Chia (Salvia hispanica L.)

We are the pioneers of chia seed cultivation in Uttarakhand Himalaya. Chia seed has been the first crop we have researched on. We conducted three on-field experiments between 2018 and 2020. Our results suggest that yields of chia seeds in hill Uttarakhand make this crop economically viable for the local farmers to adopt. Our nutritional content analysis suggest that chia seeds produced in Uttarakhand are rich in protein and omega 3 ALA. The chia crop can be grown without irrigation during the monsoon season, and it is not attacked by wild animals. These characteristics make this crop suitable for its cultivation as a superfood cash crop. A chia seed supply chain was initiated in 2021 to promote the adoption of this crop. 

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.)

Quinoa is a superfood pseudo-cereal that is rich in protein, fibre, and minerals. It can be used as a rice substitute and it is gluten-free. Quinoa is one of the world’s most popular health foods. It can be incorporated into snack bars, cereal, flours, and more. Quinoa experiments in India have taken place both in the wet and the dry seasons, but no commercial cultivation is currently taking place in Uttarakhand Himalaya. Kyarki Foundation seeks to target this crop in the next round of agronomic experiments. 

Sunflower (Helianthus annuum L.)

Sunflower is one of the most important oilseed crops grown in temperate countries. It is a major source of vegetable oil in the world. Its seed are considered a superfood. In India, sunflower has gained popularity due to the national priority of vegetable oil production. Its seeds are high in protein and healthy fats. It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Kyarki Foundation seeks to target this crop in the next round of agronomic experiments, along with quinoa. 

Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.)

Flax is one of the oldest fibre crops. In the Western world, flax seeds are gaining momentum due to their excellent health benefits. In India, flax has been cultivated for years. However, many consumers are still not aware of their nutritional benefits, which include a high content of healthy fats and high-quality protein. Flax can be grown during the dry season, both for food and textile purposes. Kyarki Foundation will experiment with this crop starting from 2022.  

Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)

Uttarakhand has been the first State of India to legalise industrial hemp cultivation in 2016. Since then, many companies have focused their efforts on developing Indian industrial hemp varieties that do not contain significant levels of the psychoactive THC compound. Industrial hemp can be grown for fibre, food, and medicinal purposes. It is a multi-purpose crop with a huge economic potential. Kyarki Foundation is constantly keeping an eye on the developments of the R&D projects taking place across India. Industrial hemp experiments will start once a suitable Indian hemp variety becomes available for its legal cultivation.