Industrial crops provide oils, fiber, or chemicals from leaves, seeds, bark, or roots for income or on-farm use. Plants in our collection are used for edible oil, confection, forage, fiber, fuel oil, or as a pesticide.


  1. Sesame Sesamum indicum

    Sesame, Sim Sim, Bene, Sesamo, Agonjoli, Benne

    Sesame is an erect, herbaceous, annual, broad-leaved plant, growing to 2.5 m in height. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops and mainly grown as a field crop for the seeds and especially oil extracted from the seeds.
  2. Fish Bean Tephrosia vogelii

    Fish Bean

    Fish bean is a short-lived perennial, somewhat woody, nitrogen-fixing plant, growing up to 3 m in height. This plant is used for green manure, erosion control, and mulch. It is known to contain rotenoids and can be used as an insecticide and fish poison. Fish bean should NOT be used as fodder for...
  3. Sunflower Helianthus annuus

    Sunflower

    Sunflowers are tall showy, usually yellow flowers grown for their seeds. The flower head is composed of the showy perimeter ray flowers and the inner disc florets which produce the seeds. As well as being an ornamental plant that attracts pollinators, sunflower seeds are pressed for oil or used...
  4. Kenaf Hibiscus cannabinus

    Kenaf

    Kenaf is an upright, herbaceous, annual plant that can reach 5 m in height. It is used for fodder, fiber, and the young leaves as a vegetable.
  5. Jatropha Jatropha curcas

    Jatropha, Barbados Nut, Physic Nut, Purging Nut

    Jatropha is a small, drought-tolerant, perennial tree growing up to 6 m in height. Oil from the seeds is used for candles, soap, and fuel which can be used as a substitute for diesel oil.
  6. Sweet Sorghum Sorghum bicolor

    Sweet Sorghum, Sugar Sorghum, Sorgo, Cane

    Sweet sorghum is an annual plant in the grass family up to 5 m in height. This variety of sorghum is distinguished by the sweet juice contained in the soft pith of the stalk and is mainly grown for syrup and sugar. It may also be planted for forage or silage.
  7. Vernonia Vernonia galamensis

    Vernonia, Ironweed

    This oilseed plant originated from eastern Africa. Vernonia is grown in tropical locations that are within 20º of the equator because better seed is produced from flowers under short day conditions.
  8. Maize Zea mays

    Maize, Corn, Indian Corn, Sweet Corn

    Maize is an annual, warm-climate crop in the grass family, thriving in open sunny environments with daytime temperatures of 20-24C. Maize is used fresh, frozen, canned, rolled and roasted for corn flakes, pressed for oil, or processed for ethanol as fuel. Maize is also an important feed source...