LIMA – The production of quinoa in Peru was 135 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, making it an important driving force in Peruvian agriculture, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.
Agriculture Minister, Juan Manuel Benites, said that between January and March, 13,000 tonnes of quinoa were produced, against 5,000 tonnes for the same period last year.
“In March alone, the Andean grain production exceeded 2,800 tonnes, 21% more than for that month in 2014. The regions with the highest volume growth in grain were Ayacucho (with an increase of 797%) and Puno (277%),” said Benites in a statement release by the ministry.
Benites stressed that Peruvian government efforts led the United States to recognize quinoa among the leading 15 cereals imported there last month.
“We must remember that Peru is the world’s main producer and exporter of quinoa,” he emphasized.
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and wife Nadine Heredia have promoted the consumption of quinoa in recent years, to fight child malnutrition and boost agricultural production in impoverished areas.
The Ministry hopes sales of quinoa exports this year will exceed $200 million.