Answering the global need to identify crops that have the potential to produce quality food while maintaining sustainable development, quinoa is a cereal that provides significant promises. Thanks to its nutritional characteristics and agronomic versatility, quinoa offers an interesting alternative to traditional crops. Its harvesting contributes to regional and global food security especially in the areas where the population has no access to adequate sources of protein or where food production is limited. Its limited need for water and high protein content make quinoa an ideal candidate for cultivation in food security seeking countries However, the introduction of this cereal holds also its set of challenges including structural changes to the food sector as well as social, economic and environmental factors. This paper analyzes the determinants of production in countries that traditionally produce quinoa (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru) and underlines the framework of a comprehensive and sustainable production in the Middle East, GCC and North Africa. This research aims at contributing to scientific cooperation, sharing past experiences for the development of this exogenous cereal cultivation at the regional and inter-regional levels, adapting current best practices to local agricultural development. Latin America, North Africa and the Near East share similar challenges as well as geographic, climate and social characteristics, therefore a cross cases analysis is highly relevant. Following a first field study led in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), this paper's objective is to provide a blueprint on how to gather the necessary conditions for a sustainable cultivation of this promising cereal. It also addresses the important capacity building component both at the local and regional level and the inclusion of quinoa within traditional cropping patterns and farming systems as well as national and regional sustainable strategy. More specifically it also focuses on the role the GCC and Qatar could play in fostering cooperation in food security in the Middle East as part of a FAO led scientific cooperation platform in the Greater Middle East. In line with on-going South-South Cooperation efforts, this paper proposes roads to promote not only the exchanges between academic experts from both regions, but also between agricultural cooperatives and traditional food importing countries including innovative financing mechanism.


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