The United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization have announced 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa, as proposed by the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The objectives for the celebration are symbolic of the newfound global appreciation for the pseudo-cereal and a call for action. Only recently has quinoa emerged from its former status as a neglected foodstuff outside of key production areas. This announcement observes the seed’s new-found prominence by holding a series of symposia and forums on recent agronomic and social research conducted with farmers on agro-ecological farming practices, Andean and global markets, nutrition, and cultural values of quinoa. Parallel projects include photography and art exhibitions and the elaboration of quinoa cookbooks, tailored to a range of international cooking traditions.
With global support, the traditions and biodiversity of quinoa in the Andean region can be utilized as a potential tool in poverty eradication in the Andes and in reducing malnutrition through distribution via the World Food Program. Besides boosting food security programs and economic livelihoods in Peru and Bolivia, amongst other producing countries, the program has spurred cooperative efforts among Andean countries to conduct farmer and processer exchanges. Trough the various projects and collaborations that emerge from the International Year of Quinoa, it is hoped that the promotion of quinoa production, trade, and consumption can be cultivated for the mutual benefit of quinoa farmers in the Andes and for the achievement, or at least partial achievement, of the Millennium Development Goals.