Minister visits quinoa trials
Sustainability and plant-based protein sources were on the agenda when Minister of Food, Fisheries and Gender Equality Mogens Jensen visited one of the Quisacu project's harvest-ready quinoa fields on Lolland on Thursday 13 August.
Quinoa has been hailed as the superfood of the future, and Danish consumers have enthusiastically accepted the protein-rich seeds from the South American plant. The popularity of quinoa is due in particular to the fact that they are rich in protein and have a high content of the essential amino acids lysine and methionine. In addition, they have a high content of unsaturated fatty acids and are gluten-free.
Danish production reduces the climate footprint
“There is currently a lot of focus on plant-based protein sources, and therefore there is also great interest in quinoa. If we improve cultivation methods and yield stability, there are great prospects for quinoa cultivation in Denmark, ”says senior researcher and Quisacu project manager Solvejg Kopp Mathiassen from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University.
“Quinoa that is sold in Denmark is mainly imported from Peru and Bolivia. With locally produced quinoa, we avoid the long transport and thus get a lower climate footprint. It will probably also be a more sustainable product based on the Danish tradition of cultivation with low inputs of fertilizers and pesticides, ”she further explains.
Farmers behind the project
It is not only the researchers who have opened their eyes to quinoa. Behind the Quisacu project is a group of farmers on Lolland-Falster who have tried quinoa cultivation for some years. Together with Solvejg Kopp Mathiassen and other researchers from Aarhus University, they will test different varieties, selected by Sven-Erik Jacobsen, Quinoa Quality, who is also participating in the project.
Good for crop rotation
In addition to the good nutritional properties, quinoa will also be a benefit crop rotations.
“Cereals are grown on 80% of the Danish agricultural area, and we are very much short of rotating crops, which can provide variation in crop rotations, and which do not require a contract such as sugarbeet and grass seed. It is therefore not a coincidence that the farmers on Lolland-Falser are on the forefront of quinoa cultivation in Denmark, ”explains Solvejg Kopp Mathiassen.
This project has received financial contribution from”Grønt Udviklings- og Demonstrationsprogram (GUDP) under Miljø- og Fødevareministeriet”. Read more: You can read more about the GUDP project here.