Quinoa grain now also cultivated in Flanders


For the first time, the grain quinoa, native to South America, is being grown in Flanders, as it increases in popularity

20 hectares this year

The first hectare of the South American grain crop quinoa has been sowed on Flemish soil, in the East Flemish town of Zulte. About 110 hectares of quinoa will be sowed across Belgium this year, 20 of those in Flanders.

“That is a big difference with last year, when only 10 hectares were sowed, only in Wallonia,” said spokesperson Greet Riebbels of the Flemish Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Research (Ilvo).

Ilvo is also involved in experimental research on quinoa cultivation, specifically on studies examining the ideal time for sowing and the right fertilisation processes. Herbicides are being tested at the Provincial Test Centre for Vegetable Cultivation in East Flanders. There currently is no product approved to protect quinoa against weeds, according to Ilvo.

Flemish agriculture and horticulture

Flanders is an important global food exporter. The main agricultural activities differ from region to region – with pig, cow, vegetable and dairy-farming the most important. In recent years, the sector has been heavily affected by the economic downturn and falling global food prices.
Green - Organic farming accounts for just a fraction of Flemish agriculture, but the sector has slowly been growing in recent years.
Greenhouse - Flanders has been a trailblazer in mapping the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Forgotten - Flemish horticulture’s “Bel’Orta” label aims to promote lesser-known vegetables like parsnip, parsley root and kohlrabi.

percent of Belgium’s fruit harvest comes from Flanders

25 982

agriculture businesses in Flanders in 2011

51 530

people employed in Flemish agriculture and horticulture in 2011