Sustainability of Quinoa in Rainfed Agricultural Systems: A Case Study on the O’Higgins Region, Chile

Pablo Olguín, Alejandro de Kartzow, Carlos Huenchuleo


Quinoa is a grain that has seen a rapid consumption boom in recent years. Chile
has also followed this trend through quinoa consumption associated with a healthy diet and environmental care. The correlation between quinoa crops and farming sustainability lays mainly in the actions and expertise of the agents involved in the decision-making process, who depend on the available experience and knowledge. Multicriteria decision analysis is a set of support techniques in the decision-making process. It consists of directing multiple opinions and assessment criteria, in specific actions, validated by an interest group. This study is based on the definition and weighting of the criteria that influence the sustainability of quinoa as a crop in contrast with the wheat as the most important crop in the rainfed area, taking into account the opinions of farmers and other parties involved. The findings are the weighting of the criteria of the following variables: contribution to family income, ease of sales, positive impact on the environment, production cost savings, knowledge of the crop, and government support. The model helped to create a quantitative basis for the sustainability potential of quinoa as a booming crop and as an alternative for the traditional wheat crop in farming.


Comparative advantage, ecosystem, reconversion

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