Research by economists put to rest the rising concerns of the well-being of the people in Peru and Bolivia over the rise in demand and price of Quinoa, a grain crop that is cultivated for its edible seeds. Research not only established that the Peru population was doing a lot better after the rise in price but also that it had no ill effects on the population’s nutrition consumption. Although for now, everything looks good, export demand for just a few varieties from among the 3000 varieties of quinoa which will need the farmers to abandon other varieties.
There are varieties that the Andean farmers have developed over the years to adapt to climate and other conditions. They need to be acknowledged globally and the diversity needs to be conserved. Attempts have been made to create internal markets in hospitals and foods to purchase those varieties without export demand.
The challenge also remains to release public funds for the conservation of agricultural biodiversity. The high demand for quinoa has also led to poor soil quality and environmental degradation. The cultivation land is not allowed to rest and results in erosion and loss of nutrients along with a decrease in farm animals like llama herds that were a rich source of manure and fertilization. Another concern as in all other cases is the concern over a drop in price and demand, and as to how it would affect the population.