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Dynamic aspects of biodiversity management of Quinoa

Periodic Report Summary 1 - QUINOA (Dynamic aspects of biodiversity management of Quinoa)

Title: Dynamic aspects of biodiversity management of Quinoa.

Simulation on evolution of agriculture scenarios for analyzing the impact on variety dynamics.

The agricultural practices of domestication and selection of phytogenetic resources have generated a rich and original intra-specific biodiversity. The crop culture systems of southern countries integrate this species diversity linked to the exploited environments.

The QUINOA project is interested on the definition and implementation of management alternatives adapted to dynamic in situ preservation of genetic resources, particularly in face of global changes. This project is aimed to the identification of new management ways of crop varieties diversity based on the interaction of farmer’s seed systems at different scales, including related seed market system and institutional seed system. The restarting of quinoa crop in Chile (Latin America) and the relationship with access to existing ex situ seed banks define the study site. The methods are based on the co-construction of innovative tools, as multi agent models, able of integrating different actor’s points of view and then simulating dynamic aspects of managements of biodiversity to foresee its impacts on future evolutions.

Iterative approach alternating field data acquisition, conceptualization and modeling seed systems.
This methodological path steps into participative modeling with experts. A collective representation of the seed system has co-constructed with researchers of different disciplines, invoking different mechanisms favoring conservation and use of varieties diversity. At the end of this process, sharing all disciplinary points of view, we have a developed a general conceptual model of seed systems which is a global abstraction of the vision on the management of agrobiodiversity. Conceptualizing and developing seed systems models need a scientific coordination based on workshops animation. Here, participation involves dialogs of researches of different implied disciplines for debating modeling choices. Afterword models are validated by farmers, and then we used role playing games for foreseeing different future scenarios. The research methods using within each discipline are a) genetic diversity of crops, b) institutional and specific crops’ economy, c) social anthropology, d) agronomic performance of varieties and associated geographical considerations, e) complex system modeling associated to participative initiatives and research-action. Field works are structured at three system scales: studies on genetic diversity (farmer field, country and region), diversity of farmers’ agricultural systems to incorporate their strategies (of parcels, exploitation and country levels) and the regional/national study of social, economic and political regulations (of local and global markets and public policies). At each scale works are multidisciplinary. In addition, the different analytical levels overlap to answer specific questions raised at each level.

Principal results (deliverables) of the project during the period P1
- WP1:
The modelling skill of GREEN research unit of CIRAD is required to come up with a model of the seed system taking into account its complex dimension. The resulting model will then be used to characterize intermediate seed systems, including European networks involved in participatory selection (participatory plant breeding or PPB) or biological agriculture.
D1.1 : General methodology of companion modelling applied to QUINOA
D1.2 : Companion modelling conference
D1.3 : Multi agents simulation conference
D1.4 : Role Playing Game conference
- WP2:
The unique skill of UNIBO in molecular biology will be provided to track down which genetic markers to analyse Quinoa varieties. Analysis of genetic diversity indicators will be correlated to the nutritive properties. This correlation could confer a potential competitive advantage for Quinoa cultivated strategies preserving agrobiodiversity.
D2.1 : Analysis on nutritive properties of Quinoa
D2.2 : Nutritive properties of Quinoa (conference)
D2.3 : Methodology to analyse saponine, vitamine E and specific resistance to salinity
D2.4 : Indicators of genetic diversity for nutritive properties
D2.5 : Nutritive properties into landraces
D2.6 : Conservation of the Quinoa nutritive properties (conference)
- WP3:
Agrobiodiversity is heavily supported by farmers in traditional communities where in situ conservation is the key of management. It’s very well-illustrated in West Africa. The Chilean case illustrates the exact opposite management strategy of ex situ conservation. In this country, conservation through seed banks and germoplasm collection is mandatory to re-initiate an abandoned agricultural tradition. Field work on Quinoa in Chile should validate the hypothesis of existence of a continuum of compatible conservation mechanisms, from in situ to ex situ, each relevant for some specific objectives.
D3.1 : Agricultural practices on Quinoa cultivation
D3.2 : Institutions for Quinoa conservation in Chile
D3.3 : Biodiversity management in farming systems (conference)
D3.4 : Seed systems (conference)
- WP4:
The research benefits of a national program of re-introduction of Quinoa on local markets and in public schools kitchens. This WP needs to achieve the objective of the market acceptance and recognition of the products.
D4.1 : Distribution actors and Chains
D4.6 : Scenarios to promote agrobiodiversity valorisation : markets valorisation of Quinoa food properties
D4.7 : Regional workshops on in situ-conservation

During this first period (P1), the main result of the QUINOA IRSES Project corresponds to the possibility to form a wide multidisciplinary team and to share knowledge between research teams and with students from the associated university or research centers.
• List ok keywords: Quinoa, Modelling, Role playing Game, Agrobiodiversity