The Chinyama Family’s Amaranth Project
The Chinyamas have always enjoyed growing millet and sorghum but last year they were introduced to something new. “We have always eaten mowa leaves (Amaranthus hybridus) as a vegetable but now we are growing amaranth grain” says Mr Chinyama.
In the field Mr Chinyama noted that the amaranth grain crop is showing no signs of moisture stress despite receiving only 160mm of rainfall and experiencing a 31-day mid-season dry spell. “The yields are very high from each plant although like finger millet the grain is rather hard to process” said Mr Chinyama.
The crop is grown for sale. “We have been told we’ll receive 60c per kg for the crop” said Chinyama.
BIZ works with smallholder farming families like the Chinyamas to source indigenous and traditional crops from Mudzi and Mutoko districts for commercial use. BIZ provides market information, optimal production practices, and industry standards information to farmers to help ensure the quality and quantities the market demands. BIZ works on R&D and product formulation for new, healthy foods that use these ingredients, informed by sound market research, thereby linking farmers to new and profitable markets. In the case of the grain amaranth, BIZ helps connect farmers to companies like Hutano Foods, which uses it in a range of healthy, delicious snacks and breakfast cereals for the growing domestic and tourism markets.