Superfood quinoa could be farmed in Cornwall withing three years thanks to global warming, according to new research.
The tiny grain, which is packed with health benefits including dietary fibre, magnesium and iron, was originally grown by the Incas in South America. But now, due to changing climate, the trendy superfood staple could be harvested on British soil in Cornwall.
Parts of the south-western county became subtropical from 2000 onwards, due to global warming, with temperatures of 10C or greater for more than 7 months of the year. As a results, maize, grapevines and tea are already growing there.
Study author Dr Ilya Maclean, of Exeter University, said: “In terms of temperatures, quinoa could be farmed in temperatures today.
“It doesn’t like frost. We’d like to see it grown in the country in the next three years. The next stage is working with farmers to work out what is possible. One example of this is how well the wine industry in Cornwall is doing. Vineyards are enjoying more and more success each year.
“Products such as quinoa tend to be more profitable than more traditional forms of agriculture, per hectare, compared to something like dairy farming. It does help that quinoa is a popular superfood. Producing it is just one part of the process, selling it is another.”