[8 October/Radio NZ]

Kate and Hamish Dunlop had the idea to start growing quinoa five years ago. They now grow the food on part of their sheep and beef farm in Taranaki. They planted their first crop three years ago, and have found it relatively easy with good yields. Mr Dunlop said it was not officially a grain, and was actually classed as a seed. Whilst it emerges from the ground looking like a small green weed, it flourishes under the right conditions. He added their rich volcanic soil resembled the crops origins. It originated in the Andean region of north-western South America, with livestock uses dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. Mr Dunlop noted the seed was imported through the Ministry for Primary Industries under strict control. He said after three years they had not run into any problems. They initially harvested 1.5 tonnes per hectare, but this was up to 3.5 tonnes per hectare last harvest.