New Grain Amaranth Varieties for semi-arid areas
Amaranthus is a herbaceous, annual upright and fast growing plant in the Amaranthuceae family. It consists of about 60-70 different species spread all over the world in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical climates. Grain amaranth (A. hypochondriucus and A, creuntus) is an early maturing, drought tolerant crop suitable for a wide range of agro-climatic conditions. It has multiple uses as a vegetable, nutrient rich grains and livestock feed. Amaranth can grow in a wide range of environmental conditions between 0-2,400 m above sea level. It is a warm climate plant and thrives well between 22-35oC under plenty of sunshine. Grain amaranth is relatively drought tolerant and with grain yield of up to 500 kg. It can however be grown all year around under irrigation. The crop thrives well in deep well drained soils with high organic matter. Shallow, stony, crusty clay soils with waterlogging logging should be avoided.