First Outgrower Quinoa Harvest Kicks Off
Amatheon Agri Zambia’s reshaped Outgrower Programme is starting to bear fruits, as over 1,000 smallholder farmers prepare for their first ever Quinoa harvest and begin selling the highly-nutritious grains to the company.
At the end of 2019, Amatheon Agri Zambia launched its new Outgrower activities, which introduced a new crop, Quinoa, to farmers surrounding Amatheon’s farm as part of its Outgrower network. Amatheon Agri’s Founder and CEO, Mr Carl Heinrich Bruhn, highlights the use of the company’s commercial farm as a nucleus. “This integrative approach allows Amatheon to not only support and trade with thousands of smallholder farmers, but also to process and soon store the Quinoa in a newly-constructed warehouse, all according to international hygiene standards and food safety practices.”
All farmers participating in this new Outgrower project have undergone multi-day trainings performed by Amatheon staff and external consultants in order to cultivate, handle and harvest the Quinoa with the highest food quality standards possible. Specifically qualified Field Officers have been consistently monitoring the farmers and their process throughout the season.
Most farming activities in Zambia continue to be subsistence level. Amatheon Agri Zambia is pleased to be able to partner with local communities, to support their crop diversification and at the same time offer an expanded product portfolio to the company’s clients.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany His Excellency, Mr. Anthony Mukwita, welcomed Amatheon’s responsible-minded Outgrower Programme which uplifts farmers and their communities in Mumbwa district economically, socially and environmentally.
Quinoa is particularly well-suited for growing under arid climate conditions and given Zambia’s number and length of growth days, temperatures and rainfall patterns, Amatheon introduced it as a new crop – first commercially and within its Outgrower Programme. This new addition to Amatheon’s buying basket helps link smallholder farmers with high value products, global markets and a guaranteed offtake, which is a major factor in their personal marketing and risk mitigation strategies.