Forgotten Andean crops
The high Andes of Bolivia and Ecuador, and the Araucania in Southern Chile are highly vulnerable to climate change, show high poverty incidence, and have few economic opportunities. Legumes of the Lupinus genera show high adaptation capacity to adverse weather and soil conditions. In Bolivia and Ecuador prevail the bitter Lupinus (Lupinus mutabilis), while in Chile, both bitter and sweet (L. albus, L. angustifolius y L. luteum) species are cultivated. It is estimated that in Bolivia approximately 1500 ha of Lupinus are cultivated mostly by smallholders. In Ecuador it is estimated that there are 9596 farms that cultivate a total of 5974 ha. In Chile over the last 5 years, the cropping área in bitter Lupinus has fluctuated between 4600 and 12300 ha, while in sweet Lupinus it has fluctuated between 5900 and 12700 ha. Bitter lupinus is cultivated mainly by the Mapuche ethnic group, while sweet lupinus is cultivated by entrepreneurs who cater the animal feed industry. Lupinus have high nutritional value in terms of protein, calcium, iron and zinc, among others.
The Project purpose is to promote technological innovations to strengthen resilience of production systems in the High Andes of Bolivia and Ecuador and Southern Chile through the introduction of Lupinus and thus contribute to improve farmers wellbeing.
The Project developed a series of technological innovations in Lupinus production, processing, and consumption, and thus contributed to increase knowledge about the crop as well as increased economic and environmental benefits for farmers.
The technological solution
The following technological solutions were developed
1. Lupinus production: Crop management techniques, planting density and inoculum of rhizobias for lupinus seeds were defined.
2. Postharvest: Tarwi (Lupinus angustifolius) debittering technique and tarwi thresher for family use.
3. Local consumption: Different recipes made from tarwi based on local and external knowledge were generated to promote consumption.
4. Transformation: The entire production process of high quality tarwi mote (in Quechua chuchusmuti) was implemented for its commercialization in supermarkets.
In Bolivia, there was a large yield variability during a dry year (270 mm) vs a normal year (450 mm).
- The beatle Apion sp and Anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp), can reduce productivity up to 80% and 40%, respectively.
- A threshing machine was introduced in local communities to reduce labor and increase grain quality.
- A technology to remove alkaloids was validated. It reduced water use from 80 to 40 l/kg of grain.
- A recipe containing 9 local dishes was prepared and promoted among families.
- A partnership was established with a private enterprise to improve lupinus image and three processed products were sold in the two main supermarket chains in Cochabamba. In 2017, 1500 units were sold/month.
In Ecuador yields increased from 515 to 909 kg/ha due to fertilization.
- Local varieties showed good yields but could not compete in a drier year with the new variety “INIAP 450 Andino” which is more precocious.
- A new technique to remove alkaloids was developed. It reduced processing time from 84 to 58 hours, and wáter use from 96 to 66 l/kg of grain.
- Processed lupine without alkaloids is consumed by 71 % of families in the highlands, 20 % in the Coast and 87 % in the Eastern region. Per capita consumption per year is 4 kg in the highlands and Eastern region and 2 kg in the Coast.
- Partnerships were established with private companies to evaluate acceptability and preference for various lupine products (flour, chrunchy grain, liophilized powder, frozen, canned, flavored milk and yogurt). In 2017, the first batch of lupine flour (300 kg) was sold to the Czech Republic.
In Chile L. albus showed a superior potential yield than the other two species. The “Alboroto INIA” variety had an average yield of 4.7 t/ha during the first season and 5.7 t/ha during the second one. L. angustifolius had an intermediate yield and L. luteus showed the lowest yield.
- L. luteus had the highest protein content, followed by L. albus and L. angustifolius. However, due to its highest productivity, L. albus had the highest production of protein per ha (1500 to 2000 kg).
- BYMV (Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus) appears to be a potential problema for lupine production in Southern Chile. A rye hedge surrounding lupine parcels stopped aphid trasmission and reduced significantly the incidence of BYMV.
- A meeting was organizaed between INIA and a private salmon feed mill. As a result it started to buy and process lupine.
The project trained, under different modalities, more than 500 producers, in addition, more than 100 families were direct beneficiaries that currently market tarwin to local companies.
Sustainable Development Goals
- Fundación para la Promoción e Investigación de Productos Andinos (PROINPA) - Bolivia
- Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) - Chile
- Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) - Ecuador