Improvement of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and Qañawa (Chenopodium pallidicaule Aellen) in the context of climate change in the high Andes

Alejandro Bonifacio


Quinoa and qañawa are the only native crops that produce food grain
in the high Andes. The improvement of quinoa has been addressed by government institutions, universities and NGOs, obtaining improved varieties. However, qañawa has received little or no attention in the development of varieties, and only native varieties and revalued varieties exist. The native and improved varieties of quinoa have contributed to food production for rural families and for export, generating significant economic income. In recent decades, the production of these grains has been negatively affected by the effects of climate change. In the high Andes, climatic variability, together with climate change, disturbs the regime of climatic factors, with evident changes represented by drought, frost, hail and wind. The objective of this paper is to describe the context of climate change, review the progress in the improvement of quinoa and qañawa and propose adjustments to improve production methods in the high Andes. The genetic methods and materials used in the improvement of quinoa have allowed varieties with prioritized characters to be obtained in the last decades, and these varieties have met and continue to fulfill their roles in food production and income generation for producers. However, in the face of the effects of climate change, some varieties are becoming unfit for production, especially those with long growth cycles. Therefore, it has been proposed that new breeding objectives, new genetic materials for improvement and new sources of characters are needed, and production improvement methods in the context of climate change are suggested.


Climate change, crop improvement, qañawa, quinoa

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