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Journal Articles IDESIA Year : 2014

Calling for a reappraisal of the impact of quinoa expansion on agricultural sustainability in the Andean highlands

Daniel Bertero
  • Function : Author
Pablo Cruz
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 881056
Carmen del Castillo
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1009904
Santiago Peredo Parada
  • Function : Author
Luis Sáez Tonacca
  • Function : Author

Abstract

The debate on the environmental and social sustentainability of quinoa in its area of major world production (southern highlands of Bolivia) revived with the acceptance by the United Nations of the Bolivian proposal to declare in 2013 as the Year of the Quinoa. Public debate focused on local impacts of quinoa expansion in the Southern highlands of Bolivia, denouncing several negative impacts of quinoa culture such as land degradation, socioeconomic disrupts and biodiversity loss. However, the global or at least the international implications of the expanding quinoa market were less debated and often in caricature, varying between culpability and ingenuity among consumers, while Andean producers were described as trapped by poverty or short sighted greed. If researchers are to make a relevant contribution to the debate on the impact of quinoa expansion on the social and environmental sustainability of the Andean agriculture, is it necessary to re-evaluate present knowledge and ignorance about local Andean production systems integrated with links at the global scales, taking into account local- global interactions. In the present paper are revisited some major ill- founded assertions commonly expressed in this debate and three lines of arguments are used to support the need for a more cautious and ethical approach to quinoa related issues.
Llamado a una revaluación del impacto de la expansión del cultivo de quinua sobre la sostenibilidad agrícola en el altiplano andino ABSTRACT The debate on the environmental and social sustentainability of quinoa in its area of major world production (southern highlands of Bolivia) revived with the acceptance by the United Nations of the Bolivian proposal to declare in 2013 as the Year of the Quinoa. Public debate focused on local impacts of quinoa expansion in the Southern highlands of Bolivia, denouncing several negative impacts of quinoa culture such as land degradation, socioeconomic disrupts and biodiversity loss. However, the global or at least the international implications of the expanding quinoa market were less debated and often in caricature , varying between culpability and ingenuity among consumers, while Andean producers were described as trapped by poverty or short sighted greed. If researchers are to make a relevant contribution to the debate on the impact of quinoa expansion on the social and environmental sustainability of the Andean agriculture, is it necessary to re-evaluate present knowledge and ignorance about local Andean production systems integrated with links at the global scales, taking into account local-global interactions. In the present paper are revisited some major ill-founded assertions commonly expressed in this debate and three lines of arguments are used to support the need for a more cautious and ethical approach to quinoa related issues. RESUMEN El debate sobre la sustentabilidad ambiental y social de la quínoa en el área de mayor producción en el mundo (tierras Andinas del sur de Bolivia) revivió con la aceptación por las Naciones Unidas de la propuesta de Bolivia de declarar el año 2013 como el Año Internacional de la Quínoa. El debate público se focalizó en los impactos locales de la expansión de la quínoa en las tierras Andinas del sur de Bolivia, denunciando diversos impactos negativos del cultivo de la quínoa tales como la degradación del suelo, conflictos socioeconómicos y pérdida de biodiversidad. Sin embargo, las implicancias internacionales o globales de la expansión del mercado de la quínoa fue menos debatido y a menudo cariturizado, fluctuando entre culpabilidad e ingenuidad entre consumidores en tanto que productores Andinos eran descritos como atrapados por la pobreza o una avaricia miope. Si los investigadores han de hacer un aporte relevante al debate del impacto de la expansión de la quínoa sobre la sustentabili-dad social y ambiental de la agricultura Andina, entonces es necesario reevaluar el conocimiento e ignorancia actual sobre los sistemas de producción andina en forma integrada con escalas globales, teniendo presente las interacciones locales-globales. En el presente estudio son revisadas algunas aseveraciones desafortunadas más importantes expresadas en este debate utilizando tras clases de argumentos para fundamentar la necesidad de un enfoque más cauto y ético en los problemas relacionados con la quínoa. Palabras clave: debate, biodiversidad, socioecológico.
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Dates and versions

ird-02381052 , version 1 (26-11-2019)

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Thierry Winkel, Daniel Bertero, Pablo Cruz, Carmen del Castillo, Richard Joffre, et al.. Calling for a reappraisal of the impact of quinoa expansion on agricultural sustainability in the Andean highlands. IDESIA, 2014, Idesia, 32 (4), pp.95-100. ⟨10.4067/S0718-34292014000400012⟩. ⟨ird-02381052⟩
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