Superfoods for Health – Amaranth & Quinoa Production (2012-2013)

Funding: Canadian Agriculture Adaptation Program - AAC

The objective of this project was to further the development of quinoa and amaranth as viable local commercial crops in Ontario.  Despite a significant drought in 2012, this project was able to demonstrate that quinoa and amaranth production is viable in Ontario.  These small scales trials across Ontario demonstrated that a yield of 800-1000 lbs of quinoa and amaranth is achievable.  The financial model derived from the output of this project is attractive and feasible for producers in Ontario to be growing local quinoa.  This was demonstrated by the high uptake and interest in growing these crops in 2013 (over 50 producers).  Reducing weed competition and improved harvesting techniques will further add to the viability of these crops in future years.  The next step in this development is to expand into larger scale, commercial plots.  The support from AAC in this CAAP project also helped to establish the requirements and infrastructure required for a successful quinoa industry in Ontario.  Through this work, and above and beyond the many producers we engaged, we were able to attract strong interest and even letters of intent from Canadian distributors and processors who are strongly interested in high quality local Ontario quinoa production.  

Access to a new specialty crop for Ontario producers will help increase Ontario’s agricultural diversity and reduce current food imports.  The timing of the success of this project is ideal as the United Nations has named 2013, the year of the quinoa which has inflated the quinoa demand.