Growing amaranth is a profitable venture for those who wish to get into agriculture. You can make money with little investment if you know how to grow amaranth properly. Also, you can reap profits quickly.
The scientific name of Amaranthus is Amaranthus. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. Actually, Amaranthus is an annual or short-lived perennial plant. Globally you can see around 600 varieties of Amaranthus.
But some of them are good for leaves and some are perfect for grains. In addition to that Amaranthus is also cultivated as ornamentals in some parts of the world.
Currently, the United State of America produces the most amaranth. It grows best in the upper Midwest and in the Great Plains, particularly in western North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, etc.
Is Amaranth Farming Profitable?
Amaranthus has the potential to be used for a number of purposes. In fact, it is one of the most widely grown grains today. It is actually used in various foods such as bread, cereal, pasta, and snacks. Whole grain products made from amaranth include crackers, cookies, cakes, muffins, waffles, pancakes, and tortillas. Flour can be found in both white and brown varieties.
Amaranth is rich in dietary fiber and has no cholesterol. It can be popped or flaked and used in combination with wheat flour, corn flour, rice flour, buckwheat flour, rye flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, barley flour, oatmeal, potato starch, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, and cornstarch. Flour is an excellent thickener for soups, stews, sauces, etc.
Apart from cereals, there are some varieties that are perfect for consumption as green leaves. It’s great for both humans and animals. These days, organic amaranth fetches high profits.
Different Regional Names of Amaranthus
- Chaula, ramdan, lal saag (
- Rajgiri (Kannada, Konkani, Sanskrit)
- Bustan Afroz, Mawal (Kashmiri)
- Rajgira, Shavrani math (Marathi)
- Taj Khurus (Punjabi)
- Gulkesh (Urdu)
- Punkirai (Tamil)
- Chilaka Thotakoora (Telegu)
- yan yang (Vietnam)
- Pak Hom (Laos)
- Kulitis (Philipines)
- Hiyuna (Japan)
- Thampala (Sri Lanka)
Health Benefits of Amaranth
- Most importantly, the most important thing about this tiny grain is that is gluten-free.
- It has more minerals, including calcium, iron, phosphorous, and carotenoid than most vegetables.
- Furthermore, it contains a lot of protein. One serving (about ¾ of a bowl) contains 28.1 g of protein, which is almost double the amount found in oatmeal (26.3 g), and more than triple the amount found in brown rice (13.1).
- Magnesium, phosphorous, and Potassium are minerals found in spinach.
Nutritional Value of Amaranth
Serving size: 1/2 cup (120 ml) =
- The total fat content is 1.6 grams per serving (2
- Sodium 6 mg 0%
- Potassium 135 mg 3%
- The total carbohydrate intake for women is between 50 grams and 75 grams
- Dietary Fiber contains 2.1 grams of dietary fiber per serving
- Protein 3.8 g 7%
- Calcium 4% Iron 11%
- Vitamin B-6 5%
- Magnesium 16%
Best Varieties for Growing Amaranth
You should select the variety depending on the end product you wish to grow. Some varieties are suitable for growing grains and others are good for growing vegetables and leaves.
Varieties for Grain Production
- Amaranthus caudatus
- Amaranthus cruentus
- Amaranthus hypochondriacus
- Amaranthus Retroflexus
Varieties for Leafy Greens
- Amaranthus Blitum
- Amaranthus Dubius
- Amaranthus tricolor
- Amaranthus Viridis
Profitable Indian Varieties of Amaranth
- Badi Chauli
- Chhoti Chauli
- Lal Sag
- CO-I (A. Dubius)
- CO-2 (A. tricolor)
- Pusa Kiran
- CO-3 (A.tritis)
- CO-4 (A. Hypochondriacus)
- Pusa Lal Chaulai
- Pusa Kirti
Agro-Climatic Condition for Amaranth Cultivation
Amaranthus is an herbaceous annual grown worldwide for food and fiber. It is native to South America where it was cultivated by indigenous people before being introduced into Europe and North Africa.
In the United States, amaranth is used primarily as animal feed and green manure. Amaranthus seeds contain high levels of protein and essential amino acids. Amaranthus oil contains fatty acids such as linoleic acid and oleic acid.
Amaranthus seed meal is rich in proteins and fats and can be fed to livestock. Amaranthus leaves and stems are edible. They taste similar to spinach and chard. Amaranthus is easy to grow and requires little care. You can sow seeds directly outdoors
Suitable Soil for Amaranth Farming
Generally, amaranth grows best where soils are rich in organic matter and humus. Amaranthus seeds should be planted in deep, loose, friable soil in full sun.
They require a warm temperature range (55°F–85°F) during germination. After emergence, plants grow slowly and require very little water.
Read: How to start a soil testing service business
Cost of Amaranth Production
Actually, the price of producing amaranth is moderate; however, the amount of fertilizers needed is minimal. Furthermore, it requires a relatively small seed rate. Nevertheless, the sowing and cultivation costs are comparable to other grains, considering the use of similar equipment.
Moreover, you should also think about the other expenses associated with the harvesting and post-harvesting phases. In particular, take into account the transportation costs if you plan to sell your products locally.
Growing Amaranth Basic Steps
You can usually grow the plant both during the summer and rainy seasons, but you need to start planting after six to eight months after the last frost.
The seeds of this plant are very small. They’re usually planted in rows (broadcast) or mixed into the ground (flatbed).
After planting the seeds, raise them in the nursery during rainy seasons at a distance of 45 centimeters between rows, 30 centimeters apart from each other. One kilogram of seeds is enough for an area of 1 hectare.
You can grow amaranth by applying residual fertilizers from the previous crop. According to the results of the test, you might need to add some manures. Generally speaking, you can apply urea at 25kg per hectare for vigorous growth.
Generally, the crops require ample amounts of water for growth and high yields. In summer, the plants need frequent watering. You may apply water twice or three in a day. But in the monsoon, it should be applied according to the moisture level of the ground.
If you plant amaranth between rows of cowpeas, you can grow them alternately. Intercropped with cucumbers is highly effective for amaranth cultivation.
On average, the amaranth seed yields range from 1000 to 2000 kg per hectare.
When to Harvest Amaranth
To harvest amaranth grains, let them grow until they turn yellow or deep brown. You can begin gathering them at any time.
Growing amaranth is an extremely profitable opportunity for farmers and entrepreneurs who own enough farmland. With a short period of cultivation, they can expect a high return.
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