Quinoa’s called a superfood for a reason.

Not only is it super-high in both protein and fibre, the little seed called quinoa may be the thing to save us from a future food shortage in the UAE according to experts.

Yesterday, more than 150 leaders, policymakers, scientists, experts and professionals from over 46 countries came together at Zayed University in Dubai to share the latest developments in quinoa research, production and trade worldwide.

Why should I care, you ask? Well this meeting is all about how quinoa could be successfully cultivated in countries affected by water scarcity and salinity (and the UAE is one of them).


By 2050, the world’s population is expected to be around 9.7 billion, and there are concerns for the capacity of agriculture to produce enough food.

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This makes it tough for regions already plagued by malnutrition, water scarcity and soil degradation, and those who are forecasted to have a large population growth.

quinoa dubai

A quinoa plant growing in the Peruvian salt flats. Who knew that’s what they looked like?

Speaking at the conference, Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE said, “Climate change poses one of the greatest threats to humanity. Countries that already suffer from droughts, water shortages and salinity are at an even greater risk,” WAM reports.

“We urgently need to find solutions and adapt and where possible mitigate the effects of climate change on different fronts, including agriculture.

“Quinoa can play a major role as a staple crop in marginal environments due to its adaptability to harsh environments including poor saline soils with annual rainfall as little as 200mm.”

The UAE receives on average around 93mm of rainfall per year.

In 2005, the UAE’s population was around four million – with estimates that the population is set to reach 10 to 15 million by 2020.

Such a rapidly-growing population will breed the need for more food – and if quinoa’s as bountiful in arid lands as the experts suggest, then this small seed could come as a saviour to any future food crises.

And, it’s carb free.

Watch this space.

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Images: Getty