt-tolerant quinoa in China and Vietnam, as well as set up tests to determine maximum salt level tolerance. In Chile, they have harvested 60 hectares and, through their partner AbbottAgra, signed an agreement with SPS Chile, a production chain managing company that licenses them to use the non-bitter varietals in country.
Wageningen has submitted an EU-H2020 project proposal aimed at improving productivity of quinoa under abiotic stress conditions and improving agronomy by extensively testing genotype, environment, and management interactions.
- Improve farmer adoption of salt-tolerant quinoa crops.
- Enhance volume of seed sold.
- Build networks in China and Vietnam.