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An integrated strategy for the conservation and use of underutilized Latin American agrobiodiversity

Final Report Summary - LATINCROP (An integrated strategy for the conservation and use of underutilized Latin American agrobiodiversity.)

Executive Summary:
Latincrop has from the beginning selected Andean crops of priority, based on the wish to cover the different types of crops between grains, legumes and roots, all with potential for increased consumption and market. The crops selected were quinoa, cañahua, Andean lupin, isaño, arracacha and yacón.

All the selected crop species have experienced increased recognition due to activities of Latincrop. Quinoa activities were carried out in different agro-ecological zones, creating new products with more market acceptance, such as red and black quinoa, and increased productivity and nutritional quality. Cañahua is now recognized by the government of Bolivia, which is likely to enhance the production and consumption. Andean lupin has been expanded into sandy soils with a smaller risk of frost. Various products were developed from arracacha, including flour and flakes. A drink based on isaño has already a good demand in the local market, for its anti-inflammatory properties, which prevent prostate or urinary tract diseases. Isaño may be used as a sparkling aperitif, with low alcohol percentage. Yacon was also used as the raw product for a sparkling aperitif, where the use of the sweetness of the root crop makes the drink different from isaño, but still with low alcohol.

Latincrop has supported recovery of lost diversity of the Andean crops, testing varieties and wild relatives in farmers communities. We have contributed to the re-appraisal of ancient technologies, such as high beds and artificial lagoons, beneficial with respect to increasing production security by reducing risks of frost, flooding and drought.

Latincrop has designed a strategy for in situ and ex situ conservation. The principles are among other respect and recognition of cultural diversity, equal rights, inclusion and transparency.

The possibility to establish public databases for identification of quinoa germplasm was tested in order to strengthen the conservation and protection of quinoa. For this we looked into DNA barcodes, which are easy to obtain and the information can be directly uploaded on institutional websites. The DNA barcode information can be made publically available. The information can be extended by new accessions, therefore a simple, open, sustainable, searchable and flexible data base of quinoa germplasm diversity was created, first by grouping of 11 quinoa cultivars.

We have created and published agrobiodiversity calendars. They describe the traditional and technical management of Andean crops around the year (soil preparation, sowing, harvest and post-harvest), in addition to compost application, fertilization and festivities associated to crop management. Andean cookbook was also produced. The book offers traditional and modern recipes for the selected crops, in addition to information about health aspects, nutritional value, history, background information, as well as production and consumption habits of the crops. The book has been distributed digitally and for free to the public.

MPB together with UCPH and SinAgro organized culinary workshops in Copenhagen, Denmark and in Zaragoza, Spain in October, 2017. The workshops were organized to establish sustainable commercial use of the underutilized Andean crops in the European market. The workshops were also an opportunity to spread information about the properties and uses of these crops. The workshops were a great success, with many chefs, private companies, embassies and other stakeholders participating.

Strengthening the knowledge and information of the selected crops is expected to improve the sustainable production, encourage consumption of the crops, and therefore enhance food security. Several events in Latin America have reached hundreds of people directly, who received information on conserving the local agrobiodiversity, and potential novel uses locally and as export commodities to Europe.

Project Context and Objectives:
LATINCROP objectives are to reinforce agrobiodiversity conservation in the Andean region; to identify promising underutilized species for commercial initiatives and improved food security; and to integrate activities into a strong network between relevant stakeholders in Latin America and the EU. The project will identify attractive species for marginal lands involving novel crop combinations thus establishing robust cropping systems. The underutilized species of the Andes are regarded as extremely nutritious and stress tolerant, hence significant components of human culture at present and in the future, with a vital role in the upkeep of sustainable livelihoods and ecosystem stability.

Yet, the loss of species, cultivars and wild relatives, and associated traditional knowledge at the farm level, has a noticeable impact on food security of small hold farming communities and their ability to cope with adverse climates. LATINCROP will address the following themes: (A) Environmental - Conservation of agro-biodiversity, (B) Economic - Sustainable development of bio-economy, (C) Social - Improved food security, and (D) Network - Supporting existing activities into network. The project duration is 48 months to be implemented by a team from Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Denmark, UK and Spain. The project takes stock of related past and on-going projects and will complement them in an integrative approach to obtain long-term results leading to increased food security, on the selected crops among seed, roots and tubers. The principal expected outcome is the strengthening of the conservation of the Andean agrobiodiversity for food security and global bio-economy. We will improve sustainable use of agrobiodiversity by developing underutilized crops, supporting economic development in Latin America while ensuring mutual interest and benefit with the EU, and creating a network to facilitate transfer of knowledge and technology related to the promotion of underutilized Andean species.
The main objectives of the LATINCROP project are:

- Reinforce the current capacities of conservation of agrobiodiversity in the Andean region.
- Integrate existing activities into a strong network.
- Identify promising underutilized crops for commercialization initiatives and food security, considering local vulnerabilities (human and environmental), European and global bio-economy

WP1 (Management and coordination) primary objectives are to ensure an effective management of the project as well as act as the focal point for communication with the EC. The objectives for the work package:

• O1.1 Ensure effective management of the project
• O1.2 Focal point for communication with the EC

WP1 consists entirely of management of the project. The progress, achievements and project management are described under “Project management during the period” (see management section).

WP2 (Identification and characterization of genetic resources of the selected crops) objectives are to identify and characterize the genetic resources of the crops selected in the project. The objectives designated for the work package are as follows:

• O2.1 Establish systematized documentation and knowledge levels of information on Andean agrobiodiversity.
• O2.2 Coordination, complementarity and participation in national and international organizations in different activities related to conservation, management and use of agrobiodiversity.
• O2.3 Study existing tools for sustainable conservation of agrobiodiversity in the Andean region.
• O2.4 Identification and linking of existing resource collections.
• O2.5 Promote the conservation and use of underutilized crop diversity as part of adaptive trait recognition and predicted climate change resilience to develop a Conservation and Exploitation Strategy (CES) for those crops and to ensure food security by generating alternatives.

WP3 (Development of sustainable commercial use of selected crops) carried out activities to obtain the following objectives:

• O3.1 Conserve traditional knowledge on agrobiodiversity in farming communities where underutilized crops are produced
• O3.2 Recover diversity by reintroducing lost genotypes to farmers' fields
• O3.3 Establish sustainable commercial use of underutilized Andean crops
• O3.4 Improve food security through the strengthened use of underutilized crops of the Andean food system

WP4 (Dissemination and networking) contains contributions from all of the partners to have achieved the following objectives:

• O4.1 Improve knowledge of Andean crops among consumers, farmers, extension workers, researchers and Administrators
• O4.2 Strengthen the network of gene banks through exchange, collection and custody of genes
• O4.3 Provide suggestions for laws and international agreements regarding Andean agrobiodiversity

Project Results:
The main scientific and technological findings of the LATINCROP project are divided into the main themes of the project, which are environment, economy, social aspects, and networking. Together these themes contribute to the main prospect of the project in creating an integrated strategy for conserving the agrobiodiversity in Latin America. With the focus of the main themes of the project, the main scientific and technological results are described under the four relevant subtitles called: 1. Conservation of the Andean agrobiodiversity, 2. Sustainable development and coordination of global bio-economy, 3. Food security and preservation of traditional knowledge, and 4. Knowledge-sharing, networking and dissemination activities.

1. Conservation of the Andean agrobiodiversity
One of the main strategic activities of the LATINCROP project was the conservation of agrobiodiversity, and an underutilized crop production in Latin America. The aim to improve the conservation was done by preserving the local agrobiodiversity, revaluating the forms of consumption, and strengthening the culture and customary norms on the social management of agrobiodiversity in the Andean countries of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Research results from the LATINCROP project provided new knowledge on the Andean agrobiodiversity, which has been recorded on all of the seven crop species selected, that is quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), cañahua (Chenopodium pallidicaule), amaranth (Amaranthus sp.), yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius), isaño (Tropaeolum tuberosum), arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) and Andean lupin (Lupinus mutabilis Sweet).
In Bolivia, the agrobiodiversity and production systems of quinoa predominate in the Salares salt flat region, whereas cañahua, lupin and isaño are produced in the Altiplano region. In Peru, quinoa, cañihua and isaño are found in the Peruvian Altiplano. In Ecuador and in Northern Peru, lupin and quinoa are grown in the inter-Andean valleys. Arracacha and yacón are both common in inter-Andean valleys below 3,000 masl. For most crops, in addition to the differing regions and production systems locally, also the forms of traditional use and consumption habits vary.

In Bolivia, three diversity centers of Andean lupin and isaño are located in the Carabuco municipality, where Universidad Mayor de San Andres (UMSA) are focusing their work. For yacon and arracacha, 17 centers of diversity were identified in the municipalities of Mocomoco, Coroico, Irupana, Charazani, Curva and Sorata- located in the Altiplano, inter-Andean valleys and Yungas in the Department of La Paz. In these diversity centers, other crops such as potatoes, oca, maize, squash, ajipa, tannia (gualusa) and cabbage, are part of the local agrobiodiversity. In all cases a description of the diversity center provided information on in situ crop management, as well as characterization of inter- and intraspecific diversity. Through this process, 5 varieties and wild relatives of lupin, 8 of arracacha, 7 of yacon and 3 varieties of isaño, were described. This is very valuable information of the local agrobiodiversity and helps to enhance the preservation goals of the local production.

In Peru, information on agrobiodiversity was reviewed by Universidad Nacional del Altiplano (UNAP) on tubers, grains, Andean roots and legumes in Lake Titicaca region of Puno. These species are extremely important part of the local production systems and the native agro-biodiversity of the region. In the case of quinoa, 10 genetically different races have been identified through the project research. Traditional knowledge associated with these 10 races was systematized with local Aymara and Quechua communities, and the local names, morphological characteristics, adaptive characteristics and uses of the crop, were all registered. Furthermore, 6 Chenopodium wild relative species of quinoa were identified in the region (C. carnosolum, C. petiolare, C. hircinum, C. quinoa subsp. melanospermum, C. ambrosioides, C. incisum). Isaño and lupin were identified in agroecosystems in the communities of Yunguyo and Juli, at the shore of Lake Titicaca. There are many farmers in these communities who practice traditional agriculture by producing isaño and lupin together with oca and ulluco with rotation cycle farming. Traditional farming methods are more sustainable for the agrobiodiversity than modern, mechanized techniques.

During the 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, validation, demonstration and dissemination plots of quinoa, cañihua, lupin and isaño were established in several communities in Puno, in order to improve production levels within the local farming systems. Reintroduction of traditional cultivars of quinoa, amaranth and lupin were also conducted in Cusco, Moquegua and Cajamarca. 28 rural communities were identified in the Aymara region in Peru (Ilave and Juli), where farmers still retain the in situ management of agricultural biodiversity. The farmers use field rotations with crops including quinoa and isaño. In the rural communities of Tambo Colpacuchu (Ilave), demonstration plots were installed to reintroduce native cultivars of quinoa and isaño, to help recover a production of potatoes. For LATINCROP, information of the farmer’s adaptation strategies to climate change was also compiled and synthesized. These include re-appraisal and use of ridges (warus or sukacollos), artificial lagoons (q'ochas), as well as different platforms or patapatas. These would help with the recovery of crops against frost and drought.

From the project, the importance of lupin to the local agrobiodiversity became evident. Lupin improves soil fertility, is highly nutritious, and grows in high altitudes from 1800 to 5,200 masl. Based on experiments in the fields surrounding Puno in 2016, farming of lupin has been expanded into sandy soils with a smaller risk of frost. In aim to improve food security, especially in areas with frost risk, several activities of recovery, improvement and reintroduction of native quinoa cultivars were adapted. The activities were carried out through demonstration plots, including different agro-ecological zones, and different forms of consumption. The products were recorded to have more market acceptance, especially red and black quinoa, and in some cases increase in the productivity was also achieved.

In Ecuador, areas with wild relatives were identified by Instituto Nacional Autonomo De Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) through the review of secondary information, in provinces of Carchi, Bolívar, Chimborazo, Cotacachi and their surrounding areas. Chenopodium petiolare was found in the Province of Imbabura (Morillo, 2009), featuring characteristics similar to the cultivated quinoa (Ramirez et al. 2003). In the case of lupin, the areas of greatest genetic diversity were reported 3800 masl, in semiarid regions and inter-Andean valleys (Carrion, 2006). Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) originates from South America, and ataco or sangorache (Amaranthus quitensis), synonymous of Amaranthus hybridus, has been cultivated since ancient times in the mountains of Ecuador (Coons, 1977, cited by Peralta, 2012). In 2002, micro-centers of genetic variability were identified for this species in the provinces of Pichincha, Cañar and Azuay. Regarding isaño, the greatest variability was found in the provinces of Cañar and Carchi (Monteros, 1969). The distribution range of yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) covers the provinces of Carchi, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Bolívar, Chimborazo, Cañar, Azuay and Loja (Tapia et al, 1996). Being grown at 2100-3000 masl along the Andean mountains (NRC, 1989), it can be found associated with ulluco (melloco), isaño and oca (Cañadas, 1983). Quinoa was recorded to be affected by insect pests, including ticonas (Helicoverpa quinoa, Copitarsia incommoda, Dargida acanthus) and moths (Eurysacca quinoae) (Rojas et al. 2008). INIAP has developed techniques in Ecuador for management and control of cutworms (Agrotis sp.) affecting quinoa. Peronospora farinosa and Cercospora sp., that cause diseases mildew and circular spot, have both been registered in Ecuador (Peralta, 2012).
INIAP organized a field day of quinoa producers in Chimborazo, Ecuador. The objective of the field day was to train farmers and students of Guamote and Colta cantons on topics related to quinoa diversity, local and improved varieties, and nutritional value. The field day took place at the “Centro de Bioconocimiento y Desarrollo Agrario, CBDA” of Las Abras in July 2016, where a field trial of approximately 200 accessions of quinoa was performed as part of a Doctoral Thesis. 38 farmers from the communities of Guamote and Colta participated in the event, and topics related to agrobiodiversity of quinoa and germplasm characterization were discussed.

In the Ecuadorian highland the predominant production system is home gardens, small in area but very rich in diversity of species. These micro-environments provide farm families with food, medicine, horticulture, fuel and forage, and play an important role in conservation of agricultural biodiversity. In addition to the in situ conservation of genetic resources, home gardens stimulate processes of evolution associated with traditional knowledge and management (Ramirez et al. 2003). In the particular case of amaranth or ataco, the crops are very important in terms of the indigenous funerary rituals. They are used to prepare colada morada, and the infusion of panicles and leaves is used as natural medicine for the relief of kidney discomfort and menstrual cramps (Peralta et al., 2008).

1.1. Conservation strategies
The LATINCROP project contributes to the rescue and valorization of the seven prioritized crops, by proposing an integrated ex situ - in situ agrobiodiversity conservation strategy in Bolivia. This includes elements of Law 300 - 'Mother Land Framework Law and Integral Development for the Living Well', the knowledge dialogue, the rescue of traditional uses and the community appropriation of the genetic resources of agrobiodiversity. UMSA has also designed a strategy for in situ and ex situ conservation. The principles of the strategy are as follows:
1. Stewardship in the management of ex-situ and in-situ agrobiodiversity
2. Respect and recognition of cultural diversity
3. Equal rights and opportunities between men and women for decision-making
4. Inclusion and non-discrimination: any distinction, exclusion or restriction that prevents the exercise of rights and equality of opportunity shall be avoided
5. Transparency in the management of resources in the actions involved in the implementation of the strategy
6. Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of agrobiodiversity

1.2. Germplasm collections

In Bolivia, between 2003 and 2010, 33 accessions and varieties of quinoa, 19 of cañahua and 57 of amaranth were reintroduced to 16 communities in the highlands of La Paz, and to 4 communities in the valleys of Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Potosi (Table 1). Furthermore, an ethnobotanical characterization was carried out on 8 accessions of arracacha, 11 of yacón and 5 of isaño in the department of La Paz. In Bolivia, community seed banks are undergoing a process of consolidation, as an important part of the structure of the National System of Genetic Resources. There are currently eight quinoa and five cañahua germplasm collections in Bolivia.

In Bolivia, the quinoa germplasm collection with the highest number of accessions of 3,178, is being managed by Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agropecularia y Forestal (INIAF) and corresponds to the national collection. The Faculty of Agriculture from UMSA promoted of a 'Letter of agreement between INIAF and UMSA' to conduct joint research, systematization and publication of results related to lupin, isaño, yacon and arracacha. Both organizations held a Training Workshop on Morphological Characterization, 28-30 May 2015 at INIAF’s Experimental Station of Toralapa. Additionally, during the 2015-2016, in situ ethnobotanical characterization was conducted for yacon, isaño and arracacha, in total of 9 rural communities from 4 municipalities of La Paz. PROINPA also systematized information of two initiatives developed between 2005-2007 and 2012-2013, the first one with quinoa and cañahua, and the second one with potato. The research indicated that in these study areas there were no community seed banks of lupin, isaño, arracacha and yacon. There were also no garden varieties or other community forms of conservation of these native germplasms. This is also expected to be the case for several other communities. Positive indication was, however, that the exchange of seeds (roots and tubers) exists between producers and acts as a local form of flow of the different variety of seeds and crops. To improve the situation UMSA had conducted awareness workshops on the management, use and importance of implementing community seed banks. The workshops included several activities in promoting the importance of seed banks in the Andes.

The possibility to establish public databases for reference and identification of quinoa germplasm and using DNA-barcoding, was tested in order to strengthen the conservation and protection of quinoa in Latin America. This was based on information of the Phenotype (seeds and leaves, pictures) and Genotype (DNA-sequence of selected target genes, DNA-barcodes) of the crop. The first step that was done in 2016 was to develop and test a simple method to discriminate accessions of quinoa of different geographical origin. Different accessions of quinoa differ in morphology (seeds, leaves etc), as well as genetically. Hypothesis by the LATINCROP partners in Bolivia was that with a combination of pictures showing visual phenotype of seeds and leaves, and by selecting 2-3 accessions with a short DNA-sequence (DNA-barcodes) with high variability between cultivars, it would be possible to distinguish quinoa into phylogenetically distinct groups. The next step would be to apply this method for multiple accessions of quinoa and to establish a searchable on-line database.

In Peru, UNAP collected secondary information on the reintroduction of varieties of quinoa, cañahua, isaño and lupin in the Lake Titicaca region. Also, amaranth, arracacha and yacón were introduced in communities of Cajamarca, La Libertad and Cusco. UNAP determined that in the Titicaca watershed of Puno, about 80% of agricultural production occurs in the rural communities of the Aymara and Quechua cultures. Here the management of Aynokas and Laymis (traditional systems of land management) consists real community seed banks where in situ agrobiodiversity of Andean tubers and grains are conserved. However, the following issues were determined in Peru: a) the characterization of germplasm collections is incomplete and duplicate accessions are not identified, b) there is a clearly defined investment policy for the conservation and management of gene banks in Peru, and c) there is genetic erosion occurring in the agrobiodiversity centers. These are caused by improved varieties that are linked to the market, a situation that has resulted in increased vulnerability to biotic and abiotic factors.

The tubers of arracacha, yacón and isaño, were also tested in the communities of sukaqollos of Chilaqollo in Peru, as part of the Agricultural Campaign in 2014-2015. Several plots of tubers collected in Puno were sown. Supposedly these were more resistant to frost than other tubers, and the people in the communities were introduced of the nutritional properties such as protein, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory advantages. Increasing interest of consumption of the tubers were recorded after the campaign. Under the Latincrop project, UNAP coordinated with the Ministry of Environment in Peru (MINAM) and with globally important Agricultural Heritage Systems project (GIAHS) (SIPAM in Spanish), in aim for the recognition of traditional agricultural systems and improvement of the community seed banks. The revaluation and dynamic conservation of agrobiodiversity, farmers' knowledge and their cultural background were prioritized in the discussions.

In Ecuador, between 2013 and 2015, INIAP introduced 57 varieties of quinoa, amaranth, lupin, oca, mashua, jicama and arracacha, in 8 communities in the province of Chimborazo and in 11 communities in the province of Imbabura. As part of this ex situ and in situ interaction and conservation of the genebank, INIAP conducted one collection of isaño and yacon in the municipality of Mocomoco, and three collections of yacon and racacha in the municipalities of Sorata, Coroico and Irupana. Furthermore, INIAP provided 5 varieties of isaño to the Faculty of Agriculture of UMSA for the implementation of a garden of varieties and for morphological characterization studies. One of the strategies for in situ conservation of native crops in Ecuador has been the establishment of the Center for Bio-knowledge and Agricultural Development (CBDAs). INIAP has consolidated three CBDAs, two in the province of Chimborazo (Las Abras y Totorillas), and one in the province of Imbabura (La Pradera). These CBDAs allow farmers` communities to be involved in research activities such as conservation, regeneration of seed collections and multiplication. Furthermore, it is possible to document information, train farmers or repatriate germplasm, all what will support diversity within farms and encouraging ecological management.

2. Sustainable development and coordination of global bio-economy
As part of the conservation and sustainable production strategies, producer’s associations were created in both Coromata Media and Cachilaya communities in Bolivia. The aim of the associations is to identify strengths and opportunities, as well as threats in both communities in terms of conserving the agrobiodiversity and the local trade. Cachilaya Association of Producers and Conservers of Andean Crops (APROCA) was formed amongst the producers in Cachilaya. APROCA consists of 24 quinoa and potato producers (9 men and 15 women) and was created to preserve the traditional agricultural practices and local agrobiodiversity in the community. Farmers from the Cachilaya community are particularly highly motivated to develop new production and trade. The opportunities are centered on Andean grains markets, which are on the rise, along with the revaluation of the consumption of native potato varieties. A weakness of the program in the community, however, is that the community does not explicitly recognize the organization as a productive and commercial unit or actor in the process. The role of the organization is, however, likely to be accepted with time and with increasing understanding of the role of the organization. At the moment, the greatest risk for the production at the Cachilaya community is hail, frost and also the increasing long periods of drought during the growing season.

Multiactive Agricultural Association of the Altiplano from Coromata Media (ADAMA) was created amongst cañahua, quinoa and native potato producers in the Coromata Media community. ADAMA consists of 21 producers (13 men and 8 women). The role of the association is to help preserve the traditional agricultural practices, biodiversity and trade in Coromata Media community. Coromata Media has significant diversity of native potatoes, and an ancient sustainable custom of cañahua production. The strength of the association is that it is the legally constituted organization, with a strong participation of women in decision-making. Opportunities focus on Andean grains markets, which are on the rise, along with the revaluation of the consumption of native potato varieties. A weakness of the association is the lack of sufficient funds for investment. The greatest risk for the production at the Coromata Media community is hail, frost and also the increasing long periods of drought during the growing season.

Strengthening both the APROCA and ADAMA can greatly improve organizational capacity of the farmers in these communities, and their future role for negotiations and sales force for their products. A meeting was held in 2016 between PROINPA, Melting Pot Bolivia and the farmers of APROCA and ADAMA, with a focus of creating commercial products for Gustu restaurant. According to the producers, the associations of APROCA and ADAMA, with the support of PROINPA, have improved the agricultural conditions and the production of potatoes, quinoa, cañahua, faba beans, oca and other crops in the communities. However, farmers of these associations still require support for marketing their products and require fair prices for their products. The local small-holder farmers are key actors in preserving and maintaining the diversity and varieties of the crops.

The project partners UNAP created the "Working Table of Quinoa and Cañihua in Puno" in Peru in 2016. The Working Table includes representatives from 23 organizations of producers, trade and processors, who meet to improve the supply chains and conservation of the crops in Peru. Results from the meetings and negotiations of this producer’s organization resulted in strengthening of the certified organic production in Peru, improving the marking of the origin and recognition of quinoa and cañahua seeds in Peru, as well as working against conventional quinoa being increasingly produced on the Peruvian coast. Primary and secondary information was also gathered on crop production in rural Aymara and Quechua communities in Puno, Peru. Information was collected on food, medicinal uses and current and potential uses of quinoa, cañahua, lupin and isaño and their wild relatives in the communities. For the regional markets in Peru and Bolivia LATINCROP has contributed in improving the transformation of cañahua seeds into roasted flour (cañihuaco), as well as improving traditional infrastructure for the production, such as water mills, in the communities. Due to these improvements, the production of cañahua has obtained registration status from the Ministry of Health, which is very likely to enhance the production capacity in the future and increase the consumption of the crop.

In Ecuador, INIAP facilitated three agro-biodiversity fairs (AGD) and provided seed exchange amongst small holder farmers in the provinces of Chimborazo and Imbabura, as part of the project objectives to address the bio-economy. At these fairs, farmers were able to show and exchange seeds of lupin, quinoa, isaño and arracacha. These fairs helped to raise awareness of the importance of conserving these crops and the local agrobiodiversity, and improving the local bio-economy. The seed exchange among farmers was observed to increase the diversity of cultivars in the small-scale farms. In total, 209 participants registered in the 3 fairs, covering well the communities in the region.

3. Food security and preservation of traditional knowledge

3.1. Recovering and strengthening of the Andean diet
One objectives of the LATINCROP project is to recover and strengthen the Andean diets by improving sustainable production and conservation of the selected crops. In Peru, continuing conversations were held with the leaders of 28 communities in aim to recover the traditional Andean diet, based on the seven crops and their wild relatives. The community leaders also includes the Tambo of Ilave municipality. "Tambo" is a program of the Peruvian government, in aim to improve the social and productive policies for the national, regional and local governments, as well as for NGOs and other projects.

IRNAS-CSIC, LATINCROP partner from Spain, completed an activity on searching and establishing of reliable protocols for the analysis with food and nutraceutical properties of the selected crops and their wild relatives. Total starch and starch composition protocols were addressed, as well as protocols for extraction and analysis of amino acids in seed- and root-crops. Protocols of mineral composition were established and used in routine studies, after microwave digestion and ICP analysis. Protocols for analysis of additional components (organic acids, vitamins, etc) are available in the form of enzymatic kits, which may be used with facilities available in the lab.
A study was also carried out to identify missing information in the FAO INFOODS database and other databases (Scopus, WOS) concerning the seven LATINCROP species. Results of the analysis showed that lupin, amaranth and arracacha had no entities in BioFood Comp. 2.1. Isaño had lines 148-158, cañahua had 1 entry, and yacón had 10 entries with lines 3-12. Strengthening the knowledge and information of the selected crops is greatly expected to improve the sustainable production, encourage consumption of the crops, and therefore enhance food security.

3.2. Conserving traditional knowledge on agrobiodiversity
Each of the partner institutions of the Andean countries have strengthened the revaluation of traditional knowledge on the management of the local agrobiodiversity. This was ensured through the implementation of tasks and development of the anticipated deliverables of the seven crops, the production systems and forms of consumption. Based on this, strategic measures and approaches for dynamic conservation emerged from the project. Preserving traditional knowledge on the Andean grains is particularly important on agricultural practices such as soil fertility, pests, diseases and weeds.

Issues found out in conserving the traditional knowledge on agricultural practices, included findings that in many ex situ conservation programs traditional knowledge, its variability and attributes have been replaced by numerical knowledge. For example, in Puno, Peru, participatory research on in situ conservation of quinoa, allow grouping of quinoa into 11 groups or races, according to morphology, environmental adaptation, grain color, forms of consumption, and other criteria. This modern categorizing can harm the ancient conservation strategies preserving the production. However, it was also discovered that the social management of the quinoa production systems in many communities is still prevalent, for example in the form of rotation farming of quinoa with crops such as potato, quinoa, lupin, and cereals. This greatly supports avoiding the proliferation of quinoa, preventing pests, diseases and weeds of spreading, and the rotation farming also helps to recover the ecological fertility of the soil. In the case of Peru, it is also important to be aware of the recent experience with deliberate expansion of cultivation of quinoa in the inter-Andean valleys and on the coast of Peru, which appeared with initial successes, but followed by catastrophic losses in production. Introduction of exotic and vulnerable varieties therefore reinforces the importance to recover and reintroduce adapted cultivars and varieties in each agro-ecological zone. Therefore, since the beginning of the LATINCROP project in 2013, traditional and colored quinoa cultivars (hyaline, black and yellow), have been recovered and reintroduced in the highlands of Puno. This is an example, why conserving the traditional knowledge of the production is important, and necessary in preserving the local agrobiodiversity.
Perhaps the greatest existing constraint in conserving the Andean crop development, is that the knowledge relating to the Andean crops is still very fragmented. Much of the useful information and knowledge generated by the research and development communities is never published, and if it is, much of the focus is generated on products that often do not survive the lifespan of the respective research projects. These products are of very limited circulation and difficult to access, such as academic thesis, recipe books and such. As conservation (of agrobiodiversity as well as traditional knowledge) requires long-term solutions, consistency and persistence is also required for conducting research to overcome these challenges in the future.

4. Knowledge-sharing, networking and dissemination activities
Throughout the LATINCROP project, all of the project partners participated in several workshops, fairs, and conferences, and produced dissemination tools to promote the LATINCROP products, the importance of the Andean diet, and conservation of the local agrobiodiversity.

The V World Quinoa Congress and the II International Symposium on Andean grains took place in May 2015 in San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina. Wilfredo Rojas, as part of the technical team of PROINPA, participated in the event and gave a presentation on "The genetic diversity of quinoa: Potential uses in breeding and agribusiness". Wilfredo Rojas, Amalia Vargas and Milton Pinto also participated in the 2nd National Congress of Genetic Resources for Agro-biodiversity, in March, 2016. Participation was part of the dissemination activities of the investigation in quinoa, and presentation was given on “The genetic diversity of quinoa: potential uses in genetic improvement and agroindustry”.
Restaurant Gustu, as part of Melting Pot Bolivia, held several presentations throughout the project period about the gastronomic value of Bolivia’s still unknown nutritious crops. These presentations were held in venues such as 1) Parabere Forum in Bilbao, Spain, 2) Menu Panama, ÑAM Latin American Food Festival in Santiago, Chile, and 3) A Rota Das Estrelas in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition, participation also included at 4) the Gastronomic Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 5) ExpoMilan, CIA Menus of Change Conference in New York, USA, and 6) BASE III International Forum for the Development of the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) in Latin America and Mexico City. These events reached hundreds of people that received knowledge on conserving the local agrobiodiversity and other LATINCROP research objectives.

On 23 October 2015, INIAP held a meeting with public officials of the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador (MEE), in order to establish a working program for agrobiodiversity conservation. The meeting included subjects of technical definitions, gene banks, sort lists of agrobiodiversity, as well as food sovereignty. The program was called: “Study to structure bio-ecology and components of development of integral management of plagues of the principal agricultural themes in Ecuador”.
The following agreements were settled between INIAP and MEE and to be included into the contract of the program in Ecuador:
• The glossary of relevant technical definitions should be elaborated in the contract.
• Patent is needed to operate the germplasm banks. It was noted, however, that this would be discussed more at the National Assembly of the Seeds Law.
• List of species differing between wild and cultivated needs to be elaborated.
INIAP, Ministry of the Environment and FAO co-organized both of the National workshops in Ecuador TALLER NACIONAL DE BANCOS GERMOPLASMA 1 and 2, in September 2016, and March, 2017, respectively. The objective of these workshops (I and II) was to establish standards for gene banks management, which would grant patents for gene banks functioning at a national level. These national standards are in line with international standards (FAO, 2014). Participation at the workshops was also crucial networking opportunity in promoting LATINCROP research and its objectives. Besides the approved standards, a National Committee was formed to coordinate activities among national gene banks under the National Institute of Biodiversity in Ecuador. The covered topics during the workshops included: National regulations for gene bank management at global level, gene bank for orthodox seed, gene bank for recalcitrant seeds, gene banks for field collections, and in vitro gene banks. These workshops were a vital asset in preserving gene banks in the future and conserving the agrobiodiversity of the Andean species.

4.1. Dissemination activities and tools
A dissemination tool to greatly improve the knowledge of Andean crops among consumers, farmers, extension workers, researchers and administrators was the publication of agrobiodiversity calendars. During 2016, UMSA in Bolivia prepared a preliminary version of the Andean products calendar, which was completed and published in 2017. The calendar 2017-2018 describes the traditional and technical management of Andean crops around the year (soil preparation, sowing, harvest and post-harvest), in addition to compost application, fertilization and festivities associated to crop management. During 2016 and 2017, in cooperation by UMSA and PROINPA, a calendar on the Integrated Management of Andean Crops (potato, oca, papalisa, quinoa, cañahua, faba bean, tarwi and barley) was constructed for two diversity centers of near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia (Figure 1).
Two participatory workshops were conducted with farmers from Cachilaya and Coromata Media of La Paz Bolivia to compile the data for the calendars, and the collected information was completed by the technical management of the PROINPA Foundation. An agricultural calendar describing cañahua management in Bolivia was developed by PROINPA, based on the experience of the community of Coromata Media. The calendar describes local management practices of cañahua such as: a) Soil preparation, b) Planting, c) Crop development, d) Harvest, e) Post-harvesting, and f) Uses in food, processing and food preparation techniques. The calendar also includes local traditions (festivals and rituals) associated with crop management of cañahua. These agricultural calendars hold an important status of reinforcing and improving the status of these selected native Andean crops. The calendars provide important information to help improving the production of these crops, conserving agrobiodivesity, as well as advertise increasing the consumption of the crops.
During 2017, INIAP conducted an agricultural calendar for quinoa for Cotacachi, Colta and Guamote (Chimborazo) communities in Ecuador (Figures 2 and 3). A Technical Committee within INIAP, which suggested publishing the calendars also in Quechua language, approved the calendars. The calendars were created using the local knowledge received from the farmers in these communities. These calendars are expected to improve the knowledge, conditions and resilience of the farming systems in these communities.

4.2. Andean cookbook.
Melting Pot Bolivia and Gustu restaurant, with an input from the other partners, published an Andean cookbook in September 2017. The book offers traditional as well as modern recipes for all of the selected seven crops of quinoa, amaranth, cañahua, lupin, arracacha, yacón and isaño (Figure 4). The cookbook also offers information to the reader about the health aspects and nutritional values of the LATINCROP species, as well as history and background information of the crops, the production and consumption habits of the crops. The built up of the recipes was initiated with Gustu restaurant who developed many of the recipes with Manq'a gastronomy schools in Bolivia. The cookbook was published through a web link, to be free and available for everyone. The book was also advertised during the LATINCROP restaurant workshops organized in Denmark and Spain in 2017, by giving out the link of the book to the workshop audience. This way of dissemination and wide promotion of the cookbook is expected to reach many people around the world, hereby increase the knowledge of these underutilized Andean crops, and inspire the use of these crops in modern cooking.

Potential Impact:
The potential impacts and the main dissemination activities of the LATINCROP project are divided into the main themes of the project, where work has been divided according to the Work Packages. The four main themes of LATINCROP are environment, economy, social aspects, as well as networking- all in creating an integrated strategy for conserving the agrobiodiversity in Latin America. With the focus of the main themes of the project, the potential impacts and main dissemination activities of the project are described under four relevant subtitles called: 1. Improved conservation of the Andean agrobiodiversity, 2. Identification of promising underutilized crops for commercialization initiatives, 3. Improved food security and preservation of traditional knowledge, and 4. Reinforcing and supporting existing activities and information sources into a more unified network.

1. Improved conservation of the Andean agrobiodiversity

In order to strengthen in situ conservation of the prioritized LATINCROP crops and, in particular, for the implementation of community seed banks, several awareness activities were carried out in the Andean countries. Events and activities were organized with local producers and community and municipal authorities, highlighting the importance of conserving their genetic heritage. Visits to gene banks were also directed so that farmers can get to know the facilities of seed banks, and refer to them to request seeds of varieties of interest. This is expected to encourage farmers to gain knowledge on gene banks and conservation efforts on agrobiodiversity, as well as deposit their seeds to be safeguarded.

For conservation efforts, organizational strengthening contributes to promoting conservation, production of crops, as well as assists providing a link between agrobiodiversity products and the markets. For LATINCROP to establish conservation and exploitation strategies in the Andean countries, the experiences gained from the project and the results are planned to be shared with producer organizations, as well as public and private institutions, giving rise to activities on Andean grains and organic production. The next step is to strengthen the producer organizations for the niche markets under the integrated approach of bio-economy, culture and environment. From the environmental point of view, the dynamic conservation of the agrobiodiversity of Andean crops is very important, especially for adapting to climate change in the future.

From August until September 2016, Universidad Mayor San Andrés (UMSA) participated in three workshops related to public policies in helping to promote food consumption provided by local family agriculture. One workshop was called "Política Publica de Promoción del consumo de alimentos de la Agricultura Familiar”, which was organized by the Vice-minister of Environment and Rural Development, in collaboration with Tierra Foundation and PROAGRO/GIZ.

In Ecuador, INIAP participated in four meetings in 2016, focusing on reviewing law on conserving the local agrobiodiversity. Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAGAP), Ecuadorian institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI), Ministry of Environment (MAE), Institute for Assuring Quality of Agricultural Production of Ecuador (AGROCALIDAD), together with INIAP, participated at these meetings. INIAP representatives promoted topics such as farmers’ rights, conservation areas, gene banks, centers of biological knowledge and agricultural development. This resulted in a new law created by the registrar office in June, 2017, called “the Organic law on agrobiodiversity, seeds and promotion of sustainable agriculture” (Supplement Year 1, No. 10). This law includes fundamental articles for the protection, conservation, promotion, monitoring of the local agrobiodiversity, as well as use of Ecuadorian native crops in part of promotion of ancestral dialogue and diverse production systems. In Ecuador, as another conservation aim, a workshop was held in Cotacachi, province of Imbabura in 2015, to boost the idea of declaring the local agrobiodiversity in Cotacachi as a heritage site. The idea was discussed with the producers and local native organizations. It would ensure conservation becoming a priority for the governmental authorities, and this would likely also result in more economical support for the conservation. The model is still under process of being implemented, but it is likely to represent a policy that would protect the local agrobiodiversity.

2. Identification of promising underutilized crops for commercialization initiatives

On September 20th 2016, PROINPA and Melting Pot Bolivia (MPB) held a meeting with Andean producers from Coromata Media and Cachilaya together with Gustu restaurant, in aim to strengthen the relationship between producers and the local restaurant in La Paz. Gustu expressed interest in contributing to business initiatives in buying agrobiodiversity products directly from the local producers. Gustu has since 2016 made direct contact with producers of LATINCROP crops in Bolivia, and the products have been supplied to Gustu weekly. This is a great initiative and an example to set for future collaboration in creating new markets with other restaurants and local producers. From the economic perspective, it has been demonstrated that for example for the case of quinoa, cañahua and lupin, it is possible and necessary to at least duplicate the current levels of production. This can be done through the development of an appropriate ecological technology. This could also help with the high demand of the crops in the market.

PROINPA assisted in identifying the greatest potential and novel use of the selected project crops and their wild relatives. The most important activities found to reach the full potential of these crops was to promote the expansion of organic farming and identifying and cooperating with local producers and companies. LATINCROP partners of Melting Pot Bolivia, PROINPA, and UMSA, worked together with local producers from Sorata and San Miguel communities in Bolivia. The aim of this networking and knowledge exchange was also form lasting supplier relationships with the Gustu restaurant in La Paz, and the producers of Sorata and San Miguel. Cultivars of quinoa, cañahua, lupin and ararracacha are already being supplied to Gustu from the communities. This will have a great impact in promoting the crops to the customer base at Gustu, as well as supporting the small-scale organic production at the communities of Sorata and San Miguel.

The gastronomy events organized in 2017 by Melting Pot Bolivia, SINAGRO in Spain and UCPH in Denmark, assisted in introducing the LATINCROP products to the European consumer and market. The workshop participants included chefs, investors, stakeholders, business owners and other food- and agrobusiness representatives in Europe and Latin America, the Bolivian ambassador in Denmark, and other embassy representatives. These LATINCROP restaurant workshops could be the initial step in creating new partnerships and opening new routes for the Andean crops into the European market. For this to generate the added value for the local farmers, however, it requires that the value chain is developed with sustainable supply and demand components, with fair suppliers, processors, hotels, restaurants and other consumers and actors in the chain. This can help generate conditions for Fair Trade nationally and internationally.

In Peru, a market investigation was conducted for amaranth, and an exporting company Export Sierra of Peru developed a commercial profile for the crop. Interviews were held with farmers with a strong conservation approach and who conserves the diversity of amaranth, and several small and private producers were interviewed in Vilcanota valley, Cusco. Aim of this market analysis was to form a long lasting and transparent networking relationship, that would both improve and increase the production and exportation of the crop, as well as the well-being of the local farmers. With the increasing production, also the local consumption of this nutritious crop would preferably increase. Work done in the Work Package 3 greatly focused also on the development plans of the bio-economy in the Andean countries. This has been addressed in the context of conceptual framework of bio-economy at an academic level at local universities, as well as institutional level with the Ministry of Environment. Proposals and institutional plans to incorporate sustainable agricultural development policies based on concepts such as biotechnology and biotrade were introduced and addressed.

3. Improved food security and preservation of traditional knowledge

Melting Pot Bolivia (MPB) demonstrated in La Paz and Tarija during 2016 and 2017, how the incorporation of quinoa, cañahua, isaño and ararracacha would improve the Bolivian family diet. These crops provide more secure, stable and nutritious food to the local population in the Andes. MPB and UMSA promoted the project crops through several cooking contests, fairs and workshops, which resulted in useful, accessible and educational information gained by the local people. These events were organized to promote the different and diverse ways to use the seven crops by offering people recipes, information, samples and tastings. The problem of malnutrition and childhood anemia was also addressed together with several farmer organizations, women's organizations and other institutions. Alternative solutions based on the improvement of the diet of Andean crops was also represented. For these discussions, information on the nutritional components of the crops provided by the project partners was very valuable. Also the chemical analysis results of quinoa and isaño provided from CSIC-Spain were also important sources in helping to address the dietary and food insecurity issues.

Gastronomic testing of two quinoa varieties (Chimi Jupha and Janqu Jupha) and two cañahua varieties (Chuqipitu and Chuquichilliwa) was performed by Melting Pot Bolivia and PROINPA, in order to identify alternative uses of agricultural biodiversity in Bolivia. The texture, consistency, taste, cooking time, and other characteristics of the crops were evaluated. Throughout various meetings with farmers, alternative uses of yacon, isaño, ararracacha and lupin were identified. Farmers in Ecuador have presented several potential uses of quinoa (energy bars, popped grains, granola, flour, milk, chips, extruded starches, dyes, saponine, protein concentrates, sprouts, malt beverages, noodles, etc.). Quinoa flour can be a partial substitute of wheat flour for bread, biscuits and pastries, as well as an alternative for people with celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Both fresh and processed chocho (Andean lupin) are being consumed in Ecuador, as are sprouted grains, vegetable-based lupin meat, lupin with condiments with chili, milk and yogurt. These new and alternative uses of the crops can radically increase the consumption of the crops and therefore have a positive impact on reducing food insecurity, in the Andean countries, but also globally if the consumption of these crops expands elsewhere.

UNAP participated in a gastronomic working day as part of the Annual Municipality Fair “Flavors from Titicaca” in Peru, 2014. The conservation strategy introduced was to gradually incorporate cañahua, colored quinoa and tarwi (Andean lupin) in menus for restaurants and hotels for tourists. At a national level, information about the LATINCROP priority crops was shared at the Mistura fair in 2014 and 2015, held together with Peruvian Gastronomic Association (APEGA). Recipes based on the LATINCROP crops were presented at the events, and revaluation and incorporation of the crops in gastronomy was promoted. Wong and Vivandi supermarkets already commercialize many of the crops and tubers, and showed an increasing demand especially for black isaño. At the international level, LATINCROP participated in the CEPROCA fair in Jujuy, Argentina in 2015, promoting dishes with quinoa, cañahua and tarwi through demonstrations and tastings. There was a notified increase of interest in the production and consumption of quinoa, cañahua and lupin in North-East Argentina (Salta, Jujuy) followed by the fair.

4. Reinforcing and supporting existing activities and information sources into a more unified network

4.1. Social fairs and knowledge exchange
The project partners have participated and organized several fairs and workshops, which has resulted in a focus on the societal and economic importance for underutilized Andean crops. For example the Biodiversity Fairs held as annual events in the Andean countries were organized with the participation of farmers, institutions, local authorities, regional authorities and other actors. Conservation and use of the project crops in agrobiodiversity centers were promoted in these events. The potential impacts of these fairs include knowledge sharing and promotion of the Andean crops amongst the different social groups and actors involved. The workshops held on food diversification of the project crops used the opportunity to promote new ways to consume and use the crops, and the new agrobiodiversity products that have been developed within and outside the LATINCROP project. This knowledge is expected to greatly contribute to the local food security. The project partners also held knowledge sharing workshops in the Andean countries for all the actors from the production chain of yacón, ararracacha, and isaño.

LATINCROP partners participated in the Tambo Tarija Fair in 2017. Tambo fair is a meeting point where the field of gastronomy and the native products are the means to revalue the Bolivian food heritage, and to reaffirm the cultural identity by integrating the entire food chain from producer to consumer. Melting Pot Bolivia (MPB) promoted the LATINCROP products through Andean cuisine at these gastronomic events. MPB also participated in the Saborea y Vive la Paz (taste and live the peace fair) in September 2016. Information about LATINCROP was disseminated at the event, promoting the products and the importance of the Andean diet to a wide audience consisting of general public, chefs and gastronomic enterprises. Restaurant Gustu, as part of Melting Pot Bolivia, also made several presentations about the gastronomic value of Bolivia’s widely unknown agrobiodiversity, with a focus on the LATINCROP species. These presentations included venues such as Parabere Forum in Bilbao, Spain, Menu in Panama, ÑAM Latin American Food Festival in Santiago, Chile, A Rota Das Estrelas in Lisbon, Portugal, Gastronomic Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ExpoMilan, CIA Menus of Change Conference in New York, USA, and BASE III International Forum for the Development of the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) in Mexico City.

MPB, UMSA and PROINPA, held a LATINCROP workshop at the experimental stations of Choquenaira and Quipaquipani in Bolivia. The project partners presented their work in conservation and promotion of Andean crops to a wide audience consisting of agronomists, academics, students, farmers, as well as all the nine LATINCROP project partners. MPB and Gustu restaurant spoke about the alternative uses of the seven project crops, and the producers were informed about the trend in the gastronomic world for a demand for the Andean crops. New stakeholder connections were made at the workshop, including Fundación Valles, the Royal Danish Embassy, ICCO, I3 Impacto Social, and la Universidad Privada Boliviana. New contacts were also made with Irupana, Foundation NuevoNorte, Pro Mujer and the Ministry of Rural Development and Land. 48 Development students from the School for International Training and 56 gastronomy students from the University of El Alto were also engaged in the workshop and introduced to LATINCROP.

Throughout the project period and amongst all the project partners, the message, products and purpose of LATINCROP research objectives has been widely and successfully exploited, both within Europe and Latin America. Since the Gustu restaurant facebook page was created in the beginning of 2017, Melting Pot Bolivia actively shared information about LATINCROP on the page ( In total, 22 blog posts were published in the page, along with information, several photographs and recipes of the LATINCROP products. The page has a wide international reader’s base, and therefore is likely to reach many people across the world. LATINCROP has also been reported in many magazines and newspapers in Europe and Latin America. MPB was part of articles written about the ararracacha producers in San Juan de la Miel, and lupin producers in Carabuco, published in the Escape magazine and La Razón newspaper in Bolivia. In addition, other dissemination activities by MPB included interview by the Spanish CNN, interview of the head chef of Gustu and the MPB initiative with the UMSA Agronomy Faculty´s channel about the LATINCROP project. MPB also coordinated with UMSA creating a platform in the Canopy Bridge ( publishing a list of the local producers, so that interested buyers can contact them directly. The stakeholder list of LATINCROP was updated with our developed contacts such as Irupana, Swebol, Pro Mujer, Anesvad, Responsibility, Canopy Bridge and Delizia, improving the networking connections of the project. The Andean cookbook prepared by Melting Pot Bolivia, with assistance and additional material received from the other project partners, was published in 2017. The book was published free through a web link to ensure as wide reader base as possible. The cookbook, including traditional and modern recipes of all the seven crops, is an extremely valuable tool providing knowledge and promoting the usage of the Andean crops.

4.2. Promoting Andean crops through Gastronomy events
With the objective of boosting the use and consumption of Bolivian agro-biodiversity, and strengthening the relationship between gastronomy and the bio-economy, several cooking contests were organized by the project partners. The "Revalorizando Productos Bolivianos" cooking competition, held by MANQ'A schools and the LATINCROP project, was organized to support the production of small producers and improve their living conditions, their families and communities. The event was aimed at boosting the knowledge and development of recipes with the project crops in Bolivia of Yacon, Tarwi, Cañahua, Quinoa and Amaranth. The jury of the cooking contest consisted of distinguished chefs, such as Kamilla Seidler, Oscar Mora (AGB) and Humberto Cheverría (ACB). This helped to raise an additional interest on the event, and to disseminate information about LATINCROP and the project objectives to a wider audience. The Pagina Siete Newspaper also published an article about the event.

LATINCROP partners of SinAgro, Melting Pot Bolivia and UCPH organized Restaurant Workshops held in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 13th, and in Zaragoza, Spain on October 17th 2017. The workshops were organized in aim to fulfill the project objective of establishing sustainable commercial use of the underutilized Andean crops in the European market. The workshops were also an opportunity to spread information amongst the different stakeholders about the properties and uses of these crops. Raw crops and secondary products were imported from Bolivia to Europe for the workshop and products were given to local restaurant chefs, who tested the products and cooked at the workshops. These cooking shows were an ideal way to represent the diverse use of the crops and products, to both the chefs and stakeholders, and an opportunity for people to taste dishes made of these unique crops. PROINPA created two business models (fresh product line and dry product line) for commercializing lupin in Europe. This market model was divided into two large groups of industrial and gastronomic companies. Contacts have been made with European companies working with Andean products who have quickly expressed their interest in obtaining samples of product followed by the restaurant workshops.

UNAP cooperated with a chef from the Hotel Libertador in Lima, Peru, in order to develop the Novoandina kitchen, Several landraces and traditional varieties of quinoa from the Puno region, such as white (Choklito), transparent (Chullpi), red (Pasankalla), black (Q'oitu) and yellow (Wariponcho), were tested. The chef prepared modern dishes in the form of soup, grains, mashed, cake, bread, fritters, pudding and drinks, in addition to fruit salads and vegetables. Tastings of the dishes were offered to international tourists staying in the hotel. UNAP also organized meetings with young entrepreneurs in food industry for the potential use of quinoa, cañahua, isaño and lupin in the region of Juli, Yunguyo and Juliaca in Peru. Group of young graduates from the Higher Technological Institute and the Faculty of Food Industry Engineering of the National University of Altiplano, are in fact carrying ongoing projects related to the development of products based on isaño and quinoa, such as extracts, beverages, breads and cookies. The drink based on isaño, has already a good demand in the local market, for its anti-inflammatory properties, which prevent prostate or urinary tract diseases.

4.3. Other dissemination activities
During 2016, Melting Pot Bolivia (MPB) and Universidad Mayor San Andrés (UMSA) made a preliminary contact with the Faculty of Tourism in Bolivia, where the objectives of the LATINCROP project were explained and possible future collaboration plans were discussed. The activities included the inclusion of students from the Faculty of Tourism and promotion of research areas within LATINCROP crops as bachelor thesis topics for the students. MPB furthermore established a link with a potentially interested Bolivian NGO, Codespa. It focuses on developing community and sustainable tourism. During 2017, UMSA also made efforts to strengthen the association of quinoa producers of ADEPQUIPAZ in La Paz, by promoting a new agro tourism route called “The Quinoa Route”. From these efforts a specific website was launched for this purpose: Other exchange of knowledge and dissemination activities include the several research and student exchanges organized by the project partners and hosted by each. Several students from Latin America visited Europe, and vice versa, which greatly strengthened the research, cooperation and networking within the LATINCROP consortium and between Europe and the Andean countries.

List of Websites:

Sven-Erik Jacobsen project coordinator