In recent years Peru has become the world leader in quinoa production, but are new competitors on the way?
In 2014, Peru solidified its leadership in quinoa production over Bolivia. Producing around 114.3 thousand metric tons to Bolivia’s 77.4 thousand metric tons, Peru has cornered their strong position in the market.
Previously, Bolivia had been the world’s leading producer.
The rising demand for Quinoa abroad has brought thousands of small farmers out of poverty in Peru and Bolivia when prices were high. Until now, no one could really compete with Peru and Bolivia in quinoa, but that may be changing.
As NPR states, the problems come when prices fall, and high prices attract competitors.
As Peru industrializes their quinoa production with modified crops, Bolivian farmers cannot keep up. Also, other countries like the United Arab Emirates are looking to enter commercial production, which is likely to further increase supply and lower prices.
Could it be we are nearing quinoa’s full transition into large industrialized farm operations? If what is happening in Bolivia is any indication, there may no longer be high profits for the small Andean farmer.
For now, Peru as a country seems to be adapting well to the changes in the quinoa market as more competitors eye their place. It is harder to say how Peru’s small and medium sized farmers will adapt.