Quinoa Farming Project Report, Cost and Profit

Quinoa Farming Project Report:

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – INTRODUCTION

Quinoa is a product from a flowering grain crop belonging to the amaranth family and considered as super food. This crop is related to the spinach very closely, but is not a grass variety; instead it is a pseudo cereal crop. Quinoa is considered to have originated from the Andean region in the North-Western South America some 4000 years ago. This is an ancient grain, which is traditionally cultivated in the highland and interandean valleys because of its adaptability and versatility of sustaining in any environment. . Peru is the second largest producer of Quinoa. As consumers with health consciousness were looking for alternatives, this crop gained attention and was discovered to have a high nutrient content with a delicious flavor. This quinoa farming project report contains all the details of the plant, its varieties, cultivation methods, benefits and economics (cost and profit details). 

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – IMPORTANCE OF THE QUINOA CROP

This crop is mentioned as the ‘golden grain of the Andes’ because of its characteristics. The crop adapts extraordinarily to different agro ecological areas. The crop can survive in any temperature ranging from -8˚C to 38˚C and humidity ranging from 40 to 80%. The crop is resistant to any sort of soil conditions and exhibits minimum acceptable production. This crop is categorized as the most promising crop of humanity by the Food and Agricultural Organization because of its ability to solve the serious problem of human nutritional deficiency. The usefulness of the crop has helped research and development teams to obtain more improved varieties of the crop for commercial cultivation. The germplasm of the crop species is being collected and preserved in Peru such that its genetic diversity can be studied in developing different varieties to satisfy the growing demand of the consumers.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – PROPERTIES AND USES OF THE PRODUCT

Quinoa Grains.
Quinoa Grains.

Quinoa is considered as a food with high nutritional value and fiber content. The composition of a raw quinoa grain is such that it contains 13% water, 64% carbohydrates, 14% protein and 6% fat. After cooking the composition of the grain changes to 72% water, 21% carbohydrates, 4% protein and 2% fat. The quinoa grain is gluten free and is easily digestible. The presence of different nutrients discussed in detail.

  • Quinoa grains contain proteins such as lysine, Isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, Valine and leucine. The presence of these compounds makes quinoa a source of food which increases muscle energy, improves neuromuscular disorder, prevents liver damage, balances blood sugar levels, cures depression, chronic fatigue and acts as a detoxifier.
  • Contains 50.24% of linolic acid or the Omega 6 fatty acids, 26.04% of Omega 9 or the oleic acid, 4.77% of Omega 3 or the linolenic acid and 9.59% of palmitic acid which help to reduce the LDL Cholesterol and increase the HDL cholesterol in the human body.
  • Quinoa seeds contain 68% starch, 5% sugar, which can be used as a replacement for chemically modified starch.
  • The minerals present in quinoa grains are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, manganese, and small quantities of copper and lithium.
  • The grain contains Vitamin A and E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid, which upon consumption help reduces vitamin deficiencies in the human body.
  • The grain contains 6% of fiber, which helps to regulate cholesterol, prevents the development of bacterial infection in the colon and promotes intestinal transit in the human body. It works as a purifier for the body.
  • The fresh leaves of quinoa help in the treatment of scurvy, a vitamin deficiency.
  • The stems and leaves cooked with oil, pepper and vinegar help increase blood levels.
  • A decoction of the leaves with sugar and cinnamon can cure stomach disorders and nausea.
  • Soup of the grain helps prevent tuberculosis.
  • A decoction of the grain with honey and molasses is useful in the treatment of cold, cough and tonsil infection.
  • The fruit of the plant is used to treat wounds and bruises.
  • Some preparations can also treat deafness, insomnia, pneumonia etc.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – PLANT CHARACTERISTICS

Quinoa Plantation.
Quinoa Plantation.

The plant is considered as an herbaceous variety and dicotyledonous in nature. The physical features of the plant are as described:

  • The plant reaches a maximum height of 3 m depending on the genotype and environmental conditions.
  • The colour of the plant varies according to genotypes and phenological stage such as green, red, dark purple, yellow and garnet orange.
  • The roots of the plant are pivotal and can reach a depth of 1.8 cm. They are fibrous and well branched so as to make the plant stable to drought conditions.
  • The axils of the plant are of different colour like red, green or purple. The branches are angular and the neck of the plant is cylindrical.
  • The petiole of the leaf is long, thin and grooved at the top. The leaf lamina could be triangular, rhomboidal or lanceolate. The leaves are thick and tender with calcium oxalate crystals of different colours on both sides.
  • The panicle has a central axis with secondary and tertiary branches holding the glomerules. The diameter of the panicle is about 5 to 30 cm and is around 30 to 80 cm long. Each panicle may have 80 to 120 glomerules and 100 to 3000 seeds.
  • The flower size is 3 mm with no petals.
  • The shape of the fruit is lenticular and wide at the center. The fruit has a perigonium covering the seed.
  • The fruit without the perigorium in its ripened state is the seed. The episerm of the seed contains the spinning, which tastes bitter. The embryo is yellow in colour and surrounds the perisperm as a ring. The perisperm is the white seed surface and is the main storage tissue.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – CULTIVARS OF QUINOA

There are different varieties of quinoa cultivated in its place of origin and some general information about these cultivars is given here:

INIA 431 – ALTIPLANO

  • Location – Puno.
  • Vegetative cycle – 120 to 150 days.
  • Plant height – 1.5 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 3 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 30.5 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – moderate.
  • Resistance to diseases – intermediate.
  • Uses – soups, desserts, drinks and salads.

INIA 427 – YELLOW SACACA

  • Location – Cusco.
  • Vegetative cycle – 160 to 170 days.
  • Plant height – 1.5 m to 1.7 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 3.5 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 82 to 94 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – sensitive/moderate.
  • Resistance to diseases – tolerant.
  • Uses – soups, salads, stew and drinks.

INIA 420 – BLACK COLANA

  • Location – Puno
  • Vegetative cycle – 115 to 138 days.
  • Plant height – 1.2 m to 1.3 m.
  • Seed yield per plant – 27.2 to 29.4 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – tolerant.
  • Resistance to diseases – intermediate.
  • Uses – soups, salads, desserts and drinks.

INIA 415 PASANKLLA

  • Location – Puno.
  • Vegetative cycle – 105 to 144 days.
  • Plant height – 1.3 m to 1.4 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 3.54 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 32 to 34 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – moderately tolerant.
  • Resistance to diseases – intermediate.
  • Uses – bread rolls and stew.

ILLPA INIA:

  • Location – Puno.
  • Vegetative cycle – 145 days.
  • Plant height – 1.5 m to 1.8 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 3 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 36.8 to 43 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – moderately tolerant.
  • Resistance to diseases – intermediate.
  • Uses – noodles, semolina, ground, soups, salads etc.

SALCEDO INIA:

  • Location – Puno.
  • Vegetative cycle – 120 to 150 days.
  • Plant height – 1.48 m to 1.7 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 2.5 to 6.5 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 40 to 48.73 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – moderately tolerant.
  • Resistance to diseases – intermediate.
  • Uses – noodles, semolina, ground, soups, salads etc.

QUILLAHUAMAN INIA:

  • Location – Cusco
  • Vegetative cycle – 180 to 200 days.
  • Plant height – 1.5 m to 1.7 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 3.5 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 64.5 to 78.3 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – moderately tolerant.
  • Resistance to diseases – intermediate.
  • Uses – noodles, semolina, ground, soups, salads etc.

YELLOW MARANGANI:

  • Location – Cusco
  • Vegetative cycle – 190 to 210 days.
  • Plant height – 1.65 m to 1.7 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 3.5 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 85 to 97 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – moderately tolerant.
  • Resistance to diseases – intermediate.
  • Uses – noodles, semolina, ground, soups, salads etc.

JULI WHITE:

  • Location – Puno.
  • Vegetative cycle – 160 days.
  • Plant height – 1.2 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 1.5 to 2 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 34.93 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions –
  • Resistance to diseases – high.
  • Uses – noodles, semolina, ground, soups, salads, pearled, laminated etc.

KANKOLLA:

  • Location – Puno.
  • Vegetative cycle – 170 days.
  • Plant height – 1 m to 1.10 m.
  • Average yield of grain –1.5 to 2 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 31 to 35.4 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions –
  • Resistance to diseases – high
  • Uses – noodles, semolina, ground, soups, salads etc.

JUNIN WHITE:

  • Location – Junín region.
  • Vegetative cycle – 160 to 180 days.
  • Plant height – 1.5 m to 1.7 m.
  • Average yield of grain – 2.5 tonnes/ha.
  • Seed yield per plant – 35.5 to 40.10 g.
  • Grain aspect – opaque.
  • Adaptation to climatic conditions – less tolerant.
  • Resistance to diseases – low.
  • Uses – noodles, semolina, ground, soups, salads etc.

All these varieties are obtained by the cross breeding of different plant genotypes and exhibit different properties in appearance, growth and yield. Other commercial varieties available for farming are:

  • JUNIN PINK.
  • TARACO PINK.
  • YANAMANGO PINK.
  • HUALHUAS.
  • HUANCAYO.
  • MANTARO.
  • AYACUCHANA INIA.
  • CHEWECA.
  • HUACARIZ.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – CULTIVATION DETAILS

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – SOIL AND CLIMATE REQUIREMENTS

Quinoa Crop Growing Requirements.
Quinoa Crop Growing Requirements.

The crop ideally requires well drained soil with high organic content and moderate nutrition. Preferably grown on neutral soil, but can survive both acidic and alkaline soil types. Loamy soil is most suitable for cultivation of quinoa and the pH can vary from 4.5 to 9. Different types of quinoa plants can adapt to different climatic conditions, so this plant can survive in any climate such as desert, warm and dry, temperate with high humidity, rainy and high mountain areas. The crop can withstand temperature from -8˚C to 38˚C, but the ideal temperature required by the crop is 15 to 20˚C. The plant can tolerate heat and altitudes up to 4000 m. The minimum rainfall requirement for quinoa farming is 100 mm.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – LAND PREPARATION AND PLANTING

The land for quinoa farming can be prepared by giving adequate number of ploughings and making it weed free. The soil is treated with the application of a balanced fertilizer. While cultivating quinoa one sq. meter of area can be used to plant 15 to 500 crops. The minimum and commonly used row spacing is 12.5 cm, 25 cm or 50 cm. The depth of planting should be 1 to 3 cm. The plant spacing is 60 cm. The sowing of the seeds should be done in the month of May and the seeds take 24 hours to germinate. Within 3 or 5 days the seedlings emerge.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – PROPAGATION TECHNIQUES

Propagation of quinoa is done through seeds. The seeds can be directly sown in the farmland or grown in the nursery. The seeds need cool temperature condition initially and germinate within 24 hours. Deep planting of seeds should not be done.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – MANURE AND FERTILIZER REQUIREMENTS

The land preparation is done by adding 20 to 30 tonnes of organic matter to improve its condition. Nitrogen fertilizer is required for the quick growth of this plant. One hectare of land requires fertilizers in the following quantity; nitrogen @ 120 kg, phosphorous @ 50 kg and potassium @ 50 kg. Organic farming is expected to give good results in quinoa. Excess manure and fertilizers can make the soil dry and lose its fertility. It is observed that the varying nitrogen content in the soil has a varying yield profile. Therefore the minimum range of nitrogen requirement of the plant is 150 to 180 pounds of nitrogen per acre land.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – IRRIGATION REQUIREMENTS

Under rain fed conditions, the crop grows well. It doesn’t require any extra irrigation if the rainfall is adequate. Excessive irrigation during the establishment stage of the crop may help the plants grow tall, but there is no improvement in the yield, but if excess irrigation is given to the seedlings then there could be a potential danger of damping off and stunting in the plants. Plants require irrigation when there is no minimum rainfall available. Irrigating the crops is done only until the development of second or third leaf stage.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – INTERCULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Thinning is done immediately after germination of the seeds and these small young leaves are used in salads. Currently manual weeding is practiced and there is research being conducted on the proper chemical required for weeding. Some herbicides have been named for the use in quinoa farming such as asulox, dual magnum, Gramaxone, ro-neet, rely etc.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – PEST AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT

The common diseases destroying the quinoa plant and their suitable remedial measures are discussed here:

  • Downy mildew – application of wet Mancozeb powder (50%) and Curzate (72%) can help control the disease.
  • Brown stalk rot – spraying Carbendazim solution (50% of the chemical diluted to 1000 times.
  • Root rot – wet powder of 50% Hymexazol diluted to 1500 times is applied through irrigation to control the disease.
  • Leaf spot – 12.5% of Diniconazole is sprayed @ 30 to 40 g/667 m².
  • Gray mold – the compound iprodione is diluted to 1500 times and sprayed twice with an interval of 5 days to control the disease.

Pests that destroy the quinoa crop are:

  • Caterpillars.
  • Beetles.
  • Leaf mining flies.
  • Cutworms.
  • Moths.

Pests can be easily controlled by cultural practices such as nutrient management, irrigation, planting density, crop rotation, tillage and phytosanitation. Chemicals of the pirethroids type are used or kerosene solution is used for controlling pests. Burning of rubber or adding ash to the soil after sowing seeds are done to prevent some pests.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – HARVESTING THE CROP

Harvested Quinoa Crop.
Harvested Quinoa Crop.

Even before the full maturity of the plant, quinoa is harvested. The signs of harvesting are known by the yellowing of lower leaves of the plant. The plants are cut to a length of 20 cm while harvesting and are made into small sheaves. These sheaves are left in the rows to dry. It may take 30 to 45 days for drying the grains under the sun. Harvesting should not be done during rain.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – POST HARVESTING TECHNIQUES

Threshing is the method of removing the grains from the plants by spreading them on the ground and beating them with a stick. The chaff can be separated by silting or winnowing the grain. Mechanical drying can also be used, but the selection of drier is important. The seeds should be cleaned, dried and stored carefully. Once the grain is processed it should be stored in clean, dry and ventilated areas. The traditional way of storing quinoa grains is using mesh sacks.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – PRODUCTION DETAILS / YIELD

Like any other crop, the yield of quinoa depends largely on the environmental and farming aspects. The average yield of the crop can be estimated as 1000 pounds per acre. The variety of the cop also facilitates in a different yield characteristics. The cultivar CO407 shows the consistent behavior in the yield pattern and produces 1200 lb/acre.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – COST AND PROFIT ANALYSIS

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – DETAILS OF INVESTMENT AND RETURNS

The estimation of investment in quinoa farming is presented here. The actual price of materials may vary for different places and countries. This estimation is an example of the investment structure for the quinoa farming project. Also the market price of quinoa grains may be different such that the annual profit may change depending on the place of farming and quality of production. The quantities and prices mentioned here are for 1 hectare of farming land. There could be other hidden charges like mechanical equipments, extra labour etc.

MATERIALS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTSINVESTMENT (IN US $)
5 kg of manure cost @ $ 10 /kg50.00
Labour for ploughing and manure application150.00
8 kg of Seeds @ $ 5/kg50.00
Sowing cost100.00
Pest control chemicals and application200.00
Harvesting procedures and transport200.00
Machinery for post harvest methods50.00
Milling of the grains200.00
Total material and labour costs1000.00
  • One hectare of land produces 17 quintals of quinoa approximately, sold at $ 120/quintal: $ 2040.00.
  • The profit earned by farming quinoa in one hectare of land: ($2040. 00 – $ 1000.00) =  $ 1040.00.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – PRESENT DAY MARKET POSITION

Initially the market for quinoa was limited because people were not aware of its use and importance, but a recent study has shown a steep increase in the price of quinoa due to its increasing demand. This product can attract high premiums and it is known that exporting 2 tonnes of quinoa has earned Australia AU$ 18,840. This food grain is considered to solve the food security issues that arise in different places. This crop can serve as a cash crop in developing countries and contribute to the economy of the country. In India there are 130 agro climatic zones which are suitable for its cultivation and can create a big revolution in the food industry. 1% annual production of quinoa can generate an economy of Rs 60,000 crores.

QUINOA FARMING PROJECT REPORT – SEED PROCUREMENT AND SUPPORT

  • The seeds for quinoa farming can be obtained from the Krushi Vigyan Kendra or Central Food Technological and research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore.
  • The Rajasthan government provides free seeds to the poor farmers to encourage tribal farmers shift their cultivation trends and gain more profit.
  • The seeds for quinoa farming in Anantapur were supplied by the Union Ministry of Agriculture to the AMR-APARD (Andhra Pradesh Academy of Rural Development) under the mission called ‘Project Ananta’.
  • The CSIR in association with CFTRI is helping 100 farmers to start quinoa farming in Karnataka.

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