Multiplication of Quinoa seed

In a previous entry (http://cultivaliasenegaal.com/intro-quinoa-senegal/), we explained you why we think quinoa’s introduction in Nguéniènian families’ diet would improve the content of proteins, vitamins and some essential minerals.

To that end, we started doing our first activities related to our project during our last journey: a gastronomic workshops so as Nguéniènians get to know this new crop and a first trial with the varieties we had available, collaborating with three farmer volunteers of the community.

Unfortunately, trials didn’t go as well as expected. After thinking carefully about the mistakes we might have made, we found out some details we could improve. We think the seeding protocol we followed wasn’t the most suitable, the used varieties weren’t the best ones and the lack of farmers experience with this crop didn’t help either. But we didn’t give up! We have started to put new ideas into effect so as to solve all the previous mistakes.

The first step was to decide which varieties we would use.

Previously, we started with a relatively wide range (more or less 12 varieties, some commercial and some with an unknown origin).

We got in touch with a germoplasm bank in the US (http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/) and the quinoa breeder suggested us five varieties that may be successful in Nguéniène.

First step achieved, we have got the seed! The next decision we took was to multiply this seed in Spain. That would give us some advantages. On the one hand, we would have more seeds for the experiments we want to do in Senegal, we would be able to sow bigger plots and to save some seeds of each variety just in case. Moreover, like this, some of the Cultivalia Senegaal members will know in detail the crop cycle, and although conditions are different in Nguéniènian fields, experience will help us to better plan the management.

The next item is: where would we do this multiplication trial? Fortunately, a public research organisation, IRTA (http://www.irta.cat/en-US/Pages/default.aspx) decided to cooperate with us. They gave us space in their greenhouse for 10 plants of each of the 5 varieties. We have started the process and our little quinoa plants are perfectly growing in the Torre Marimon greenhouse.

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