This chapter addresses the value of different Amaranthus [L.] species that have been recorded in Nigeria. These are Amaranthus blitum, A. dubius, A. caudatus, A. cruentus, A. deflexus, A. graecizans, A. hybridus, A. hypochondriacus, A. retroflexus, A. spinosus, A. thunbergii, A. tricolor and A. viridis. Although they are mostly cultivated, some are present as weeds and others are valued for their ornamental roles. Amaranthus species are the most important vegetables in some parts of Nigeria because of their leaves, succulent stem and cereal-like grains. The chapter describes their socio-cultural (ethnobotanical), ecological, economic, food and income security values as well as their production requirements. Although amaranths are stress tolerant, mesic condition and soil enrichment can increase output and nutrient composition, respectively. This work revealed that a gap exists in annual production amounts and foreign exchange earning from amaranths. It also compared the 13 species based on their proximate and phytochemical composition. Amaranths are already contributing to sustainable development and livelihood in Nigeria without established institutional support. There is a need for Nigeria to establish a vegetable centre (with the proposed name: Nigerian Vegetable Center) to maximise the potential and actual values of amaranths and other vegetable species in Nigeria.
Part of the book: Nutritional Value of Amaranth