World Renew’s (formerly Christian Reformed World Relief Committee or CRWRC) work on introduction and promotion of grain amaranth in East Africa began in 1999 in 2 villages, Ngaamba and Kalonzoni, in the semi-arid part of the Machakos District of Kenya. World Renew staff, Tom Post and Francis Muthoka, received training and amaranth seed lines from Dr. Davidson Mwangi, a Kenyan agronomist who had been working on selecting amaranth lines for some twenty years. Amaranth’s drought resistance and drought avoidance, its requirement of about 50% of the water required by maize, it’s high protein/high lysine content with a good balance of amino acids and other nutrients, and its taste acceptability---particularly when mixed with other staples such as maize and millet, wheat, cassava, ---- led World Renew to begin experimenting with grain amaranth in the semi-arid circumstance of these villages. These were also villages located in a region that had repeatedly sought CFGB-World Renew food relief during drought years.
The goal of this evaluation was to determine the impacts and lessons from the grain Amaranth promotion work of World Renew, CFGB and the World Renew partnering organizations in East Africa.