Corchorus olitorius (Malvaceae–Tiliaceae) Cultivation and Socio-economic Importance

Corchorus olitorius (Malvaceae–Tiliaceae) Cultivation and Socio-economic Importance

Author by Prof. Cyril Nwangburuka

Language: English

Abstract

Corchorus olitorius (2n=14) belongs to the family Mavaceae comprising 40 genera and 400 species. The genus has, however, been classified in a number of different families including Tiliaceae. It is an herbaceous vegetable with considerable diversity in agronomic characters which are yet to be adequately exploited for development and selection of improved types. C. olitorius is one of the diverse traditional vegetables, constituting the traditional mixed cropping systems on farmers’ plots and home gardens in West, Central and North Africa. In Africa, C. olitorius is cultivated mainly for the mucilaginous property of the leaves, which makes for easy consumption of many starchy staple food crops in the region. The leaves are nutritionally rich. They contain minerals, protein and vitamins, which are needed for good health, especially among women and children in rural areas. The significance of the nutrition, agro-ecological distribution, production practices and health benefits of the crop are discussed to provide adequate information for planning and production of this profitable and nutritious crop. The early maturing property of the crop, the complementary influence on early revenue generation and its importance for family nutrition are also highlighted with other associated economic benefits


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