Andean Grain III

Lead Organization:

Fundacion EkoRural

Partner Organizations:


Community of Practice:







The demand in Ecuador for production and consumption of lupin, amaranth and particularly quinoa has increased considerably recently. With the growth of quinoa demand in the US and European markets, the Ecuadorian government has now vowed to expand quinoa production fivefold in 2014. Such expansion will depend heavily on the Andean Grains project to deliver technological innovations. The CCRP-funded grant supporting Andean Grains in Ecuador for the past eight years and led by CORPOINIAP, a semi-private entity with a mandate to manage funds for INIAP, the Ecuadorian research institute, closed in 2012.  INIAP has decided to collaborate with EkoRural, a non-government development organization to continue research activities for this project.

Grant Aims:

Generate segregating populations and lines to obtain new quinoa varieties with the best agricultural characteristics and accepted by farmers and the market.Identify sources of resistance to anthracnose in attacks to INIAP’s lupine germplasm bankIn conjunction with EkoRural strengthen the community’s biodiversity management by increasing the use of good-quality Andean grains seeds in communities of the provinces of Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Bolivar, Cañar and Loja. The project will seek new quinoa varieties with large, white grains, resistant to mildew, low saponin content, early-maturing, high performance, and adaptable to the agro-climatic conditions and the small farmers’ preferences.Start a cross plan to develop lupin varieties resistant to anthracnose, which can completely destroy a lupin field.

Outputs and Outcomes:

With the help of the CCRP funded PROINPA project in Bolivia, in 2008 INIAP in Ecuador began implementing the quinoa enhancement program, based on hybridization. Since then, the program has identified candidate characteristics for gene donors (precocity, resistance to mildew, large-sized grains, medium-sized plants, etc.), then carried out crosses (simple, triple), and evaluated and selected segregant populations and lines in different filial groups. At the end of 2015, the program includes eighteen F2 populations, five F3 populations, ten F4 lines, five F5 lines, eleven F7 lines and five F8 lines. Eight promising quinoa lines were evaluated in the four main quinoa provinces of Ecuador using a randomized block design with 3 repetitions. Results pursuant to yield potential, mildew response, and producer evaluations (2 communities n=27), the lines LQEP4, LQEP8 and LQEP9 were selected for further evaluation in different environments and with higher producer participation. Work with local landraces suggest a strong varietal x context interaction, especially for quinoa with yields varying more than 200 kg/ ha for lupin and 800 kg/ha for quinoa (n=154, 2013). The hybrid lines selected demonstrated higher adaptation potential than the INIAP variety Pata de venado (Deer foot), and in the future, could become a new variety.While the methodology for inoculation and evaluation of lupine anthracnose has been standardized, there is no progress in the plan for lupine enhancement, considering that there were no plants in the INIAP accessions of the Lupinus mutabilis germplasm collection with a high level of resistance (n=100), and possible sources of resistance in other Lupinus species in this germplasm collection have yet to be explored. Pest and diseases during the entire lifecycle are the main productivity limitation in lupin. One of the most harmful pests is the seed fly (Delia platura), which can cause up to 56% losses during plant emergence. To date, INIAP only has a chemical-based recommendation for its control (insecticide). Laboratory tests were done on the susceptibility of Delia platura to entomopathogenic nematode isolates from the Central Andes region of Ecuador. Preliminary results indicate that 3 nematode isolates were responsible for the highest levels of mortality in third instar larvae of D. platura.  These were CB-13, H01-G y H03-R with 35.48%, 35.48% and 43.01% mortality, respectively, compared to a figure of 7% for the control.  After making certain modifications to the protocol the bioassay was repeated and the highest mortality (>90%) was caused by an unidentified nematode species collected from the Andean potato weevil, Premnotrypes vorax.  A bioassay was then conducted to determine the dosage of this nematode species which provides the highest degree of control of third instar larvae of D. platura.Basic research to better understand the biology of the principle lupin pest in Ecuador, Delia platura, reveals that females did not have a preference for either of the two Lupinus species (mutabilus or angostifolis) when continuously reared for eight generations on L. angustifolius.  This suggests that D. platura has the potential to adapt to a new host in the future, so that breeding resistance is probably not a good strategy.A baseline (2009  n=354 convenience sample) and endline (2014, n=154 representive sample of those surveyed in baseline) survey were done among the 3 farmer groups that INIAP has worked with in 3 separate provinces of Ecuador. The results show that across the 3 groups, among those interviewed, lupin cultivation has increased by 10% more farmers, and among those who grow lupin the use of the INIAP variety Andino 450 has increased to include 50% more farmers (the yield variation between local and INIAP varieties was slight). Quinoa cultivation has increased by 20% more and among the farmers who grow quinoa 30% more were using the INIAP variety Tunkahuan (the yield difference between local and INIAP was 300 kg. ha.)  by 2013. The increase in quinoa compared to lupin probably has to do with a strong push by the government to get to 10,000 has of quinoa in 2015. However, the surveys also showed  considerable negative externalities, such as a 8% increase in the number of farmers having a lupin monoculture, a 40% decrease in using organic fertilizer and 20% increase in chemical fertilizer, and 8% increase in fumigations. In the case of quinoa, the monoculture increased among 30% of the farmers interviewed, and the fumigations by 45%, which is odd because pests and diseases are not a huge problem for quinoa but is probably due to the ministry of agriculture giving farmers a “quinoa kit” with seeds and pesticides. However,  interestingly in the case of quinoa chemical fertilizer dropped and there was a slight increase in organic fertilizer.A baseline (2009 n=354 convenience sample) and endline (2014, n=154 representative sample of those surveyed in baseline) survey were done among the 3 farmer groups that INIAP has worked with in 3 separate provinces of Ecuador. In 2009 only 8%  of those interviewed who grow lupin used threshers and 15% of those who grow quinoa, in 2013 48% of growers did, mostly among those with high project participations. The 3 groups were able to attract funds from other donors to purchase the threshers. Threshers can lower the impurities found in quinoa from 30-5%.A baseline (2009 n=354 convenience sample) and endline (2014, n=154 representative sample of those surveyed in baseline) survey were done among the 3 farmer groups that INIAP has worked with in 3 separate provinces of Ecuador. The number of farmers interviewed who were selling over 80% of their lupin harvest increased by 10% — with the increase going to community sales, while in regards to quinoa the increase was 30%, which is explained by a growth in both the export and governmental market. But there has also been a 25% rise in the amount of farmers surveyed who have consumed lupin in the last week and 20% for quinoa – a rise that seems to have generally disseminated through the communities and is not tied to high participation in the project, although with the highest participation consumption is twice, not just once a week in the case of quinoa. These consumption numbers are probably tied to the recipe promotion work INIAP did because 15% of those interviewed who had 2 ways of preparing lupin now have 3-4, a similar pattern is seen with quinoa, this time with a strong correlation to high project participation. Among this population there was a rise in farmers who used their own harvest for consumption and a decrease and purchasing from the market (20% lupin, 40% quinoa).A baseline (2009 n=354 convenience sample) and endline (2014, n=154 representative sample of those surveyed in baseline) survey was done among the 3 farmer groups that INIAP has worked with in 3 separate provinces of Ecuador. The project works with 3 Andean grains, lupin, quinoa and amaranth, the first two have strong markets but amaranth doesn’t. Between 2009-2013, an increase 2.6% of those interviewed planted amaranth, and there was a 16% increase in the number of farmers who had consumed amaranth during the past week. Showing the recuperation of this once nearly lost ancient and nutritious grain.The three Ecuadorian farmer organizations that the project has worked with on Andean Grain promotion since 2009, by 2014 were producing 8% of the national demand for lupin seed and 7% of the national demand for quinoa seed, from virtually nothing before the intervention with INIAP.The project has promoted quality, farmer certified lupin seed, and according to baseline and endline surveys (n=154), the % of farmers surveyed who are now either saving their own seed or buying from seed producing organizations has increased by over 20%, and buying basically grain as seed in the market has decreased, this seems to be independent to the degree of participation the farmer had in the project and might have to do with the project helping to create a supply of farmer certified seed.Without it being an objective of the project, it was able to foment the connection of the 3 Ecuadorian farmer organizations working with Andean Grains to many national and provincial government entities, as well as, universities, development organization, private companies and other farmer organizations. This resulted in the receiving of threshers and seed kits as well as market opportunities. This was largely due to the strength of the INIAP team as connectors, who were constantly promoting interaction and communication among different actors interested in Andean Grains (Horton 2014)