Amaranth: a solution to food insecurity in kenya.

Amaranth is an apt alternative to maize farming in Kenya due to the unreliable supply of this staple corn product that has aggravated food insecurity in the country. Farmers need to be sensitized to the benefits of growing amaranth, locally known as terere - which can be consumed as a grain, ground into flour or as a vegetable.

With adequate rain, maize takes 3 months to reach maturity while amaranth takes around two months and requires very little rain, hence the crop can perform well even during dry seasons. Amaranth flour makes mouthwatering chapatti, doughnuts, uji, and Ugali which has a superior nutritional value. It has a distinctive sweet but peppery taste, one that many people prefer combined with other grains, for a mellower flavor. Technically, it's not a grain; it's the fruit of a plant. And that's the reason it contains a more complete protein, and more of it, than other traditional grains.
Meeting your daily protein needs with complex carbohydrates, rather than animal protein, is both healthier for you and a boon to your weight-loss efforts. That's because animal protein often comes packaged with fat and cholesterol (two dietary components that you definitely wish to consume less). For something new, different, and highly nutritious in your diet, try amaranth and have some fun experimenting and discovering your favourite ways to use it.

Even when just a little is included in a recipe, the benefit is worth it. For anyone cutting down on meat, amaranth offers a bonanza of near-complete protein. It's not as low in the amino acid lysine, as many other grains are. It is also much richer in iron, magnesium, and calcium than most grains, so it can help keep anemia and osteoporosis at bay. It excels as a source of fiber, mostly insoluble, which is of help in reducing the risk of a variety of diseases, including heart disease, certain cancer and digestive-tract condition.

Mr. Fanuel Odhiambo, a Nutrition and food security expert in UNHCR highly recommends the grain for women who are breastfeeding and for management of diseases such as diabetes, tuberculosis, malnutrition, and liver complications. Is Amaranth worth investing in? Big yes! Planting the amaranth seed costs only KES 400 per acre, which can yield up to KES 30,000 in income. Amaranth flour goes for KES 200-250 compared to maize flour that is now sold at KES 105-120 depending on the brand, for a packet of two kilograms. In ample supply, a packet of maize meal sells at about KES 85.

My advice! Let’s diversify our farming to African Leafy Vegetables and ‘Terere’ is just one on these nutritious mouthwatering veges.

Have ‘vegetarious’ day!

 Image source: Flower Encyclopedia

Tagged Under
Get in Touch

Are you interested in learning more about MFarm? Do you have a new project that you want to talk to us about? Contact us at the number or email address below
+254 110 095 865

All content provided on this MFarm blog site is for informational purposes only. MFarm makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.
MFarm will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. MFarm will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
This terms and conditions are subject to change at any-time with or without notice.