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J^ationaC Academy Press The National Academy Press was created by the National Academy of Sciences to publish the reports issued by the Academy and by the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, all operating under the charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences by the Congress of the United States.
REFERENCE COPY FOR LIBRARY USE ONLY AMARANTH Modern Prospects for â¢"Â»â¢<â¢ â¢ r ' >â¢- .âi... ! â¢ â¢ Mir,. an Ancient Crop Report of an Ad Hoc Panel of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation Board on Science and Technology for International Development Office of International Affairs National Research Council NAS-NAE LIBRARY NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1984
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. The Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) of the Office of International Affairs addresses a range of issues arising from the ways in which science and technology in developing countries can stimulate and complement the complex processes of social and economic development. It oversees a broad program of bilateral workshops with scientific organizations in developing countries and conducts special studies. BOSTID's Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation publishes topical reviews of technical processes and biological resources of potential importance to developing countries. This report has been prepared by an ad hoc advisory panel of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, Board on Science and Technology for International Devel- opment. Office of International Affairs, National Research Council. Funding for the study was provided by the William H. Donner Foundation and the Office of the Science Advisor, Agency for International Development, under Grant No. DAN/5538-G-SS- 1023-00. Art Credits: Page IX depicts Amaranthus caudatus (from W.E. Safford in Proceedings of the 19th Congress of Americanists, 1917). The drawings on pages X and 54 depict various common shapes of amaranth. Cover photograph by Burgess Blevins. First printing, September 1984 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 84-061583 ii
PANEL ON AMARANTH DONALD L. PLUCKNETT, Consultative Group on International Agricul- tural Research, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., Chairman MELVIN G. BLASE, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri, Columbia T. AUSTIN CAMPBELL, Economic Botany Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland LAURIE B. FEINE, Rodale Research Center, Kutztown, Pennsylvania HECTOR E. FLORES-MERINO, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut LINDA c. GILBERT, Product Development, Rodale Test Kitchen, Em- maus, Pennsylvania RICHARD R. HARWOOD, Rodale Research Center, Kutztown, Pennsyl- vania SUBODH JAIN, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, University of California, Davis CHARLES s. KAUFFMAN, Rodale Research Center, Kutztown, Penn- sylvania CYRUS M. MCKELL, Native Plants Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah GARY NABHAN, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Tucson, Arizona HUGH POPENOE, International Programs in Agriculture, University of Florida, Gainesville ALFREDO SANCHEZ-MARROQUIN, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agricolas (Proyecto NAS/INIA), Mexico D.F. ROBIN M. SAUNDERS, Western Regional Research Center, Cereals Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Berkeley, California JOSEPH SENFT, Amaranth Consultant, Emmaus, Pennsylvania JAMES L. VETTER, American Institute of Baking, Manhattan, Kansas DAVID E. WALSH, General Nutrition Corporation, Fargo, North Dakota SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS G.J.H. GRUBBEN, Research Station for Arable Farming and Field Production of Vegetables, Lelystad, Holland T.N. KHOSHOO, Secretary, Department of Environment, Government of India, New Delhi, India JUDITH M. LYMAN, Rockefeller Foundation, New York, New York JONATHAN SAUER, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles ARRIS A. SIGLE, Amaranth Farmer, Luray, Kansas THEODORE suoiA, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. iii
NOEL D. VIETMEYER, Professional Associate, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, Amaranth Study Direc- tor National Research Council Staff F.R. RUSKIN, BOSTID Editor MARY JANE ENGQUIST, Staff Associate CONSTANCE REGES, Administrative Secretary IV
Preface Amaranth, a little-known crop of the Americas, is grown either as a grain crop or as a leafy vegetable. Despite its obscurity, it offers important promise for feeding the world's hungry. In the National Academy of Sciences' 1975 study Underexploited Tropical Plants with Promising Economic Value, amaranth was selected from among 36 of the world's most promising crops. Since then, extensive research has been done on the plant, and this book provides a more detailed examination of its characteristics and prospects. The panel that produced this report met in September 1981 at the Rodale Research Center of Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. There, panel members examined a field of grain amaranth ready for harvest as well as test plots of several hundred amaranth varieties. They also sampled many amaranth products from the Rodale Test Kitchen. The panel members are indebted to Robert Rodale and his staff for their assistance and hospitality. This report, resulting from the panel's deliberations, is intended for agencies engaged in development assistance and food relief, officials and institutions concerned with agriculture in developing countries, and scientific communities with relevant interests. This study is one of a series that explores promising plant resources that heretofore have been unknown, neglected, or overlooked. Other titles include: â¢ Underexploited Tropical Plants with Promising Economic Value (1975) â¢ Making Aquatic Weeds Useful: Some Perspectives for Developing Countries (1976) â¢ Tropical Legumes: Resources for the Future (1979) â¢ The Winged Bean: A High-Protein Crop for the Tropics (second edition, 1981) This series of reports is issued under the auspices of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation (ACTI) of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID), National Research Council. ACTI was established in 1971 especially to assess
Vl AMARANTH scientific and technological advances that might prove particularly applicable to problems of developing countries. Funds for this study were provided by the William H. Donner Foundation, which also made possible the free distribution of the report. Staff support was provided by the Office of the Science Advisor, Development Support Bureau, Agency for International Development. How to cite this report: National Research Council. 1984. Amaranth: Modern Prospects for an Ancient Crop. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
Contents 1 Introduction 1 2 The Plants 14 3 Production 18 4 Grain Amaranths 27 5 Vegetable Amaranths 39 6 Research Needs 48 Appendixes A Selected Readings 55 B Research Contacts 59 C Germplasm Collections and Commercial Seed Suppliers 65 D Biographical Sketches of Panel Members 68 Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation 75 Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) 75 BOSTID Publications 77 vu