With a target to produce over 5000 MT of Quinoa by the next year, Organic Wellness Products Ltd distributed seeds of the crop to over 500 farmers of Bundelkhand villages.
The organic company organised seed distribution ceremony at Babai village in Bundelkhand near Jhansi. Seeds of Quinoa were distributed to the Organic Wellness Family Farmers ( OWFF) and they would sow it in November and harvest in March next year.
Quinoa is termed a cash crop also and by producing nearly 1500 MT, the OWFF are expected to earn several time more than paddy and other crops of the region.
“Seed is the critical step in chain of Organic /Non GMO produce and we ensure this by giving the seeds to our OWFF,” Krishan Gupta, Founder and Managing Director of Organic Wellness told RM.
“We are the only company in India (best to our knoweldge) to do the complete chain from seeds , cultivation, harvesting, clearning/processing and packing thus giving huge confidence /reliability on service, supplies and quality,” he added.
“This year we are growing over 1500 MT of Quinoa with focus of 5000 MT next year. In addition to the premium prices being paid to our OWFF, we will be also sharing 5 percent of the profits generated from Quinoa business,” Gupta said.
He said that poor situation of Sesame crop in Village Babai, due to shortfall of rain, was the driving force to opt for Quinoa for better income generating option to these energetic farmers.
Organic Wellness did a review of crop pattern and other related issues and came out to solutions to avoid such crop failures in future and adopting Quinoa was also one of the solutions. This crop not only consumes less water and has high nutrition value thereby fetch good price for the produce
Organic Wellness manufacturing and processing unit is also being set up at Babai and it would be ready by the end of next month. “ We could shortlist a site, which was in village Babai, with good road, good connectivity, green belt all around, not much of vehicle traffic , legally clear, clear land title and in short fit for our purpose in all aspects,” Gupta said.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had declared the year 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa as a recognition of the "crop’s resilience, adaptability and its potential contribution in the fight against hunger and malnutrition". Its average protein content (15 percent) surpasses that of wheat (12) and rice (6). It has high-quality protein and wellbalanced amino acids with vitamins and minerals, iron in particular. Quinoa is gluten free and good for people with digestive disorders
Quinoa is a seed of plant Chenopodium quinoa and is spinach’s close cousin. It has been cultivated in the Andean regions of South America for more than 7,000 years. Colonization by Europeans suppressed the crop. It took two scientists at National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA) to put Quinoa back on the map when they concluded in their research that "Quinoa has desirable food qualities for long”.
According to experts, even if India grows Quinoa at 1 percent of annual production of rice and wheat, it will be 2 million tonnes. Its economic value can be $10 billion (Rs 60,000 crore) at current prices. India needs several million tonnes of Quinoa a year to meet the requirement of its diabetics, cardiac patients and malnourished children. This can be another cash crop for millions of farmers. India has 130 agro-climatic zones and several of them can be suitable for Quinoa.
Organic Wellness Quinoa project would be very encouraging and inspiring for farmers of the country. It has the potential to be the next revolution and the solution for malnutrition, diabetes and cardiac problems. Moreover, it can boost income of small farmers, facing very tough time currently.