Australian Quinoa Industry RD&E Plan 2024-2029

  • 54 pages

  • Published: 7 Dec 2023

  • Author(s): Jon Clements, Doug Hall, Michael Jones

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-439-4

Share this content
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • email
  • Download report PDF

  • Purchase a hard copy - AUD $50

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is an ‘ancient grain’ that was domesticated about 8,000 years ago in South America, where it became an important part of Andean indigenous diets.

The main plant product, the seed, is highly nutritious and generally has a higher protein and fibre content than cereals; protein content averages 14%, with a range of 7.5 to 22%. Quinoa seed also has an excellent amino acid profile and a low glycaemic index, is gluten-free, and has low allergenicity. Additionally, the flour can be used as a gluten-free substitute in wheat-based baking.

Quinoa can be cultivated over a wide range of latitudes and altitudes, and is tolerant to adverse environments, including high salinity, drought and low temperatures. With global annual production of about 147,000 tonnes, mainly from Peru and Bolivia, there is good scope for quinoa to become more important in other countries, including Australia, especially on marginal soils in a range of environments.

The Australian industry consists of a diverse but small set of quinoa growers and producers, several quinoa seed and processed product importers, and a limited number of product manufacturers (who use mainly imported quinoa but also some Australian-produced quinoa).

To further develop the Australian quinoa industry, AgriFutures Australia commissioned this RD&E Plan. The Plan is based on a combination of desktop research and consultations with stakeholders across Australian quinoa supply chains. It summarises the status of the industry and outlines five RD&E priorities, each with associated strategies and activities, to support its long-term growth.

The priorities are: (1) Develop new quinoa varieties for Australian conditions with improved seed quality and yield; (2) Increase consumer demand through understanding customer, retailer and manufacturer awareness and knowledge of the health benefits, nutritional benefits and culinary uses of quinoa and quinoa-based products, and address identified gaps through extension activities; (3) Establish a quinoa industry network that will take ownership of and facilitate strategies to grow the Australian industry; (4) Develop agronomic information packages for existing and new varieties to improve yield and increase seed quality and profit; and (5) Undertake an economic analysis of quinoa supply chains to better understand the benefit-cost ratio of priorities and strategies in this RD&E Plan and those that may evolve from the proposed quinoa industry network.