Quinoa Scheme an opportunity for diversification, says Amatheon Zambia

Quinoa Scheme an opportunity for diversification, says Amatheon Zambia

There has been an overwhelming response from both emerging and Commercial farmers to venture into Quinoa cultivation opportunity as a form of diversification and the better prices per ton it offers.

Hence Amatheon Zambia has revealed that it is still awaiting group approval to proceed and engage interested farmers who wish to venture into Quinoa cultivation as out-growers.

The team that visited the farm based in Mumbwa on June 22, 2020, to appreciate the viability of growing the Quinoa crop in Zambia and expanding the outgrower scheme, Amatheon Agri Zambia Managing Director Troy Minne reiterated that the proof of concept has been done.

Minne revealed that the company already purchased quinoa from the local out-grower farmers dotted around and near the farm. He stated that the potential of the crop is immersed but will need support from stakeholders to proceed with expansion plans. 

The Amatheon MD had earlier disclosed that Quinoa is mainly grown to satisfy export markets in Europe and other key quinoa consuming markets.

He confirmed that his company was buying Quinoa at about US$40 (about K720) per 50kg bag. He further stated that Amatheon had budgeted to buy about 250 tons of quinoa from its out-grower farmers in Mumbwa worth about US$200,000 (about K3.6 million) in 2020. 

The Agri-Business company has introduced commercial quinoa production in Zambia with about 800 hectares under commercial cultivation on its farm at Mumbwa. The farm is one of the largest agribusinesses in Zambia with over 20 centre pivots, each with a span of about 450 meters.

Quinoa is a rice-like grain that is highly nutritious, has all the nine amino as in proteins, high in fibre and is considered a viable substitute for rice and couscous. 

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