Quinoa, a grain crop which is cultivated for its edible seeds, has been domesticated in South America for thousands of years. It belongs to the species of the goosefoot genus. Pronounced "keen-wa", this crop is considered to be a healthier option when compared to starchy grains. It comes in three different varieties: whole grain white, red and black. Due to its favorable characteristics such as being protein-rich, high in vitamins and fiber, and low in fat, the nutritional powerhouse is also known as superfood. The United Nations declared 2013 as the "International Year of Quinoa" in recognition of the indigenous peoples of the Andes, who have preserved quinoa as a staple for present and future generations.
Over the years, the global production of quinoa had been increasing significantly, surpassing 228 thousand metric tons in 2015. Quinoa is almost exclusively grown in South America. In 2015, the three main producing countries were Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. In line with the exorbitant increasing quinoa demand from developed countries, the global price saw a tremendous growth from 2010 to 2014. It more than doubled from 2.96 U.S. dollars in 2010 to 6.74 U.S. dollars in 2014.
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