markets and supermarkets, and their nutritional punch has become known to millions.
As kiwicha and other grain amaranth species become more popular worldwide, consumption will probably also increase among all levels of South American society. This, in turn, will boost kiwicha's attractiveness as a cash crop, and should also encourage even more sustained long-term research. The crop could then be reestablished in many places throughout the region after an absence of almost 500 years. Eventually, it could become a vital nutritional complement to the diets and incomes of millions of traditional farmers, as well as to the rural and urban poor. Kiwicha requires less processing than many Andean crops—beans, quinoa, and tarwi, for example—which is particularly important where fuel is limited or expensive.
Other Developing Areas. Various amaranth species are used as grains, greens, fodders, or ornamentals around the world. This is especially true in the lower elevations of the Himalayas, where they are well established in the nonirrigated croplands. So far, kiwicha amaranth is barely known outside the Andes, but the work done in Peru and nearby countries could be extended to other regions.
During the past five years there has been a marked increase in the research and production of amaranth. Substantial plantings are reported in China, Nepal, India, Kenya, and Mexico, where amaranth often occupies the rainfed croplands. The work done in the Andean countries could benefit the expansion of kiwicha amaranth in these countries.
Amaranth can undoubtedly be used to raise the nutritional quality of foods that are normally made from other grains such as corn, rice, or sorghum. In such blends, its food value is particularly beneficial for infants, children, and pregnant and lactating women. Nutritionists have compared amaranth favorably with milk. By introducing amaranth into diets based on cereals and tubers, a much-improved nutritional balance is obtained. In sum, kiwicha could become an important source of protein, vitamins, and minerals in many areas, particularly in tropical highlands.
Industrialized Regions. Amaranth is becoming an established specialty crop in the United States. Only Mexican varieties have been used so far because kiwicha types have performed poorly. However, selection of genotypes that set seeds under long daylength conditions seems likely to uncover better adapted forms. A killing frost is required to dry down the plants sufficiently to permit direct combine harvest. Amaranth is of particular interest to farmers growing dryland crops in areas of the Great Plains. The falling aquifers and increasing water