LA PAZ, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has proposed establishing an international quinoa center in Bolivia's high plateau region of Oruro, an FAO official said Thursday.
The FAO's national coordinator in Bolivia, Einstein Tejada, noted that the department of Oruro is Bolivia's main producer of the staple grain, which is in great demand on the international market.
"Quinoa production is spreading internationally ... thus we should acknowledge that it is a natural resource for all mankind," said the coordinator.
Bolivia is the world's largest quinoa producer, cultivating 96,000 hectares of quinoa and accounting for 70 percent of global output.
According to the Bolivian Ministry of Productive Development and Plural Economy, the country's quinoa exports grew from 8.91 million U.S. dollars in 2006 to 79.9 million dollars in 2012, while in the first half of this year, the exports increased 93.5 percent year on year.
Ivan Cahuaya, director of Promueve Bolivia, the state export promotion agency, said the increase is due to the government's export campaigns.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has been named special ambassador of FAO for the the International Year of Quinoa 2013 to advocate the highly nutritive grain.