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FAO helps in quinoa planting
National strategy and training
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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) launched a regional technical program for adopting quinoa agriculture.

According to this agreement, FAO will help local farmers to develop this agriculture by offering them the technical knowhow, enhancing their capabilities, and setting a sustainable national strategy to integrate Quinoa to the agricultural system.

Marie Louise Hayek, Program Assistant at FAO, said: “Quinoa agriculture is convenient to all weather conditions. It can be planted on several levels and does not require a lot of water.”

Hayek said: “Due to the recent water shortages, quinoa would be one of the alternative agricultures.”

The project will be implemented with the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institution (LARI), in coordination with MoA. The first field day will be conducted on September 10 in Tal Amara and Kfardan. Other workshops and training sessions for farmers and agricultural engineers will be conducted within two years.

LARI will be responsible of studying the production phases of this agriculture, its pest risks and water and fertilizer consumption.

The program will be implemented in eight other countries: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen.

FAO allocated about $500,000 for the eight countries to conduct trials and provided the markets with the seeds and experts.

Hayek said that the FAO will circulate the productive kinds of quinoa that adjust to weather and soil conditions. It will also study if this product is accepted by consumers and highlight quinoa’s nutritional benefits. 

Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Sep 10, 2014