Commercial quinoa farming business is becoming popular gradually in many countries around the world. Growing quinoa is relatively easy, and you can start this business even if you are a beginner.
Before discussing more about commercial quinoa farming business, let us first explain what is quinoa. It is pronounced KEEN-wah.
Quinoa is actually a grain crop that is grown for it’s edible seeds. It is an annual dicotyledonous plant that grows about 1 to 1.5 meter in height.
Quinoa is a herbaceous annual plant which is grown as a crop mainly for it’s edible seeds. And the quinoa seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, dietary minerals and B vitamins in amounts greater than in many grains.
It is not a grass, but rather a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach and amaranth, and originated in the Andean region of Northwestern South America.
It was first used to feed livestock (5,200 to 7,000 years ago), and also used for human consumption 3,000 to 4,000 years ago in Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia.
Quinoa seeds are often used as substitute of rice, and the seeds are highly nutritious and have high percent of protein as compared to other cereals.
Quinoa is of different colors. But the main colors of quinoa are green, purple and red that change in different color shades during maturation period.
Commercial quinoa farming business has bright future because it has high protein content and less carbohydrates as compared to rice.
Today, commercial quinoa farming is a very common business in many countries. World production of quinoa was 175,188 tones in the year of 2020, led by Peru and Bolivia with 97% of the total when combined.
However, commercial quinoa faring is a very very easy and profitable business, and you can start this business easily even if you are a beginner.
Uses of Quinoa
Quinoa is mainly used as food, but the plant is also used as livestock feed in many countries. Quinoa is very nutritious and good for human health.
Raw, uncooked quinoa is 64% carbohydrates, 14% protein, 13% water and 6% fat. Nutritional evaluations indicate that a 100 gram serving of raw quinoa seeds is a rich source of protein (20% or higher of the DV), dietary fiber, several B vitamins (including 46% DV for folate), and the dietary minerals magnesium, phosphorus and manganese.
Cooked quinoa is 72% water, 21% carbohydrates, 4% protein and 2% fat. A 100 gram serving of cooked quinoa provides 120 kilocalories of food energy and is a rich source of manganese and phosphorus, and moderate source of dietary fiber, folate and the dietary minerals iron, zinc and magnesium.
Advantages of Quinoa Farming Business
Commercial quinoa farming is a very easy and simple business, even the beginners can also start this business. And starting commercial quinoa production is just like starting any other crop farming business.
Commercial quinoa farming is very profitable and easy also. However, here we are trying to describe the top advantages of commercial quinoa farming business.
- Starting commercial quinoa farming is very easy and simple, even the beginners can also start this business with proper training.
- Commercial production of quinoa is very profitable and it’s a great way for good income.
- Large scale quinoa farming is gaining popularity faster and it has very bright future.
- Many people are already doing this business for making money.
- You don’t have to worry much about starting this business, because it is already an established business in many countries.
- You will find many existing farmers for help in quinoa production.
- Quinoa plants are hardy and grow easily. They generally require less caring and other management.
- Demand and value of quinoa is increasing gradually. So, it will be a profitable business.
- Marketing of quinoa is relatively easy, you will probably be able to sell your products in the local market.
- As commercial quinoa farming is profitable, so it can be a great employment source for the people, especially for the educated but unemployed people.
- Production costs in commercial quinoa farming is relatively less as compared to other crop farming business. So, profits will be higher also.
- Quinoa is nutritious and it has numerous health benefits. You can enjoy fresh quinoa if you start your own production.
How to Start Quinoa Farming
Starting commercial quinoa farming is relatively easy and simple, and it is just like other crop farming business. You can easily start this business, even if you are a beginner.
But we recommend having practical experience before starting this business. Here we are trying to describe more information about this business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.
First of all, you have to select a very good and suitable land for starting commercial quinoa farming business.
Quinoa can be grown in different types of soil, and even can be grown in poor soils as well. But the most suitable soil for commercial quinoa farming is sandy loam.
Try to avoid heavy clay soils as they are not suitable for good production. The selected soil should have good drainage system and should rich in high organic matter with moderate slopes and average nutrient content.
Quinoa plants prefer neutral soils, although they are usually grown on alkaline soils up to pH of 9.0 and acidic soils up to pH 5.0.
Prepare the Soil
Preparing the land perfectly is very important for commercial quinoa farming business. Give couple of ploughings for making the soil weed free and for bringing soil to fine tilth stage. Add as much organic fertilizers as you can while preparing the land.
Climate Requirement For Quinoa Farming
Ideal temperature for quinoa farming is between 18°C and 20°C. Although the plants can withstand temperature extremes ranging from 39°C to -8°C.
Propagation of quinoa is done through seeds.
Quinoa seeds are easily available in the seed supply stores. You can also consider ordering the seeds online.
Quinoa seeds can be sown from the mid of the May when soil temperature reaches 5°C to 7°C. You can sow the seeds directly in the main field or transplant.
The most appropriate plant density in commercial quinoa farming ranges from 150 to 500 plants per square meter area. You will need about 15 to 20 kg seeds per hectare area.
Seed germination usually occurs within 24 hours after planting when adequate moisture is present in the soil, and seedlings emerge in 3 to 5 days.
The quinoa plants generally require less caring and other management. Although taking additional caring will help the plants to grow well and produce more.
Try to add as much organic contents as you can while preparing the land. Along with this, the quinoa crop responds well to nitrogen fertilizer. The plants require fertilizers of N:P:K in the ration of 120:50:50 kg per hectare land.
Rain fed crops generally don’t require any irrigation if there is a well distributed rain-fall throughout the year.
Controlling weeds from the field is very important, because weeds consume most of the nutrients from the soil.
Pests & Diseases
Aphids, beet armyworm, leafhoppers, stem borer, flea beetles, tarnished plant but are the most common pests found in quinoa farming.
Bacterial blight, grey mold, damping off, downy mildew, stalk rot, fungal leaf spots are the most common diseases found in quinoa production.
Apart from above mentioned pests and diseases, birds are also common problem in the quinoa crop. Consult with your local agricultural extension office for more information.
Quinoa crop generally become ready for harvesting in 3 months to 4 months after sowing. The crop is harvested when they reach physiological maturity and are laid in the field for 35 to 45 days, after which they are threshed on ground and beaten with sticks or trampled by bullocks.
Quinoa grains that contain appropriate grain moist should be separated from impurities, plant particles. And then You can store the separated grains in a dry and cool place.
It’s very difficult to tell the exact amount, because it depends on numerous factors. But on an average, you can expect yield of 500 kg to 1500 kg of grains. However, with proper farm management practices, fertilization and improved varieties, yield of up to 5 tones per hectare can be achieved.
Marketing quinoa is very easy and simple. You will probably be able to sell your products in the local market. Although, you should set your marketing strategies before starting this business.
These are the common steps and ways for starting and operating a successful quinoa farming business. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!