Quinoa: A New Crop for Harsh Environments

  • Kameswara Rao Nanduri
  • Abdelaziz Hirich
  • Masoumeh Salehi
  • Saeed Saadat
  • Sven Erick Jacobsen
Part of the Tasks for Vegetation Science book series (TAVS, volume 49)


Extraordinary adaptations of quinoa caused expansion into different geographic areas with different soil and climate conditions. Water scarcity, soil salinity, and low water quality are main reasons of low food production in the Middle East and North Africa region. Quinoa was considered for food production using saline water and soil in this region. Field experiments in saline area of Iran showed that quinoa (Titicaca cv.) could produce 2.4 t ha−1 seed yield in 14 dS/m saline water and 2.3–3 t ha−1 in 20 dS/m saline water in Turkey and Morocco. Almost 7–10 t ha−1 seed yield was obtained with 16–18 dS/m saline water in UAE. Among the genotype, Titicaca had high yield stability in different climate conditions. The studies in the region showed that quinoa has high adaptation to the agroclimatic conditions and, therefore, has excellent potential as an alternative crop to rehabilitate salt-affected farms which have become uneconomical for the cultivation of the traditionally grown crops. All countries in the region worked on adaptability and agronomic practices. Scaling up the project needs agro-climatologically zoning and selecting appropriate areas with saline water and soil, which are not suitable for conventional crop production and seed processing, marketing, mechanization, and national government policy, for quinoa extension.


Chenopodium quinoa Saline water Halophyte 



Thanks to Mohammad Shahid and Khalil Ur Rahman Butt for assisting in the fieldwork and in the data collection in UAE. Thanks to Dr. Basra, Dr. Shahid, and Dr. Jalal Kamli for sending germplasm to Iran and Vali Soltani, Hassan Zare, and Seyyed Jalil Hasheminasab for fieldwork and data collection in Iran.


  1. Abugoch James LE (2009) Chapter 1 Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.): composition, chemistry, nutritional, and functional properties. In: Steve LT (ed) Advances in food and nutrition research. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Adolf V, Shabala S, Andersen M, Razzaghi F, Jacobsen S-E (2012a) Varietal Differences Of Quinoa’s Tolerance To Saline Conditions. Plant Soil 357:117–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adolf VI, Jacobsen SE, Shabala S (2012b) Salt tolerance mechanisms in quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.). Environ Exp Bot 92:43–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baig A, Baig M, Ali Q, Khan C (1985) Agro-ecological zonation of pothwar. A. Wheat. B. Maize. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, 68Google Scholar
  5. Bazile D (2014) State of the art report on quinoa around the world in 2013. In: Bazile D (ed) Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO), SantiagoGoogle Scholar
  6. Bazile D, Bertero H, Nieto C (2015) State of the art report on quinoa around the world in 2013, FAOGoogle Scholar
  7. Bazile D, Pulvento C, Verniau A, Al-Nusairi MS, Ba D, Breidy J, Hassan L, Mohammed MI, Mambetov O, Otambekova M, Sepahvand NA, Shams A, Souici D, Miri K, Padulosi S (2016) Worldwide evaluations of quinoa: preliminary results from post international year of quinoa Fao projects in 9 countries. Front Plant Sci 7:850PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Bendevis MA, Sun Y, Shabala S, Rosenqvist E, Liu F, Jacobsen S-E (2014) Differentiation of photoperiodinduced ABA and soluble sugar responses of two quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) cultivars. J Plant Growth Regul 33:562–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benlhabib O, Jacobsen SE, Jellen EN, Maughan PJ, Choukr-Allah R (2014) Status of quinoa production and research in morocco. In: Bazile D (ed) State of the art report on quinoa around the world in 2013. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), SantiagoGoogle Scholar
  10. Bertero H, King R, Hall A (1999) Modelling photoperiod and temperature responses of flowering in quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.). Field Crop Res 63:19–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blanco JA (2015) Fodder and animal feed. In: Bazile D, Bertero H, Nieto C (eds) State of the art report on quinoa around the world in 2013. FaoGoogle Scholar
  12. Bois J-F, Winkel T, Lhomme J-P, Raffaillac J-P, Rocheteau A (2006) Response of some andean cultivars of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) to temperature: effects on germination, phenology, growth and freezing. Eur J Agron 25:299–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brakez M, El Brik K, Daoud S, Harrouni MC (2013) Performance of chenopodium quinoa under salt stress. In: Developments in soil salinity assessment and reclamation. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  14. Brakez M, Harrouni M, Tachbibi N, Daoud S (2014) Comparative effect of nacl and seawater on germination of quinoa seed (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd). Emirates J Food Agric 26:1091CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brakez M, Daoud S, Harrouni MC, Tachbibi N, Brakez Z (2015) Nutritional value of chenopodium quinoa seeds obtained from an open field culture under saline conditions. In: Halophytes for food security in dry lands. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p 37Google Scholar
  16. Ceccato D, Bertero D, Batlla D, Galati B (2015) Structural aspects of dormancy in quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa): importance and possible action mechanisms of the seed coat. Seed Sci Res 25:267–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Choukr-Allah R, Nanduri KR, Hirich A, Shahid M, Alshankiti A, Toderich K, Gill S, Butt KUR (2016) Quinoa for marginal environments: towards future food and nutritional security in MENA and central Asia regions. Front Plant Sci 7:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. De Munter JS, Hu FB, Spiegelman D, Franz M, Van Dam RM (2007) Whole grain, bran, and germ intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study and systematic review. PLoS Med 4:E261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dost M (2015) Field evaluation results across locations and identification of suitable quinoa varieties. Project (Tcp/Rab/3403–Fao)Google Scholar
  20. Dregne H, Kassas M, Rozanov B (1991) A new assessment of the world status of desertification. Desertification Control Bull 20:6–18Google Scholar
  21. Eisa S, Hussin S, Geissler N, Koyro HW (2012) Effect of Nacl salinity on water relations, photosynthesis and chemical composition of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) As a potential cash crop halophyte. Aust J Crop Sci 6:357–368Google Scholar
  22. El Youssfi L, Choukr-Allah R, Zaafrani M, Mediouni T, Ba Samba M, Hirich A (2012) Effect of domestic treated wastewater use on three varieties of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa) under semi arid conditions. World Acad Sci Eng Technol 68:306–309Google Scholar
  23. Fghire R, Wahbi S, Anaya F, Issa Ali O, Benlhabib O, Ragab R (2015) Response of quinoa to different water management strategies: field experiments and saltmed model application results. Irrig Drain 64:29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Filali K (2011) Caractérisation Et Évaluation Du Rendement De Lignées De Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa) Dans La Région De Rhamna. Diplôme De Master En Biotechnologies Et Amélioration Génétique Des Productions Agricoles, Institut Agronomique Et Vétérinaire Hassan IiGoogle Scholar
  25. Filali K, Hirich A, Benlhabib O, Choukr-Allah R, Ragab R (2016) Yield and dry matter simulation using satlmed model for five quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa) accessions under deficit irrigation in South Morocco. Irrigation and Drainage, In PressGoogle Scholar
  26. Flowers T, Hajibagheri M, Clipson N (1986) Halophytes. Q Rev Biol 61:313–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Garcia M, Condori B, Castillo CD (2015) Agroecological and agronomic cultural practices of quinoa in South America. In: Quinoa: improvement and sustainable production. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 25–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. General Directorate Of Soil And Water (1978) Soil resources of Turkey. General Directorate of Soil and Water, AnkaraGoogle Scholar
  29. Ghaffari A, Ghasemi VR, De Pauw E (2014) Agro-climatically zoning of Iran by Unesco approach. Iran Dryland Agron J 4:63–95Google Scholar
  30. Ghassemi F, Jackman AJ, Nix AH (1995) Salinization of land and water resources. Cab International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  31. Hariadi Y, Marandon K, Tian Y, Jacobsen S-E, Shabala S (2011a) Ionic and osmotic relations in quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) Plants grown at various salinity levels. J Exp Bot 62:185–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hariadi Y, Marandon K, Tian Y, Jacobsen SE, Shabala S (2011b) Ionic and osmotic relations in quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) Plants grown at various salinity levels. J Exp Bot 62:185–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hirich A (2013) Using deficit irrigation with treated wastewater to improve crop water productivity of sweet corn, chickpea, faba bean and quinoa. Revue Marocaine Des Sciences Agronomiques Et Vétérinaires 2:15–22Google Scholar
  34. Hirich A (2014) Effects of deficit irrigation using treated wastewater and irrigation with saline water on legumes, corn and quinoa crops. Phd, Hassan Ii Institue of Agronomy and Veterinary MedicineGoogle Scholar
  35. Hirich A, Choukr-Allah R, Jacobsen S-E, El Yousfi L, El Omari H (2012a) Using Deficit Irrigation With Treated wastewater in the production of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) in Morocco. Revista Científica Udo Agrícola 12:570–583Google Scholar
  36. Hirich A, Choukr-Allah R, Jacobsen S-E, Fahmi H, Rami A, Laajaj K, El Youssfi L, El Omari H (2012b) Etude De L’effet De L’irrigation Déficitaire Et De La Salinité Sur Céréales, Légumineuses Et Quinoa. 1ère Journées Doctoriales De L’institut Agronomique Et Vétérinaire Hassan Ii. Rabat, MarocGoogle Scholar
  37. Hirich A, Choukr-Allah R, Jacobsen S-E (2013) The combined effect of deficit irrigation by treated wastewater and organic amendment on quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) Productivity. Desalin Water Treat 52:2208–2213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hirich A, Choukr-Allah R, Jacobsen SE (2014a) Deficit irrigation and organic compost improve growth and yield of quinoa and pea. J Agron Crop Sci 200:390–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hirich A, Choukr-Allah R, Jacobsen SE (2014b) Quinoa in Morocco – effect of sowing dates on development and yield. J Agron Crop Sci 200:371–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hirich A, Choukr-Allah R, Jelloul A, Jacobsen S-E (2014c) Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) Seedling, water uptake and yield responses to irrigation water salinity. Acta Hortic 1054:145–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hirich A, Jelloul A, Choukr-Allah R, Jacobsen SE (2014d) Saline water irrigation of quinoa and chickpea: seedling rate, stomatal conductance and yield responses. J Agron Crop Sci 200:378–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jacobsen SE (2003) The worldwide potential for quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.). Food Rev Int 19:167–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jacobsen SE (2014) New climate-proof cropping systems in dry areas of the mediterranean region. J Agron Crop Sci 200:399–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Jacobsen S, Bach A (1998) The influence of temperature on seed germination rate in quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd). Seed Sci Technol (Switzerland) 26:515–523Google Scholar
  45. Jacobsen S, Quispe H, Mujica A (1999) Quinoa: an alternative crop for saline soils in the Andes. Scientist and farmer-partners in research for the 21st century. Cip Prog Rep 2000:403–408Google Scholar
  46. Jacobsen S-E, Quispe H,Mujica A (2000) Quinoa: an alternative crop for saline soils in the Andes. Cip Program ReportGoogle Scholar
  47. Jacobsen SE, Mujica A, Jensen C (2003) The resistance of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) To adverse abiotic factors. Food Rev Int 19:99–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Jacobsen S-E, Monteros C, Christiansen J, Bravo L, Corcuera L, Mujica A (2005) Plant responses of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) To frost at various phenological stages. Eur J Agron 22:131–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Khan MA, Anwar CM (1968) Sand dune rehabilitation in Thal, Pakistan. J Range Manag 21:316–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Khan MA, Gul B (2006) Halophyte Seed Germination. In: Ecophysiology of high salinity tolerant plants. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Koyro HW, Lieth H, Eisa SS (2008) Salt tolerance of Chenopodium Quinoa Willd., grains of the Andes: influence of salinity on biomass production, yield, composition of reserves in the seeds, water and solute relations. Mangroves Halophytes Rest Util:133–145Google Scholar
  52. Lavini A, Pulvento C, D’andria R, Riccardi M, Choukr-Allah R, Belhabib O, Incekaya Ç, Metin Sezen S, Qadir M, Jacobsen SE (2014) Quinoa’s potential in the mediterranean region. J Agron Crop Sci 200:344–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Loftas T, Ross J (1995) Dimensions of need: an atlas of food and agriculture. Food & Agriculture Organisation, RomeGoogle Scholar
  54. Massoud F, Girard M (1978) The use of satellite imagery in detecting and delineating a salt affected soilsGoogle Scholar
  55. Mhada M, Jellen E, Jacobsen S, Benlhabib O (2014) Diversity analysis of a quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) germplasm during two seasons. World Acad Sci Eng Technol Int J Biol Biomol Agric Food Biotechnol Eng 8:273–276Google Scholar
  56. Munir H, Basra S (2009) Improved germination and seedling vigor enhancement of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) Grown at different salinity levels. In: Sustainable management of saline waters and salt-affected soils for agriculture: proceedings of the second bridging workshop Aleppo, Syria 15–18 November, Icarda, p 33Google Scholar
  57. Negewo BD (2012) Renewable energy desalination: an emerging solution to close the water gap in the middle East and North Africa. World Bank Publications, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  58. Nelson M, Maredia M (2001) Environmental impacts of the cgiar: an assessment. A report from Tac’s standing panel on impact assessment. Fao, RomeGoogle Scholar
  59. Nowak V, Du J, Charrondiere UR (2015) Assessment of the nutritional composition of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.). Food ChemGoogle Scholar
  60. Nsimba RY, Kikuzaki H, Konishi Y (2008) Antioxidant activity of various extracts and fractions of Chenopodium Quinoa And Amaranthus Spp. seeds. Food Chem 106:760–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Oldeman L, Hakkeling R, Sombrock W (1991) Global assessment of soil degradation (Glasod). World map of the status of human–induced soil degradation, Isric WageningenGoogle Scholar
  62. Oussible M, Baamal L, Yousfi Y, Belcaid M, Benlhabib O (2013) The effect of different soil tillage systems on the stand establishment and grain yield of quinoa crop in Morocco. In: Choukr-Allah R (Ed) International conference on sustainable water use for securing food production in the mediterranean region under changing climate. Agadir, MoroccoGoogle Scholar
  63. Panta S, Flowers T, Lane P, Doyle R, Haros G, Shabala S (2014) Halophyte agriculture: success stories. Environ Exp Bot 107:71–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pedersen SM, Benlhabib O, Xhoxhi O, Lind KMH, Ørum JE (2013) Farmers perception of quinoa-experience from bouchane region in Morocco and Adana in Turkey. Proceeding: sustainable water use for securing food production in the mediterranean region under chainging climate, Agadir, MoroccoGoogle Scholar
  65. Pulvento C, Riccardi M, Lavini A, Iafelice G, Marconi E, D’andria R (2012) Yield and quality characteristics of quinoa grown in open field under different saline and non-saline irrigation regimes. J Agron Crop Sci 198:254–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rao N, Shahid M (2012) Quinoa–a promising new crop for the Arabian Peninsula. Am Eurasian J Agric Environ Sci 12:1350–1355Google Scholar
  67. Rao NK, Rahman K, Ismail S (2013) Quinoa: prospects as an alternative crop for salt-affected areas. In: Hall R, Rudebjer P, Padulosi S (eds) 3rd international conference on neglected and under-utilized species (Nus) For Food Secure Africa In Book Of AbstractsGoogle Scholar
  68. Razzaghi F, Ahmadi SH, Adolf VI, Jensen CR, Jacobsen SE, Andersen MN (2011) Water relations and transpiration of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) under salinity and soil drying. J Agron Crop Sci 197:348–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Razzaghi F, Ahmadi SH, Jacobsen SE, Jensen CR, Andersen MN (2012) Effects of salinity and soil–drying on radiation use efficiency, water productivity and yield of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.). J Agron Crop Sci 198:173–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Repo-Carrasco R, Espinoza C, Jacobsen S-E (2003) Nutritional value and use of the andean crops quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa) and Kañiwa (Chenopodium Pallidicaule). Food Rev Int 19:179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ruiz-Carrasco K, Antognoni F, Coulibaly AK, Lizardi S, Covarrubias A, Martãnez EA, Molina-Montenegro MA, Biondi S, Zurita-Silva AS (2011) Variation in salinity tolerance of four lowland genotypes of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) As assessed by growth, physiological traits, and sodium transporter gene expression. Plant Physiol Biochem 49:1333–1341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sepahvand NA (2012) Investigation on adaptation, phonological and agronomical characters and quality of quinoa in Iran. Final report, agricultural research, education & extension organization, Project Grant Number 2-03-03-86275Google Scholar
  73. Shams A (2011a) Combat degradation in rain fed areas by introducing: new drought tolerant crops in Egypt. Int J Water Res Arid Environ 1:318–325Google Scholar
  74. Shams A (2011b) Response of quinoa to nitrogen fertilizer rates under sandy soil conditions. Int J Water Res Arid Environ 1:318–325Google Scholar
  75. Umali DL (1993) Irrigation-induced salinity: a growing problem for development and the environment. World Bank Publications, Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Verdier F (2011) Mena regional water outlook part II desalination using renewable energy task 1–desalination potential. Fichtner StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  77. Wilson J (1932) Notes on the biology of Laphygma Exigua Hübner. Fla Entomol 16:33–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Yazar A, Incekaya Ç, Sezen SM, Jacobsen S-E (2015) Saline water irrigation of quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa) under mediterranean conditions. Crop Pasture Sci 66:993–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Zevallos V, Herencia L, Ciclitira P (2015) Quinoa, coeliac disease and gluten-free diet. In: Bazile D, Bertero H, Nieto C (eds) State of the art report on quinoa around the world in 2013. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kameswara Rao Nanduri
    • 1
  • Abdelaziz Hirich
    • 1
  • Masoumeh Salehi
    • 2
  • Saeed Saadat
    • 3
  • Sven Erick Jacobsen
    • 4
  1. 1.International Center for Biosaline AgricultureDubaiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.National Salinity Research Center, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)YazdIran
  3. 3.Soil and Water Research Institute, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)KarajIran
  4. 4.Department of Agriculture and Ecology, Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenTastrupDenmark

Personalised recommendations