Andean grains

Lead Organization:

Corporacion INIAP

Community of Practice:



Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru




This project is an extension of Lupin/quinoa (05-112), a four-year project aimed at increasing production and consumption of three Andean grains, quinoa, lupin and amaranth, in Ecuador. The previous phase included a large nutrition component to study the effects of lupin promotion efforts. Across the Andes, but especially in Ecuador, processed and non-native staples like noodles and rice are taking place of highly nutritious grains. The result is both obesity and malnutrition as diets have less protein, fiber and healthy fats. This project is run by the native grains and legume division of INIAP that is dedicated to selecting promising varieties, providing seed and increasing production, consumption and sale of these seeds.

The first phase the project was able to increase consumption of lupin in a few communities through aggressive promotion through recipe exchanges, lupin festivals, information sessions, school feeding programs and radio announcements. Furthermore, through the local farmer-run research committees, they were able to test new varieties and production practices which led to significant yield increases and spread of promising varieties and seed. Lastly, the project connected farmers with other actors along the supply chain in an effort to create more lucrative and equitable commercial relationships. This phase proposes to work with many more farmers’ organizations in a greater geographical area to reach more farmers with seed, production, nutrition and commercial information.

This phase will help to strengthen INIAP’s Andean grain breeding program by further development of germplasm collection and initial crosses of lupin. Finally, this phase will concentrate on agroecological methods of cultivation of lupin, which is susceptible to many diseases and pests.

Grant Aims:

  • Genetic improvement process to obtain better varieties of quinoa and lupin.
  • New and discrete integrated crop management techniques for each of the three crops.Increased consumption of quinoa, amaranth and lupin both in urban centers and rural settings.
  • Access to high-quality seeds for the farmers who participate in this project.Increased productivity of amaranth, lupin and quinoa once the new crop-management techniques identified through the project are adopted and implemented by growers.
  • Establish a route for producers of lupin, amaranth and quinoa to fair markets.

Outputs and Outcomes:

  • New community seed company formed called CORPOPURUWA. It distributed 99 qq of improved lupin seed, grossing $16,000-$8,000 more than the grain price. They sold it mostly to GOs and NGOs looking for certified seed. INIAP introduced them to most of the buyers.
  • Two communities used their own funds to purchase a winnowing machine for lupins using INIAP’s model and can now process much more lupinNew variety of lupin was delivered to 81 farmers (560 kg); 1200 kg of basic and genetic seed produced, 1100 seed to be distributed. Fifty farmers initiated lupin seed production company that has sold all of its production with a significant market premium for seed quality (99 qq of improved lupin seed, which was sold for $16,000 – 100% more than if they just sold it as grain). 1200 kg of basic quinoa seed produced and distributed.
  • Life cycle of lupin seed fly identified. There has been no work done on lupinus mutabilus IPM prior to this study. This is the first stage of a research program to develop lupin IPM recommendations. Lifecycles also identified for two other major lupin pests.
  • Many national and local Gos, NGOs, and businesses exhibiting greater interest in Gas (due to project promotion). City of Guamote is including lupin in school feeding program. Gramolino Co. now doing products with amaranth.
  • Using a pesticide on lupin plots with seed fly produces an increase of $1000 in income per hectare, which points to need for either promoting this pesticide or looking for more ecological IPM practices, which the project is in the process of testing.
  • New downy mildew strains in quinoa in Cotopaxi province discovered. Possible target of mildew resistance crop improvement program.