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Loja, Ecuador. Achira being prepared for starch. (J. Horton)

where these are staples and grow well. 6 However, in future more and more Third World people will come to depend on marginal lands to grow their food. Here, achira could provide the difference between hunger and health. Thus, in appropriate climatic zones—especially where prime land is already producing to its fullest or where conventional crops produce less than abundantly—the plant should be given immediate trials.

Industrialized Regions. It seems unlikely that achira will become a major crop of economically advanced countries. However, research may uncover agricultural niches for this robust species, as well as markets for its unusual starch. Indeed, achira starch has a good chance of finding markets in industry and perhaps also in specialty food products—such as baby food and livestock feed—where its easy digestibility and huge granules would be economic assets.

6 In the lowland tropics, achira yields less than cassava, but at higher altitudes it yields more than cassava.

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