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Cultivation of Quinoa on the Peruvian Altiplano

Aguilar, Pablo Cesar, Jacobsen, Sven-Erik
Food reviews international 2003 v.19 no.1-2 pp. 31-41
Chenopodium quinoa, agroecological zones, barley, beans, climatic factors, crop production, crops, cultivars, drought, farmers, frost, hail, humidity, plateaus, potatoes, soil
Quinoa cultivation in the Peruvian altiplano occurs under environmental conditions that change from year to year, including adverse climatic conditions such as drought, flooding, hail, and frost. Under such conditions, ensuring harvest security is crucial. Therefore, farmers plant quinoa throughout the various agroecological and physiographic zones of the altiplano to avoid losing their entire crop in a given year in a particular area (Morlon, [1982]). For the same reason, organization of the production of quinoa traditionally includes rotation with a mixture of quinoa cultivars as well as other crops such as potato, cañiwa, field beans, and barley. Selection of cultivars is determined according to the climate, soil, and humidity of the location. The primary factor for organization of quinoa production is the agroecological zone. Each agroecological zone is divided into physiographic zones, which can be further divided based on specific environmental conditions.