Amaranth today is characterized by increasing popularity. Its properties are in demand in various industries, in the organization of individual nutrition, in supporting the household. Convincing in this increase in demand for the products of a given crop, an increase in the area occupied by its cultivation. In the total number of such areas, a certain proportion falls on plots in individual households.
Get acquainted: vegan and individual share with Vinnitsa region Artem Kovalchuk
Today Artem Kovalchuk is not considered a novice in the cultivation of amaranth, but, by some measures, he came to this recently, and almost by accident. By the way, Artem Kovalchuk is a mechanical engineer by training.
– Three years ago – the third year, I started to do it. Just heard from a good friend about amaranth. Once there was nothing to do, and the earth was, there was time, I decided to sow amaranth. I started reading about it, I ordered the seeds through the agricultural university.
– Your first experience – was everything like in the special literature, scientific recommendations?
– All that interested me was whether the yield and the results that many describe. Growing technologies, how it is sown, how it is processed, what it is harvested with, – became interested in this even when it sowed and reaped the first harvest. No, of course, before I read what sowing norms, width, and adhered to these recommendations. My first landing amaranth was 50 acres.
– And how many seeds sold?
– I definitely didn’t count it, because I sowed it with an ordinary manual seeder, and I didn’t even know that it was better to mix amaranth seeds with some cereal. Put the minimum seeding rate, and sowed. Well, maybe 100 grams went to the whole area.
– You didn’t adjust the seeder, didn’t adjust it, because the usual grain is larger than amaranth?
– Changed nothing, only set the minimum seeding rate. He was even afraid that he sows very small, that the grain is very small and may not grow. But the shoots were so thick that they had to be thinned several times. Further I already considered it. For the first time I did not even expect that there would be a very good germination, I was only worried, at least it was up. I did not even expect that there would be such results, such a harvest, that there would be so much grain. I was more engaged in the Ultra variety, and his yield is low. They write that it is possible to collect from three to five tons of grain, then yes, if the crop is harvested by hand, then you can, the losses will be smaller.
– When you thin out, where do you put greens, throw them away?
– First, these shoots were thrown away, as in the case when the beet thinned out. And then, last year, I used these herbs to make tea, took them to salads.
In general, I began to grow amaranth for myself. I read about amaranth and wanted me to have both butter and amaranth grain. I am a vegan, and in my diet there are no dairy products, fish, meat, eggs, but only plant products, fruits, vegetables.
– As a vegan, you probably grow microgreen …
– No. I grow on two or three acres, and I don’t think that I’m doing it.
– In addition to amaranth, some other crops were grown?
– No. Although I come from the village. Amaranth inspired me. But this year I sowed amaranth and some chickpeas. One friend is the owner of a cafe, he has chickpeas in his kitchen, and he turned to me if I could sow chickens. He sowed chickpeas, and everything is the same as for amaranth: no watering, no special technologies: sowed, thinned and everything. I do not process anything, I do not splash it.
Many are discussing how to deal with pests, bugs … Over the past two years I have never seen them. That’s when usually the grain is cleaned, then the bugs are present in it, but there was no amaranth in the grain.
– Amaranth was not given any dressing?
– No. I had land, where for about 8 years nothing was brought in, nothing was sown, and there alone weeds grew. Then I sowed amaranth with the thought, “what will be, it will be,” and I grew a good harvest. There were areas in the valley, – there is very poor germination, – maybe because of the high humidity. This year I even took my seeds the worst in appearance, then they gave 80% germination.
With sales worse. Last year, Alexander Duda helped me – he advised me people who could buy amaranth, people called me, bought grain. It really helped – I sold a very large part of the harvest. This year, take a little.
Sales as one of the main issues in the cultivation of amaranth
It should be noted that the market today is considered quite diverse. The largest consumer of amaranth grain has become the health food industry. This is due to the low content of saturated fats, sugars, sodium in amaranth, the absence of gluten, the presence of significant amounts of protein, including 18 essential amino acids for the body, vitamin complex and rich mineral composition (calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and others .). As a result, every product based on this plant is recognized throughout the world as a valuable source of nutrition. Amaranth is called the food culture of the twenty-first century, the food of long-livers, giving immortality.
The most valuable is amaranth oil – a clear thick liquid with a delicate taste and aroma. To produce 1 liter of this product, it is necessary to process 25 kg of seeds, therefore its cost reaches 900-1000 € / l. High demand for amaranth oil due to properties:
- assistance in prevention and treatment;
- enhancing the effect of dietary nutrition;
- rejuvenation of the body;
- improvement of the action of cosmetics.
It is established that the composition of amaranth oil includes omega-3, -6, -9 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as a powerful antioxidant squalene. This organic compound has the ability to block the damaging effects of free radicals and prevent the development of cancer. Today amaranth oil is used not only in the food and confectionery industry, it is also in demand in medicine and pharmaceuticals, perfumery, cosmetology, production of personal hygiene products and in some branches of the technical industry.
All these aspects of the amaranth sales market are more concerned with large producers, firms and large companies engaged in the cultivation of amaranth.
Small commodity producer in the market
Artem Kovalchuk, who is familiar to us, calls himself a small proprietor, and, as it became known, he is having a difficult time on a large sales market, but this is how it is explained.
– I sell uncertified seeds, without a quality certificate, without a grade certificate.
– You did not try to get a certificate?
– It could be, but what’s the point? If I grew amaranth on a large area of hectares for 10, 20 and more, for example, then I would do it. I grow for myself in a small area, and go to the laboratories to get a certificate, and then think, who will buy this grain or not buy – I do not think about it.
– “For myself” – for greens, grain. Do not produce oil?
– I do, of course. This year I watched maslovyzhimalki, different blenders, mills, picked up options, and I think in the near future to purchase. While you have to contact someone to get, for example, butter.
– If you grow an amaranth without making any chemicals, previously it was unlikely that someone applied any fertilizers to the land that you got, you can assume that you have organic amaranth.
– To those who buy grain, I say, if you know how to test this product for all impurities, chemistry, please check in any laboratory, I am not afraid of that.
– If in general: do you think growing an amaranth is profitable?
– In Ukraine, yes. This is if by product. In business, I do not know … If there is an opportunity to take large areas, a combine, there is where to dry, there is where to sift, where to store, and how to send for export, then I think it is much better than ordinary grain.
– Do you harvest manually?
– Yes, because the combine gives great losses. Amaranth varieties Ultra combine can be collected a ton and a half per hectare, and manually – all three. I reap everything, dry it (I hang up part of the broomstick, part – spread the tarp under the sun, and an amaranth on it), and then I thresh. So the grain comes faster, and it is better disassembled.
– And if amaranth for the household?
– I have no household. Parents of retirement, keep a few chickens, then I, when the greens break through, I give them. When there are a lot of chaff, I also give chickens. Then chickens like wild boars run (laughs), and parents are happy.
– Do you directly use vegan food and amaranth often? – What can you say about its properties based on your own practice?
– I have amaranth in any porridge. Even if I cook buckwheat, then I drop an amaranth grain from a half-glass. But in my opinion, it is impossible to lose weight on amaranth, my mass does not fall. In amaranth because a high percentage of not only protein and fat, but also carbohydrates. But I feel great. True, I have never been sick, never had a headache, and there was no indigestion.
I am an athlete (engaged in martial arts), hand-to-hand combat instructor. Therefore, indicators of endurance and speed are important for me, and they are excellent. I think that amaranth as a source of proteins has a positive effect.
And then: I became younger and look better. No one has given me my 29 years, they think that 24-25.
Separately for beginners
Regarding whether it makes sense to grow amaranth, Artem Kovalchuk gives an affirmative answer, but with one proviso.
– If for yourself to grow this crop in a small area, then yes, it makes sense. If for business, then at least to start five hectares, and ideally – from ten, and this is if you sow, than process, than collect, and there is, where to dry. And if not, then there are very high costs, because only to clean the grain and send it to Nikolaev or the Dnieper, these are very high costs.
I am one of those people who test every idea. They said it is profitable to do this – you have to try, something else will appear, I will try something else.
According to statistics, the areas sown with amaranth have increased almost three times over the last two years, and with organic amaranth – 5-6 times. The cost of marketable grain differs one and a half times in favor of organic. Amaranth today in many countries recognized as one of the most profitable crops. It enters the Ukrainian domestic market, is exported to Germany, Slovakia, Poland, the USA, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, where its market price may be $ 1.43 per kilogram and more.