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China, Bolivia begin talks on quinoa investment

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LA PAZ, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- China and Bolivia began talks on quinoa to invest in the production and industrialization of the Andean "golden grain".

Meeting Bolivian Rural Development Minister Nemesia Achacollo, China's Ambassador to Bolivia Li Dong said the two countries could work together on quinoa production to benefit both peoples.

Quinoa, native to Chile, has been cultivated in the Andean highlands since at least 3000 B.C.. It grows best at high altitudes in climates with cool days and even cooler nights.

The Bolivian minister also said he would continue talks over quinoa production during his upcoming trip to Asia, including China, Japan and South Korea.

Quinoa is Bolivia's sixth largest non-traditional export. In 2012, Bolivia harvested nearly 80 million U.S. dollars from the sale of some 26,000 tons of quinoa, according to the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute.

The United Nations designated 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa at an event held last week in New York, attended also by Bolivian President Evo Morales.

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