Bolivian quinoa
An irrigation system has been shown to double the yield of quinoa per hectare.

SHEBOYGAN, WIS. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Kashi both have joined the Andean Family Farmers partnership, which is designed to support quinoa farmers in Bolivia.

Currently the A.F.F. is working to install irrigation systems that will serve farms in five communities in Bolivia. An irrigation system has been shown to double the yield of quinoa per hectare. Thanks to the support of ADM’s social investment program, ADM Cares, another 10 irrigation systems may be installed during 2015-16 in preparation for the 2016-17 crop.

“We’re proud to partner with A.F.F. to help improve irrigation and farming conditions for Bolivian quinoa farmers,” said Ken Campbell of ADM’s Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business. “Projects like this one help ensure safe, sustainable farming practices for local farmers and also provide ADM with unique products such as quinoa to help our customers meet the growing demand for healthier ingredients and products.”

The cost of each irrigation system will be funded by an interest-free loan to each community against delivery of quinoa. Because of the anticipated increase in crop yield, the loans may be repaid within two years. Subsequent proceeds will accrue for community benefits, including investment in irrigation.

Kashi, a business owned by the Kellogg Co., is helping to fund the A.F.F. Light-A-Community project to bring electricity to quinoa growing regions. The project will supply solar-powered electricity to off-grid rural homes and irrigation projects far from electrical lines.

Kashi’s support is helping A.F.F. provide solar power to up to 60 homes in six farm communities. The solar package should allow children to do homework after dark. Farm families will be able to watch television, run a computer or charge a cell phone, which will give them access to market information.

The Light-A-Community project also involves installing solar power systems to drive pumps that feed irrigations systems from wells. Irrigation systems should be installed and solar-equipped in four communities this year.

Andean Naturals, a U.S. importer of organic quinoa and other ancient grains, set up the Andean Family Farmers program in 2013 to coordinate and expand its support to family farmers growing quinoa by traditional methods. Andean Naturals has offices in Sheboygan as well as Yuba City, Calif., and La Paz, Bolivia.