LA PAZ – Cañahua, a little-known Andean grain that has a higher nutritional value than quinoa, is being introduced to the international market by Bolivia, food industry representatives told EFE.
“Cañahua is a golden grain in terms of nutritional value. I think it’s more exquisite than quinoa in this sense and also in terms of production, since this grain can withstand climate change,” Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) specialist Mario Vargas said.
The grain, which is loaded with antioxidants, calcium and iron, among other nutrients, is grown organically in Bolivia by Indian farmers.
NASA is looking at cañahua as a food for astronauts and producers are now targeting the international gourmet market.
Farmers, chefs and representatives of the non-governmental organization Innovare e Hivos promoted the grain during a conference last week at the Manq’a culinary institute in El Alto, a city outside La Paz.
Cañahua is also grown in Chile, Ecuador and Peru, where it has proven resistant to drought and floods, making it a viable option for guaranteeing food security.