Quinoa gets popular in the lower latitudes

Together with India, other countries in the lower latitudes start cultivating quinoa as well. Day length and soil properties seem to be appropriate but researchers are still experimenting about the right sowing date and irrigation methods.

In 2008, Mr Hassan Munir started experiments on fields in Pakistan (http://www.shahzadbasra.com/quinoa/) and Morocco is busy already since 1999 (http://www.fao.org/quinoa-2013/press-room/news/quinoa-morocco/en/).

The Moroccon experiments have been conducted in order to research the optimum sowing date for a successful quinoa production. The trials, conducted by Hirich, Choukr-Allah and Jacobsen in 2014 have taken place in various regions in Morocco. Fields were planted in Khenifra in the Atlas mountains, in Rhamna on silt-sandy loam, in Rabat on sandy soil and in Agadir. The yields of the crop 2012/2013 varied a lot: from 1.5t/ha in Rhamna up to 7.4t/ha in Agadir, on fields that had been fertilized with treated wastewater. Abiotic factors such as temperature and the photoperiod are very decisive when it comes to final yields. Lower temperatures and short days (in January and February) seem to have negatively influenced the quinoa yields. Biotic factors, such as the spread of downy mildew and weeds in the warmer months (March) can also cause crop loss. In order to avoid these negative influences, it has been concluded that the best sowing date shall be in November or early December since cold temperatures during the germination phase can be avoided as well as the mildew and weed period. For details, the following document gives insight into the experiment: Quinoa in Marocco